2024 Speakers

SEARCY, Ark. (Jan. 18, 2024) — Harding University's American Studies Institute is pleased to

welcome three upcoming speakers as part of its ASI Distinguished Lecture Series, including

retired NASA astronaut Dr. Jerry Linenger as well as conservative legal scholar Robert George

and leftist social critic Cornel West. Drs. George and West are committed to fostering civil

discourse about the nation's most challenging political, legal and social issues.


The event featuring West and George will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at

Harding's Benson Auditorium. Linenger's lecture will be held on Monday, April 8, 2024,

beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Benson Auditorium, located at 201 S. Blakeney in Searcy, Ark. Both

events are free and open to the public.


"Harding is proud to host these and other incredible individuals as part of our ASI series," said

Mike Williams, president of Harding University. "These two events are sure to be

thought-provoking and offer our guests fodder for deep conversations."


Dr. Jerry Linenger is a retired U.S. Navy flight surgeon and NASA astronaut who holds

doctorates in both medicine and research methodology. During his career as an astronaut,

Linenger spent almost five months aboard Russia's Mir space station, becoming the first

American ever to undock from the station in a Russian Soyuz space capsule and helping

contain the most extensive fire ever experienced on an orbiting spacecraft. In 2008, Linenger

was awarded NASA's Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award conferred by the space



The author of more than 20 books, outspoken leftist social philosopher Dr. Cornel West currently

serves as the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at New York City's Union Theological Seminary. A

professor emeritus at Princeton University and former professor of the Practice of Public

Philosophy at Harvard University, West is a celebrated speaker, writer, critic and commentator

who frequently addresses the intersection of ethics, politics and social responsibility in a variety

of media.


West will appear at Harding with Dr. Robert George, conservative American legal scholar. The

McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program in American

Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, George is a frequent visiting professor at Harvard

Law School. He has served as chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious

Freedom, as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights and as a

judicial fellow at the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the author or co-author of more than a dozen

books on civil liberties, ethics and the law.


For more information about Harding's American Studies Institute or the Distinguished Lecture

Series, visit Harding.edu/ASI or call 501-279-4497.

Topics: ASI 2024 ASI Lectures ASI

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