Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), Ben Bradlee highlight 2005-06 speakers

Former U.S. Secretary of State General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) and Ben Bradlee, vice president and former executive editor of The Washington Post, are among the speakers who will visit the Elon University campus in 2005-06. Details...

Powell will deliver the address at Spring Convocation for Honors April 4, while Bradlee will serve as the Isabella Cannon Distinguished Visiting Professor of Leadership and give a public lecture Feb. 27.

Other speakers include author and former Sudanese slave Francis Bok, Sept. 20; former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, Sept. 26; Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Edmund Morris, who will deliver the Baird Pulitzer Prize Lecture during Fall Convocation, Oct. 6; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and war correspondent Samantha Power, Nov. 14; and Peter Brown, a specialist in human evolution, who will deliver a Voices of Discovery lecture Feb. 20.

Powell served as secretary of state from 2001 to 2005. A four-star general in the U.S. Army, Powell served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993. He served as national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan and was an aide to the secretary of defense. He was in charge of 28 military missions during his Army career, including Operation Desert Storm during the 1991 Persian Gulf war. Powell has received several military awards, including the Purple Heart, and his civilian awards include two Presidential Medals of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. His autobiography, “My American Journey,” is a bestseller.

Bradlee was vice president and executive editor of The Washington Post during the Watergate scandal. Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein wrote a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning articles linking the 1972 burglary at the Democratic National Committee headquarters to top White House officials. The paper’s reports led to government investigations, criminal proceedings and Senate hearings that eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974. Bradlee came to Washington in 1948 as a reporter for the Washington Post and Newsweek magazine. He became managing editor of the Post in 1965, recruiting well-known reporters and encouraging the style of investigative reporting that would result in the paper’s Watergate coverage.

Bok was 7 years old when he was captured and enslaved during an Arab militia raid on the Sudanese village of Mymlal in 1986. For ten years, he served as a slave to an Arab family and received daily beatings while being forced to eat rotten food and sleep with cattle. He eventually escaped and resettled in the United States in 1999 with the help of the United Nations. His critically-acclaimed book, “Escape from Slavery: The True Story of my Ten Years in Captivity-and my Journey to Freedom in America,” is Elon’s common reading for 2005-06.

Collins was U.S. Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003. He has published eight collections of poetry, including “The Art of Drowning,” which was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and “Questions About Angels,” which was selected by Edward Hirsch for the National Poetry Series. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and periodicals, including Harper’s and The New Yorker. He was named New York State Poet in 2004.

Morris received the Pulitzer Prize and American Book Award for his biography, “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt.” As President Reagan’s authorized biographer, he published the national bestseller “Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan” in 1999. Another bestseller, “Theodore Rex,” the second installment in the projected trilogy of his Roosevelt series, was published in 2002.

Power is a noted journalist and war correspondent. Her book, “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide,” examined U.S. policy toward the genocides of the 20th century. The book won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize and the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award for general nonfiction. She covered the war in the former Yugoslavia as a reporter for U.S. News and World Report and the Economist from 1993 to 1996. She is founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Brown is a paleoanthropologist at the University of New England in Australia. In 2004 he led a team of scientists on an archaeological dig in eastern Indonesia that documented the discovery of a new species of early human named Homo floresiensis. This new early human species may be an ancestor of Homo erectus, a human ancestor that dates back 1.8 million years.