The Kim T. Adamson Lecture in International Studies is an annual endowed lecture established at Westminster College in 2001 to bring major figures in international studies, military history, and related fields to campus to deliver relevant public lectures and conduct seminars. As the world becomes increasingly globalized, complicated issues face us every day. The lectures attempt to help people consider and navigate some of these challenging questions. The speakers are drawn from a pool of scholars, writers, and thinkers without regard to ethnic, religious, or ideological considerations. The annual lecture is open to the public without charge. The lecture series is funded through the proceeds of the Kim T. Adamson Endowment, a gift from Kim T. Adamson, alumna and long-time friend and supporter of Westminster College.
2017–18 Adamson Lecturer Kael Weston
President Trump was elected promising to put "America first." In his first year in office, how much change has there been in U.S. foreign policy? And is another war more likely—perhaps with North Korea and/or Iran? These questions and related issues will be the focus of the 2018 Kim T. Adamson Lecture, which will be given by Kael Weston. A Utah native and former US State Department official, Weston spent seven years in Iraq and Afghanistan (2003–2010) working closely with the US military and Iraqi and Afghan leaders. He is the author of The Mirror Test: America at War in Iraq and Afghanistan and was awarded the Secretary of State's Medal for Heroism for his work with US Marines in Fallujah. Weston is currently Westminster College's Writer-in-Residence in the Honors College.
2015–16 Adamson Lecturer Elmira Bayrasli
Elmira Bayrasli gave a talk entitled "Steve Jobs Lives in Pakistan: Extraordinary Entrepreneurs, Unlikely Places or The Next Silicon Valley," which coincided with the release of her new book From the Other Side of the World: Extraordinary Entrepreneurs, Unlikely Places. Ms. Bayrasli is the founder of Foreign Policy Interrupted, a media platform designed to give female voices more visibility in discussions about foreign policy. From 1994 to 2000 she was a presidential appointee in the State Department, where she worked with Madeleine Albright and Richard Holbrooke.
2014–15 Adamson Lecturer Adam Segal
The Maurice Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he leads the Cyberconflict and Cybersecurity Initiative, Dr. Segal gave a chilling account of the current state of cyberconflict in his lecture "The Digital Cold War between the US and China: Is Cooperation in Cyberspace Possible?"
2013–14 Adamson Lecturer Charlayne Hunter-gault
Award-winning journalist and activist Charlayne Hunter-Gault gave a stirring yet sobering lecture on "The New Face of AIDS: Africa's Women and Children." Earlier in the day, Hunter-Gault met with students studying African history and public health to discuss the role of AIDS in Africa. Finally, she inspired students during lunch by recounting her trailblazing role as the first female African-American student at the University of Georgia.
2012–13 Adamson Lecturer Eric Greitens
Eric Greitens, the founder and CEO of The Mission Continues, discussed the work of his national nonprofit organization that encourages veterans to serve and lead in communities across America. During the day, he met with students, faculty, and staff to talk about his book The Heart and the Fist, which was also a common read for the incoming Honors class. Greitens served as a US Navy SEAL in four deployments, was a Rhodes Scholar, and the author of three books. He even talked about his work with John Stewart on The Daily Show.
2011-12 Adamson Lecturer John F. Harris
John Harris, editor-in-chief and co-founder of POLITICO, the must-read publication for anyone involved in politics, talked about America's place in the world and handicapped the 2012 presidential election in his talk, "The Whole World is Watching: Global Leadership and the 2012 Elections." During the day, he met with Honors students to talk about the founding of POLITICO, new media, and the future of journalism. Harris is the author of two books on presidential politics and worked at the Washington Post for two decades.
2010–11 Adamson Lecturer Nancy Sherman
Georgetown University Professor of Philosophy Nancy Sherman laid out the central arguments of her important book, The Untold War: Inside the Hearts, Minds, and Souls of our Soldiers, a study dedicated to "the men and women who have served in the military and have carried the weight of war and its moral uncertainties." A specialist in ancient ethics and the history of moral philosophy, Sherman has authored four books and edited a fifth on Aristotle's ethics. She has taught at Yale, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Maryland, and served as the first Distinguished Chair in Ethics at the US Naval Academy, designing the brigade-wide required military ethics course and laying the groundwork for the new Stockdale Ethics Center.
2009–2010 Adamson Lecturer Thomas E. Ricks
In a packed concert hall, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Thomas Ricks discussed three critical things that we don't understand about the Iraq War. Ricks has studied and reported on US military activities for nearly 30 years, covering American combat in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Ricks served as a special military correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, followed by a similar position at the Washington Post. He is the author of two best-selling books on the war, Fiasco and The Gamble.
2007–2008 Adamson Lecturer Michael E. O'Hanlon
Michael O'Hanlon is senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution, where he specializes in US National Security Policy. The author, co-author, or editor of a dozen books on foreign policy, defense strategy, and military technology, Dr. O'Hanlon gave a talk entitled "The Case for Staying in Iraq: Advice for the Next US president." He also visited an Honors seminar to discuss the 9/11 Commission Report and spoke at a student luncheon about his experience teaching high school physics in the Peace Corps.
2006–2007 Adamson Lecturer Jonathan Shay
Author of the groundbreaking study Achilles in Vietnam, which rereads the Iliad through his work of 20 years with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, VA psychiatrist Jonathan Shay lectured on the challenges of homecoming for soldiers. Shay also gave a lively lunchtime talk on "Odysseus as a Military Leader" and met with students in an Honors seminar entitled "War, Trauma, and Narrative." In 2007, Shay received one of the MacArthur foundation's "genius" fellowships. Read more here.
2005–2006 Adamson Lecturer Daniel Benjamin
Co-author of The Next Attack, which The New York Times praised as "a persuasive and utterly frightening picture of the current state of America's war on terror," former White House advisor and member of the National Security Counsel Dan Benjamin deconstructed what we are doing right and what is going wrong in the country's struggle against terrorism. A senior fellow in the international security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Benjamin also met with students for lunch to discuss what it is like working in Washington, DC and the White House.
2004–2005 Adamson Lecturer Steven Komarow
Foreign Policy and National Security Correspondent for USA Today, Komarow gave a lecture entitled "Reporting on Terrorism from the Frontlines: Perceptions vs. Realities." Komarow has reported on all of the major developments in Iraq during the past two years. Since September 11, 2001, he has also reported from Europe, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Yemen, and Djibouti. Before that, he accompanied ground troops into action in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Haiti. An AP correspondent in Washington for 10 years, Komarow also has extensive experience covering Congress and the presidential elections.
2003–2004 Adamson Lecturer William H. Calvin
Theoretical neurobiologist William Calvin addressed a filled Gore Auditorium on the topic of Climate Change. The author of 11 books, Calvin teaches psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. His talk, entitled "When Climate Staggers: Civilization's Vulnerabilities to Sudden Climate Change," surveyed historical data on global climate change and speculated about what the future holds if we don't change our current patterns of resource usage. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Marcia Bartusiak noted that Calvin "is a member of that rare breed of scientists who can translate the arcana of their fields into lay language, and he's one of the best."
2002–2003 Adamson Lecturer Rajmohan Gandhi
The noted historian, biographer, and human rights activist Professor Rajmohan Gandhi delivered a rousing talk before an overflow crowd of 400 Westminster and Salt Lake City community members on the timely topic of "Religion and Violence," often framing the debate about violence in terms borrowed from his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi. The author of six books, Professor Gandhi discussed what it meant for America now that its days of "seclusion and isolation are sadly, but absolutely, over."
2001–2002 Adamson Lecturer Ralph Peters
Mr. Ralph Peters, who held a special meeting with Honors students during his visit on campus, spoke on "Terrorism in Our Times: Myths and Realities." Peters, who left a career in the US Army to write and has authored 10 books, was called by Newsweek "one of the best military minds of his generation." He discussed the post-9/11 landscape and what America could expect from terrorists in the future.