Posted by Kara Kennedy on 2010-07-12

National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jim Leach will visit Birmingham to speak at a forum titled “Civility in a Fractured Society” on Thursday, July 29, 2010, at Samford University’s Brock Recital Hall. The reception will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the speech and discussion at 7 p.m.  

After serving for 30 years as a Republican member of the U.S. Congress, Leach was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the NEH, an independent federal agency.  “Mr. Leach is  uniquely qualified to speak on this topic,” said John Knapp, director of Samford’s Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership.  “This event will be the Alabama stop on a national tour to promote greater civility in the nation’s political life.”

There is no charge for this public event, but reservations are required and may be made online.  The program is sponsored by Samford University’s Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership, the Alabama Humanities Foundation and the Birmingham Area Consortium for Higher Education.

About Jim LeachJim Leach is the ninth chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009. Leach represented southeastern Iowa in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years, serving on the Banking and Financial Services Committee and the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, among other committees. He founded and co-chaired the Congressional Humanities Caucus. Leach graduated from Princeton University and holds a Master of Arts degree in Soviet politics from the School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University. For more information about Jim Leach, visit 

About Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership 

The Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership, based in the Brock School of Business, supports teaching, research and service across the Samford University campus.  Our mission is to: Promote the moral development of Samford students and equip them for ethical leadership in vocational, community and family life. Serve as a center of teaching excellence, empowering faculty with the methods and resources to integrate ethics effectively into the curriculum. Foster a university culture that values productive, moral discourse around challenges facing individuals, the professions and society. Amplify other Samford initiatives in ethics and leadership, encouraging interdisciplinary scholarship across the university. Engage the professional and business communities for mutual learning and the advancement of ethical values and practices. 

About the Birmingham Area Consortium for Higher Education 

The Birmingham Area Consortium for Higher Education (BACHE) is a partnership among the five, four-year colleges and universities in the greater Birmingham area. Created by the presidents in 1996 to advance academic excellence through collaborative activities and shared resources, BACHE enhances educational opportunities for students and provides services and support to faculty, staff and the community.

About the Alabama Humanities Foundation 

The Alabama Humanities Foundation is a nonprofit organization funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (of which AHF is the state affiliate), as well as by corporate and individual donors. The Foundation is dedicated to the promotion and celebration of the humanities throughout the state of Alabama and, to that end, conducts its own statewide programs and awards grants, on a competitive basis, to nonprofit organizations for humanities projects. For more information on AHF programs, visit