Lexington, Virginia • January 7, 2010
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Gordon S. Wood will address Washington and Lee University's annual Founders' Day/Omicron Delta Kappa Convocation on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 11:45 a.m. in Lee Chapel.
The title of Wood's lecture is "Why the Founders Matter." The lecture is free and open to the public.
As part of the convocation ceremony, Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society founded at W&L in 1914, will hold its annual inductions of both law and undergraduate students. ODK was the first college honor society of a national scope to recognize and honor meritorious leadership and service in extracurricular activities, and to encourage the development of good campus citizenship.
In addition, the University will award honorary degrees to Wood and to The Right Honourable Lord Frederick Edward Robin Butler of Brockwell.
Wood is the Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University. In addition to winning the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for history for The Radicalism of the American Revolution, he received the 1970 Bancroft Prize for The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787.
His most recent book, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815, was published last October as part of the Oxford History of the United States series. A New York Times review calls the book "a tour de force, the culmination of a lifetime of brilliant thinking and writing."
A native of Concord, Mass., Wood received his A.B. degree from Tufts University and both the master's and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard. He joined the Brown faculty in 1969 after teaching briefly at Harvard, the College of William and Mary and the University of Michigan.Woods will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters.
A retired British civil servant who now sits in the House of Lords as a life peer, Lord Butler of Brockwell served from 1997 to 2008 as master of University College, Oxford University, and hosted many Washington and Lee exchange students and faculty. He served from 1961 as private secretary to five prime ministers and was secretary of the cabinet and head of the Home Civil Service from 1988 to 1998. In 2004, Butler headed a five-member committee that studied the use of intelligence in the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq War.
Butler will receive an honorary doctorate of laws.