Doris Kearns Goodwin & Eugene Robinson to headline Ivy Tech’s sixth annual O’Bannon Institute

BLOOMINGTON – Doris Kearns Goodwin, world-renowned historian and national best-selling author, and Eugene Robinson, political columnist for The Washington Post and a regular contributor to MSNBC, will headline the sixth annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service at Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington on April 30 and May 1. This year’s O’Bannon Institute for Community Service theme is “A Historic Presidency: The First 100 Days.” Discussions will be focused on the Obama administration’s progress on a variety of issues facing the country at this time and the challenges the new President will face over the remainder of his term.

The 2009 O’Bannon Institute conversation panels will be similar in format to last year’s Institute and will focus on issues of importance to the public including the economy, foreign relations, and healthcare. Both Kearns Goodwin and Robinson will provide commentary about challenges confronting the new administration as part of their O’Bannon Institute remarks.

Doris Kearns Goodwin will headline the Institute’s fundraising reception and dinner that will be held on April 30, with proceeds benefiting the Ivy Tech Community College Center for Civic Engagement. A conversation with Eugene Robinson will be the highlight of a full day’s activities on May 1. 

The O’Bannon Institute for Community Service, launched six years ago by Ivy Tech-Bloomington, is an annual opportunity for the community to come together to discuss issues related to government, community service, non-profit organizations, education, and political participation. Previous speakers at the Institute have included such luminaries as Senator George McGovern, Senator Birch Bayh, Senator Alan Simpson, Governor Joe Kernan, Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Indiana First Lady Judy O’Bannon, journalist Sam Donaldson, and campaign strategist Paul Begala. 

John Whikehart, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington, says that Kearns Goodwin and Robinson will bring great expertise in analyzing American Presidencies to our community during the first days of this historic administration. “Less than six months after a historic Presidential election, Ivy Tech is providing a forum for the public to interact with two experts on American politics. Kearns Goodwin and Robinson have spent most of their lives examining and reporting on the success and failure of American Presidents. Institute attendees will have an opportunity to hear their ideas about how the Obama administration is taking shape, and be able to discuss the challenges it will encounter during the coming four years.”

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin has been reporting on politics for more than two decades. Goodwin is the author of several best selling books including Lyndon Johnson & The American Dream, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The American Home Front During World War II, and Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. She is a commentator for NBC, and a consultant and on-air person for PBS documentaries on Lyndon B. Johnson, the Kennedy Family, Franklin Roosevelt, and Ken Burns’ The History of Baseball. Goodwin was born and raised on Long Island, New York and graduated from Colby College, magna cum laude, where she earned her B.A. She earned her Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University where she taught government courses. Goodwin served as an assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson in his last year in the White House, and she later assisted in the preparation of his memoirs.

Eugene H. Robinson is a political columnist for The Washington Post and a regular contributor to MSNBC. In a 25-year career at The Washington Post, Robinson has been city hall reporter, city editor, a foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires and London, foreign editor, an assistant managing editor in charge of the paper’s award winning Style section, an associate editor and columnist. His column is printed in more than 145 newspapers and he is the author of Coal to Cream: A Black Man’s Journey Beyond Color to an Affirmation of Race.

About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and one of the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community college systems with more than 120,000 students enrolled annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

More information about the O’Bannon Institute for Community Service can be found at, or by contacting Amanda Billings, Director of Marketing & Communications, at 812-330-6222.

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