James Leach to visit UNI as part of Reaching for Higher Ground series

Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2012

Steve Carignan, associate dean, outreach & special projects, College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, 319-273-3665,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa will host James Leach, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, at 10 a.m., on Friday, Oct. 26, in the Commons Ballroom on the UNI campus. He will present "Civility in 2012 and Beyond" in conjunction with UNI's Reaching for Higher Ground series.

Leach is the ninth chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Prior to being nominated by President Obama for the post, Leach was a professor at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and interim director of the Institute of Politics and lecturer at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Leach's brief time in academia was preceded by 30 years of service as a representative in Congress where he chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

Leach attended Princeton University, the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins and the London School of Economics. He holds thirteen honorary degrees and has received decorations from two foreign governments. He is the recipient of the Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award, the Adlai Stevenson Award from the United Nations Association, the Edgar Wayburn Award from the Sierra Club, the Norman Borlaug Public Service Award and the Woodrow Wilson Medal from Princeton.

"We are honored to have such a distinguished Iowan come to campus," stated UNI President Benjamin Allen. "Chairman Leach's strong academic background, his service to Iowa and the nation, coupled with his numerous prestigious awards, make him uniquely suited to address such an important issue."

The Reaching for Higher Ground project aims to build a stronger campus community, one more accepting of people of different viewpoints and backgrounds. The 2012-13 Reaching for Higher Ground theme is "The Search for an American Dream," which will be examined through the lenses of social justice, education and economics. For information about the Reaching for Higher Ground series, visit

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Steve Carignan, associate dean, outreach & special projects, College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, at 319-273-3665 or