Historian Wayne Flynt to inaugurate Huntingdon Public Affairs Forum
Montgomery, Ala.—Noted Alabama historian Wayne Flynt will be the featured presenter for the first event in the newly established Huntingdon College Public Affairs Forum, Tuesday, September 20. The Forum will include a full day of activities culminating in a free public lecture at 7:30 p.m. in the College's Ligon Chapel, Flowers Hall on the topic,"The Lord is the Maker of Them All: Black, White, and Poor in America."
The purpose of the Public Affairs Forum is to provide information and discussion about issues of concern in the state and the region, according to Huntingdon College President J. Cameron West. "It is our intention to bring a variety of individuals with varying viewpoints to campus to foster public dialog about the issues that impact, unite, and divide us," said West. "As one of Alabama's most prominent and highly-respected historians, Wayne Flynt has studied these issues and obviously cares deeply about the problems, the solutions, and the ramifications of each. We are delighted that he agreed to be our first presenter in the series." West said the intention is not only for public education and discussion, but also to provide students, who will be tomorrow's citizens and public, private, and religious leaders, with information that equips them for their future roles. To that end, the Forum will also include a presentation on constitutional reform for a Huntingdon political science class; a small-group colloquy addressing the topic, "The Teacher as Public Intellectual;" and a discussion at the president's home on the topic of the value of religiously-based higher education.
The lecture is part of the annual Bishop's Lectureship established by Dr. William H. Willimon, bishop of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church, and his wife, Patsy. Willimon, a Huntingdon trustee, was pleased that the lecture would serve as part of the first Public Affairs Forum and that Flynt, whose books Willimon has read and referenced, would deliver the lecture. In a notice on the North Alabama Conference Web site, he wrote, "[Dr. Flynt] is a truly public intellectual, battling for a new and more just constitution for our state and for a state government more concerned about the economic plight of our people. He is a courageous interpreter of our state to itself, a dedicated Baptist Christian with our Lord’s own compassion for the poor. He represents the very best of our state and the very best of our faith."
Flynt, professor emeritus of history at Auburn University, has authored 11 books that focus largely on the historical, economic, and social fabric of Alabama, including the Pulitzer-nominated Poor But Proud: Alabama's Poor Whites (1990), and Alabama: The History of a Deep South State (2010). His latest book is Keeping the Faith: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives (2011). He serves as editor-in-chief of the online Encyclopedia of Alabama, a partnership of Auburn University and the Alabama Humanities Foundation.
Huntingdon College, grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition of the United Methodist Church, is committed to nurturing growth in faith, wisdom, and service and to graduating individuals prepared to succeed in a rapidly changing world. Huntingdon's public affairs-related student groups include College Republicans, College Democrats, and the Hawks on the Hill internship program.
For more information, contact the Huntingdon College Office of Communications at (334) 833-4515.