Professor Gibson Selected to Attend National Seminar on the American Presidency

Westminster College Political Science Professor Tobias Gibson is one of a select group of faculty members nationwide who have been chosen to participate in a special American history seminar on “The 20th Century Presidency” July 23-27 at Stanford University’s Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center in Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, this multidisciplinary seminar will explore characteristics of 20th century presidential leadership, including several individual presidents and their presidencies.

From a pool of highly competitive nominations, only 30 faculty members in history, political science and related fields were selected to attend.

“I am honored to be selected to be among the attendees of this prestigious workshop,” Professor Gibson said. “Because of my deep interest in the American presidency and its political history, I believe that I will learn a great deal from my fellow scholars.”

Seminar participants will consider presidents’ ability to handle domestic and foreign policy leadership as well as personal qualities, including vision, charisma, credibility, communication and consensus-building skills.

The seminar will focus on the administrations of three 20th century presidents: Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency in the context of the Great Depression and World War II; John F. Kennedy’s presidency in the context of the Cold War; and Lyndon Johnson’s presidency in the context of the Great Society and Vietnam.

Robert Dallek, UCLA professor of history emeritus who now teaches at Stanford University and has written numerous books, including number one New York Times best-seller Lyndon B. Johnson: Portrait of a President and Camelot’s Court: Inside the Kennedy White House, will lead the seminar.

“Strengthening the teaching of American history at colleges and universities is of critical importance,” says CIC President Richard Ekman. “This seminar will provide a great opportunity for participating faculty members to gain a better understanding of effective leadership and to explore presidencies within the context of the history known then and now. We believe Professor Gibson will play a strong role in the seminar.”

This seminar is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. For more information, visit the CIC website at

CIC is a national association of 768 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and higher education affiliates and organizations that has worked since 1996 to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, founded in 1994, is a nonprofit organization devoted to the improvement of history education.

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