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David Gergen, adviser to four U.S. presidents and well-known political commentator and author, will deliver an address entitled “Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership” at 8 p.m., Tuesday, April 10, in the auditorium of Lafayette’s Kirby Hall of Civil Rights.

Free and open to the public, the event is the fourth major talk on American elections and politics presented at Lafayette this year under the auspices of the Fred Morgan Kirby Program Fund. The Kirby family has been prominent in the life of Lafayette for nearly a century. Seven family members are alumni, four have served as trustees, and three received honorary doctorates from Lafayette.

“The Kirby fund affords our students the opportunity to see and hear speakers that would not otherwise come to campus, and by that means to better inform themselves on political topics of great interest,” says Bruce Allen Murphy, the Kirby Professor of Civil Rights. “As a result, Lafayette students become more informed citizens, in a better position to serve as opinion leaders for the general community on these issues.”

Lafayette will inaugurate another lecture series, the Daniel L. Golden ’34 Speaker Series in Government and Law, with a free, public talk by Henry J. Abraham, author of several well-known books on the Supreme Court, at 8 p.m. Monday, April 23, in Kirby Auditorium.

Abraham will speak on “Reflections on the Appointments of Supreme Court Justices from Washington to Clinton.” A foremost expert on American constitutional law, he is the James Hart Professor Emeritus of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia.

Gergen is editor-at-large of U.S. News & World Report and a regular analyst on ABC’s Nightline. He is the author of Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton, published last September by Simon and Schuster.

An active participant in America’s national life for 30 years, he was director of communications for President Reagan and held positions in the administrations of Presidents Nixon and Ford. He also served for a year as counselor to President Clinton on both foreign policy and domestic affairs, then for six months as special international adviser to the president and to Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

Gergen is a professor of public service at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and co-director of the school’s Center for Public Leadership. A member of the District of Columbia bar, Gergen earned an LL.B. degree from Harvard Law School and holds a bachelor of arts degree with honors from Yale University. He also is a regular visiting professor at Duke University in his hometown of Durham, N.C.

From 1984-93 Gergen worked mostly as a journalist, including two and a half years as editor of U.S. News. Working with the owner and editor-in-chief Morton Zuckerman, he helped guide the magazine to record gains in circulation and advertising. During that period he also teamed up with Mark Shields for political commentary every Friday night for five years on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.

Gergen is a member of the Yale Corporation and is chairman of the National Selection Committee for the Ford Foundation’s program on Innovations in American Government. A frequent lecturer in the United States and abroad, he holds five honorary degrees.

He served for three and a half years in the U.S. Navy, where he was posted for some two years to a ship home-ported in Japan.

Gergen and his wife, Anne Gergen, a family therapist, reside in McLean, Va., and Cambridge, Mass. They are the parents of two children, Christopher and Katherine.

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