Missouri Western State University held the 20th Annual R. Dan Boulware Convocation on Critical Issues on October 22, 2013. This is an event MWSU holds every year to invite major influential people of that time to speak to the public on issues that are of concern to both the speaker and hopefully the audience. A few of the last speakers to attend are people such as Colin Powell, Steve Forbes, Newt Gingrich, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr
The guest of honor this time around was Doris Kearns Goodwin. Goodwin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author is considered to be one of the most famed presidential historians of our time.
Goodwin’s Book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, has been used in part as inspiration to help Steven Spielberg create his latest movie “Lincoln.”
The Looney Complex at MWSU seated a full house as people listened to the stories Goodwin told of past presidents. One such story she told at MWSU was also on an episode of “The Colbert Report.” The clip can be played from that episode right here.
“That very same story is told in the movie,” Goodwin said speaking of the “Lincoln” movie. Laughter was not an uncommonly heard thing during her time speaking at MWSU, as she seems to be fairly talented at telling stories of histories past presidents. This may be one reason why Spielberg had her on the set during the filming of his movie, for both accurate and entertaining stories.
Unfortunately, the sound quality at this event was not all that spectacular making it difficult to understand a lot of what was said. This is a sad case for such a prominent person. The bits and pieces that were able to be heard clearly did get a positive response, but at the same time there was much more that was not understood because of the sound being echoed and bounced back and forth between the walls.
For the most part, aside from the sound quality, the experience seemed to be enjoyed by most. The only thing that could have made this event more popular and entertaining for MWSU is if they would have been able to get Spielberg, Goodwin, and Tony Kushner, the screenplay writer, to discuss the process it took to make the movie.
If these three were to get together again it may have just turned out a lot like a previous interview they had done, but it still would have been entertaining nonetheless. In case there is curiosity as to what was said while the three were together a video has been provided.
Fortunately for Goodwin, she was able to finish out her speech. At last year’s Convocation when T. Boone Pickens jr. spoke about energy consumption the power ironically went out towards the end of his speech.
It will be interesting to see where life takes Goodwin in the future after such national recognition. There is an ongoing countdown on her webpage Doris Kearns Goodwin counting down to her newest work in progress “The Bully Pulpit.”
Right now the countdown is at 12 days, 6 hours, and 25 minutes. Only time will tell if this published piece be as successful.
With the way Goodwin turned boring history lessons to life through humor during this Convocation at MWSU and the new movie “Lincoln” it would be no suprise if the next book is a success.