Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, Vanderbilt University

By Kara Furlong 

In the final days of Barack Obama’s historic presidency, Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos will host a panel discussion reflecting on the 44th president’s legacy. “Beyond Obama: Race, Politics and America’s Future” is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 17, and will feature former Obama White House faith adviser Joshua DuBois, Republican strategist and CNN political analyst Ana Navarro, former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and Vanderbilt Distinguished Visiting Professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Jon Meacham. The talk is part of the Vanderbilt Chancellor’s Lecture Series as well as the university’s 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration.

The discussion will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Vanderbilt’s Langford Auditorium. A reception will precede the talk from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Langford Auditorium lobby. Both events are free and open to the public, but tickets are required to attend the lecture. The free tickets are limited to four per person and must be picked up in advance of the lecture at the Sarratt Student Center Box Office. Tickets will be available beginning Jan. 4. For box office hours of operation and additional information, call (615) 343-3361.

Just three days before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, Zeppos and Meacham will engage the guests in a glance back at what the Obama presidency meant for the United States, an exploration of the dynamic intersection of race and politics during the Obama years, and a look forward at what a Trump presidency portends for America and the nation’s role within the wider world.

DuBois led the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships during Obama’s first term. DuBois’ best-selling book The President’s Devotional represents a compilation of the devotional meditations he shared with the president. He is a frequent guest on CNN, and his writing has appeared in Newsweek and The Washington Post. DuBois now leads Value Partnerships, an organization that creates community and faith-based partnerships for the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Navarro is a Republican strategist and a political analyst for CNN and CNN en Español. She is also a political contributor on ABC’s The View. Recognized as a sought-after voice in Republican politics, Navarro counts Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio among her confidants. Respected on both sides of the aisle for her candor, she frequently appears on Meet the Press, Bill Maher’s Real Time and Anderson Cooper 360.

Steele made history as the first African American elected to statewide office in 2003 in Maryland, and again with his subsequent chairmanship of the Republican National Committee in 2009. As chairman of the RNC, he was charged with revitalizing the Republican Party. Under Steele’s leadership, the RNC broke fundraising records, and Republicans won 63 U.S. House seats. A self-described “Lincoln Republican,” he is the author of Right Now, described as a call to arms for grassroots America.

Parking for the Jan. 17 event will be available in the 25th Avenue Garage, located near the intersection of 25th and Highland avenues. Please use the Highland Avenue entrance to the garage and park in any non-reserved spaces.

The Vanderbilt Chancellor’s Lecture Series strives to connect the university and the Nashville community with intellectuals who are shaping our world. For more information about the series, visit the Chancellor’s Lecture Series website, email, call (615) 322-0885, or follow on Twitter @VUCLS.

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