Students and adults in New Albany were able to hear a presentation by Jean Edward Smith of Marshall University this week when he visited New Albany High School and was the second guest speaker in the community lecture series at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts.

Students and adults in New Albany were able to hear a presentation by Jean Edward Smith of Marshall University this week when he visited New Albany High School and was the second guest speaker in the community lecture series at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts.

"This is part of the sharing we do with the high school and part of a collaboration between education, entertainment and schools, even schools outside New Albany," said Kristin Ferguson, marketing director for the McCoy center.

Smith spoke to NAHS students on Feb. 14 and to adults at the official lecture at the McCoy center Feb. 15 about one of his latest books, "FDR."

Smith said Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president, practiced "liberalism without apology" and called his work a portrait of his life and career.

"FDR was the most dominant political figure in the 20th century," he said.

Smith said his hope was to provide the highpoints of Roosevelt's life in the time given him for both presentations.

Smith is a professor of political science at Marshall University and professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, where he worked for 35 years. He has written several other books and biographies on political individuals and is regularly asked to speak on different subjects, he said.

Smith was the second speaker in the McCoy center's lecture series, organized with participation from local community members. The series features a variety of speakers to interest the community and provide an educational component for the local schools, Ferguson said.

"It's a treat for the students to have someone of that caliber speak to them," Ferguson said.

Two more lectures are scheduled.

Robert Schuhl will present "American Politics at the Breaking Point" on March 22. Schmuhl is director of the John W. Gallivan Program of Journalism, Ethics and Democracy at the University of Notre Dame.

The final lecture on Wednesday, April 20, will feature Clarence Jones, a writer and scholar who was Martin Luther King Jr.'s speechwriter and adviser. His presentation is titled "What Would Martin Say?"

A previous lecture in January featured Thomas Jefferson impersonator William Barker and d Chappell, director of architectural and archaeological research with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Barker also visited classrooms in New Albany while he was in town.

The lecture series is supported by the New Albany Community Foundation. Each presentation is held in Mershad Hall in the McCoy center, which seats about 130. Each lecture usually lasts between 45 and 50 minutes, which allows time for questions from the audience.

lwince@thisweeknews.com

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