A Conversation With Michael Beschloss

March 16, 2015

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Monday morning’s plenary session at ACE’s Annual Meeting featured a conversation between moderator James H. (Jim) Mullen Jr., president, Allegheny College (PA) and speaker Michael R. Beschloss, NBC News presidential historian and PBS NewsHour contributor.

The discussion followed Beschloss’ education and career as an author and historian and his inspiration to study great leaders. Beshloss drew parallels between the leadership skills one needs for the college presidency and the U.S. presidency, and emphasized the need for all leaders to study history to develop context to aid in decision-making.


Michael Beschloss, left, with Jim Mullen.

ACE Presents Lifetime Achievement and Student of the Year Awards

ACE also presented the Student of the Year Award and the ACE Lifetime Achievement Award during the session.

ACE President Molly Corbett Broad presented the ACE Lifetime Achievement Award to Norman C. Francis, president, Xavier University (LA). Francis is a recognized national higher education and civil rights leader and the longest-sitting university president in the U.S. Francis said to the audience of higher education leaders that he is deeply troubled by the persisting achievement gap in higher education. He charged the audience with “insisting that we educate every American child from cradle to grave.”


Xavier President Norm Francis.

Deborah Seymour, assistant vice president for education attainment and innovation at ACE, presented the ACE Student of the Year Award to Jeffery “L.J.” Gearhart II, a McDonald’s restaurant general manager and student at Ivy Tech Community College (IN).

The Student of the Year Award is presented annually by ACE to an individual who has benefited academically or professionally from the use of ACE credit recommendations for workforce or military training.


Left to right: ACE President Molly Corbett Broad; Erica Jennings; LJ Gearhart; Deborah Seymour; Mary Beth Lakin, director of college and university partnerships for ACE; Eliza Erxleben, Ivy Tech Community College director of academic advising; Deb McKernan, McDonald’s operations manager.

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