UVU President Discusses Life and Leadership of Lincoln at Oxford

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Matthew Holland participates in Oxford University’s Seminar in Constitutional Thought and History


Carrie Laudie | Editor in Chief | @carrielaudie


Thursday June 11 President Holland participated in a panel discussion at historic Oxford University in Oxford, England. The panel also included some of England’s foremost historians on American history, Richard Carwardine, president of Corpus Christi College in Oxford and a former Rhodes Professor of American history, and Adam Smith, a history professor at University College in London.

The seminar was held in the historic Blue Boar Lecture Theatre at Christ Church, which is also the Cathedral Church for the Diocese of Oxford.

Holland has a doctoral degree in political science from Duke University where he studied early American thought. He was also a James Madison Fellow at Princeton University, and a Raoul Wallenberg Scholar at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Carwardine wrote a prize winning biography about Lincoln, and Holland is familiar with his work and had cited it in his research and publications.

A colleague of Hollands, Paul Kerry, knew that he was coming to Europe this summer, to sign a partnership with some schools in Switzerland and also to participate in UVU’s study abroad program in Ireland, and mentioned to Carwardine that Holland would be coming. According to Holland it snowballed from there.

“People started thinking it was a clever idea to have the head of an Oxford university and the head of an American university discuss Lincoln and leadership, not  only through the lens of scholars, but as people in public roles who are in the world of leadership and decision making,” said Holland.

The lecture was a rare opportunity for two university presidents to provide both an American and British perspective on Lincoln.

There were faculty members, undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Oxford in attendance at the seminar, along with colleagues from other institutions and some members of the UVU board of Trustees.

The University of Oxford is one of the largest, oldest and most renowned institutions in the world and is composed of 38 colleges. Oxford has educated many notable alumni, including 27 Nobel laureates and 26 British Prime Ministers.

President Holland’s father, Jeffrey R. Holland, an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was also in England at the same time on church business and spoke at a devotional that evening for young single adults in the Harris Manchester College Chapel at Oxford.

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