arthur brooks

Arthur Brooks

May 25, 2021–Dr. Arthur C. Brooks, Harvard professor, bestselling author and columnist for The Atlantic, will be the featured speaker at the 28th annual R. Dan Boulware Convocation on Critical Issues at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, in the M.O. Looney Complex Arena on the campus of Missouri Western State University. The talk by Dr. Brooks, titled “Love Your Enemies: Uniting a Divided America,” will be free and open to the public.

Dr. Brooks will also be the guest of honor and participate in a question-and-answer session during the annual Convocation Luncheon at noon Sept. 30. Ticketing information for the luncheon will be announced at a later date.

“Year after year, the R. Dan Boulware Convocation on Critical Issues has presented excellent, thought-provoking forums, and I’m thrilled that we’re now able to bring back this cherished Missouri Western tradition,” said Dr. Elizabeth Kennedy, Missouri Western president. “Dr. Brooks joins a long list of distinguished speakers who have informed and inspired our students, faculty, staff and the community.”

“There can be few if any critical issues facing our society today greater or more concerning than the divisiveness, hatred, and political discord we see each day,” said Dan Boulware, former chair of the Missouri Western Board of Regents (now Board of Governors) in whose honor the Convocation is held each year. “We are in need of coming together for the betterment of everyone. For this reason, I wanted to address the issue at our Convocation. I believe Arthur Brooks’ message will resonate with everyone.”

Arthur C. Brooks is the William Henry Bloomberg Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School. Before joining the Harvard faculty in July of 2019, he served for ten years as president of the Washington, D.C.- based American Enterprise Institute (AEI), one of the world’s leading think tanks. 

Dr. Brooks is the author of 11 books, including the national bestsellers “Love Your Enemies” (2019), “The Conservative Heart” (2015), and “The Road to Freedom” (2012). He is also a columnist for The Atlantic, host of the podcast “The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks,” and subject of the 2019 documentary film “The Pursuit,” which Variety named as one of the “Best Documentaries on Netflix” in August 2019. He gives more than 100 speeches per year around the U.S., Europe, and Asia. 

Missouri Western inaugurated the R. Dan Boulware Convocation on Critical Issues program in 1993. The program was started as part of an overall commitment to offer enriching experiences to students while bringing together the college and community. This will be the first Convocation on Critical Issues since 2019. Last year’s scheduled event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Previous Convocation speakers include: 

  • 1993 Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
  • 1994 Jeane Kirkpatrick
  • 1995 Cancelled (Colin Powell)
  • 1996 David McCullough
  • 1997 Colin Powell
  • 1998 Bill Bradley
  • 1999 Jerry Linenger
  • 2000 Patricia Schroeder
  • 2001 Daniel Schorr
  • 2002 Joseph Nye
  • 2003 David Gergen
  • 2004 Bob Woodward
  • 2005 J. C. Watts
  • 2006 Steve Forbes
  • 2007 Sam Donaldson
  • 2008 James Carville & Mary Matalin
  • 2009 Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
  • 2010 Newt Gingrich
  • 2011 Thomas Friedman
  • 2012 T. Boone Pickens
  • 2013 Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • 2014 Douglas Brinkley
  • 2015 Tom Ridge
  • 2016 Cokie Roberts
  • 2017 Martin Luther King III
  • 2018 Chris Wallace
  • 2019 Jon Meacham
  • 2020 Cancelled 

Missouri Western State University is a student-centered learning community preparing individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit