LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2019) — University of Kentucky Libraries will welcome Jim Blanchard, former governor and U.S. representative for Michigan and ambassador to Canada, to campus for the 2019 Earle C. Clements Lecture-Symposium. Blanchard will discuss his 40 years as a distinguished public servant in the United States and abroad beginning 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, in the UK Athletics Auditorium at the William T. Young Library. The event is free and open to the public.
Former Gov. James Blanchard is a senior partner at the global law firm of DLA Piper and serves as chairman of the National Archives Foundation. He is also a member of the board of directors of the International Spy Museum and co-chairs the Ambassadors Circle at the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
During his tenure as ambassador to Canada, Blanchard managed a broad range of trade, natural resources, environmental and national security issues between the United States and Canada, providing support critical to the passage of both NAFTA and the Open Skies Agreement.
Blanchard’s eight years as Michigan’s governor were notable for his success in turning around the state’s finances, working with the private sector to attract business investment and trade from around the world. He won national acclaim for his innovative approaches to economic development, education, crime fighting, environmental protection and helping children and families.
Before running for governor, Blanchard served in Congress. During his four terms, he distinguished himself for his work to save the Chrysler Corporation, restore America’s economic competitiveness, and oversee financial, monetary, trade and energy issues. Blanchard’s major assignments included the House Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee.
The annual Earle C. Clements Lecture-Symposium is designed to share the legacy of Clements, who served as a governor and U.S. representative for Kentucky and as a close colleague to then Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Baines Johnson. Each year, the Clements Lecture-Symposium welcomes renowned intellectuals and scholars in the areas of public policy and government.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.