The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, September 21, 2021 1:00 am

Next Omnibus lectures lined up

Author from city, Lewinsky among 4 to appear at PFW


Fans of the free Omnibus speaker series at Purdue University Fort Wayne will get a triple dose of politics in the offerings this academic year.

A former Fort Wayne resident who wrote a New York Times best-selling memoir will complete the season.

Among those scheduled are Monica Lewinsky, who came to fame as part of a sex scandal that resulted in the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton. Speakers also include Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee and the first Black elected to a statewide office in Maryland when he became lieutenant governor.

Rounding out the political presentations will be Tom Nichols, an expert on international security who will speak Oct. 19 on “Defending Experts in an Anti-Factual Age.”

Trained as a Sovietologist during the Cold War, Nichols is a professor at the U.S. Naval War College and has been a frequent Twitter contributor from a “Never Trump” perspective.

Lewinsky will speak Jan. 25. She has become an anti-bullying activist, advocating for curbing harassment on social media, and recently was a producer for “Impeachment: American Crime Story,” which deals with her experiences in Washington. Her topic is “The Price of Shame.”

Steele, a frequent commentator on the news on MSNBC, has also appeared on “Face the Nation” and other programs. His talk, “The Political Scene According to Steele,” will take place Feb. 17.

Ashley C. Ford, formerly of Fort Wayne, is the author “Somebody's Daughter,” about coming to terms with her past and her parents, one of whom was incarcerated. Her talk is scheduled for Nov. 4.

Purdue Fort Wayne will host an additional dose of politics when television journalist Judy Woodruff visits the campus March 24. Her talk is not part of the Omnibus series, but she is speaking as a guest of Omnibus and in celebration of PBS Fort Wayne's 45th anniversary.

Woodruff, anchor of the long-running “PBS NewsHour,” has spent five decades reporting for NBC, CNN and PBS. She has been White House correspondent, chief Washington correspondent and anchor of the award-winning documentary series “Frontline with Judy Woodruff.” In 2013, she and the late Gwen Ifill broke boundaries on “PBS NewsHour” as they became the first two women to co-anchor a national news broadcast.

All lectures begin at 7:30 p.m. in Auer Performance Hall at the John and Ruth Rhinehart Music Center on campus. Tickets are free and available on campus at the Schatzlein Box Office, in the Rhinehart lobby starting two weeks before each event. Box office hours are 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The series is underwritten by the English-Bonter-Mitchell Foundation of Fort Wayne.

More information is available at

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