Senator Margaret Chase Smith Lectureship on Public Affairs

Retired Vice Admiral Nora Tyson

Margaret Chase Smith and Me: The Importance of Leadership

Vice Admiral Tyson photo

Oct. 2, 2018 University of Maine
 watch the video of Admiral Tyson’s lecture


The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine brings to campus a person of national status in the field of civic and public life to deliver a lecture.

Sen King lecture photo

The lecture series was endowed in 1989 by the Margaret Chase Smith Foundation in honor of Senator Smith’s contributions to Maine and the nation. Throughout her life, Senator Smith demonstrated a concern for the individual citizen that is remarkable among 20th-century politicians. She maintained at the core of her philosophy and approach to public service a focus on the importance of, and the connection between, government and citizens. In her own leadership, she exemplified the qualities of honesty, frankness, dignity and firm determination. She devoted her post- Senate years to engaging young people and to encouraging them to fulfill their obligations of citizenship. Senator Smith lived by what she considered to be the basic principles of American democracy: the importance of courageous and engaged leadership; the need to carefully assess government policies; the responsibility to participate; the right to criticize; and the right to independent thought.

Speakers have included:

Angus King, United States Senator, November 10, 2016: Maine and Climate Change: The View from Greenland (watch the video)
Susan Collins, United States Senator, March 31, 2015: Incivility and Hyperpartisanship: Is Washington a Symptom or the Cause (watch the video)
Susan Collins, United States Senator, March 23, 2006: Ethics of Conscience: Continuing the Legacy of Margaret Chase Smith
Alan Brinkley, Provost of Columbia University and the Allan Nevins Professor of History, September 23, 2004: Civil Liberties after 9/11: Lessons from Past Assaults on Freedoms
Madeleine Kunin, Former Governor of Vermont and U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland, April 24, 2003: Leadership: Creating Change
Matthew Murray, Chairman and Assoc. Professor of Economics, and Associate Director, Center for Business and Economic Research, University of Tennessee, October 13, 2000: Analyzing State Tax Systems
Michael Dukakis, Former Massachusetts legislator and Governor, October 20, 1994: Healthcare Reform: Where Do We Go From Here
Larry Sabato, Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Government at the University of Virginia and author, April 8, 1994: Strategies and Tactics in Political Advertising
Blanche Wiesen Cook, Professor of History and Women’s Studies at the John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York; author of Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume One, April 19, 1993: Eleanor Roosevelt: Women, Politics, and Power
Edmund S. Muskie, Former Governor of Maine, Secretary of State and U.S. Senator, April 23, 1992: Towards a Constitutional Convention for the Global Environment
Hedrick Smith, Former New York Times correspondent and author, political commentator, October 16, 1990: Inside Gorbachev’s USSR
John Kenneth Galbraith, Distinguished Economist / Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, April 11, 1990: Perspectives on a Changing Europe
Hodding Carter, Print and Broadcast Journalist, September 26, 1988: Politics of Conscience: Public Office/Public Trust
Donna Shalala, Chancellor, University of Wisconsin, September 25, 1988: Politics of Conscience: The Hallmark of Integrity