Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Newsroom


Jeffersonian Scholar Clay Jenkinson to Perform at Southwestern

Humanities scholar, author and social commentator Clay Jenkinson will portray Thomas Jefferson in a one-man performance in Southwestern University’s Alma Thomas Theater at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 7.

The event is free and open to the public. It is held in conjunction with the King Creativity Fund Symposium, which annually honors students who have been awarded KCF grants for “innovative and visionary projects.”

Jenkinson is considered the finest exemplar of first-person historical interpretation in the United States. Since 1981, his performances as Thomas Jefferson have won him the respect of the humanities community for his ability to masterfully portray the life, vision, wisdom and achievement of the most fascinating man ever to hold the office of the President of the United States. Known for his creative vision, Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence, the master planner of the University of Virginia, the architect of Monticello, and the inventor of the Lazy Susan, among other accomplishments.

Jenkinson has portrayed Jefferson before presidents, justices of the Supreme Court, members of cabinets, legislators and hundreds of public audiences in 49 states and beyond. He was the principal on-air commentator for Ken Burns’ 1997 PBS documentary on Jefferson. For his accomplishments, President George H.W. Bush awarded Jenkinson the Charles Frankel Prize in 1989, the highest honor of the National Endowment for the Humanities

A Rhodes and Danforth scholar, Jenkinson holds degrees in humanities from the University of Minnesota and Oxford University. He has taught at Pomona College, the law school of the University of North Dakota, the University of Colorado and the University of Nevada, Reno. He is the author of such books as Citizen of the World, Message on the Wind: A Spiritual Odyssey on the Northern Plains, and The Lewis & Clark Companion: An Encyclopedia Guide to the Voyage of Discovery.