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Kennedy expert will highlight JFK achievements

  • Jason Duncan

Posted on November 25, 2013

Fifty years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Grand Valley State University’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies will partner with the Ford Presidential Foundation, Library and Museum to host an event that will showcase Kennedy’s achievements while in office. 

“JFK: The Spirit of Cold War Liberalism” will be presented by Kennedy historian and author Jason Duncan on Wednesday, December 4, at 7 p.m. in Loosemore Auditorium, DeVos Building E, on Grand Valley’s Pew Campus. RSVP at

Kennedy’s legacy is often overshadowed by the shock of his assassination and the revelations concerning his private life, but he governed at a time when political parties were less polarized, the economy was expanding, and trust in government was at an all-time high. Kennedy used his position to encourage citizens to use the status of the U.S. to achieve greatness at home, overseas, and in the race to the moon. 

In his keynote address, Duncan will explain Kennedy’s significance as a political figure of the 20th century who dealt with issues including the Civil Rights movement and the developing Cold War. Based on his book of the same name, Duncan’s presentation examines presidential speeches, assesses reviews from both sides of the aisle, and explains the true impact of the iconic president.

Duncan is chair of the history department at Aquinas College, and has been a faculty member at the college since 2002. He earned his doctorate from the University of Iowa in 1999, and is the author of two books, including the recently published “JFK: The Spirit of Cold War Liberalism.” Before entering academics, he worked in politics for several years, including as a legislative assistant to a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.

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