Contact: Kara O’Keeffe
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September 13, 2018

James Madison Lecture Series to Focus on Thomas Jefferson’s Ideas About Higher Education

Milwaukee, Wis. – The Wisconsin Historical Society (Society), the Center for the Study of the American Constitution at the University of Wisconsin – Madison (CASC) and University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Libraries are pleased to welcome Dr. Andrew J. O’Shaughnessy as the presenter of the 2018 James Madison Lecture Series. The title of this year’s lecture is, “‘The Illimitable Freedom of the Human Mind:’ Thomas Jefferson’s Idea of a University.”

“Arguably more than any of the Founders, Thomas Jefferson’s ideas and contradictions resonate in 21st century America,” said Matt Blessing, state archivist at the Wisconsin Historical Society. “Jefferson’s vision for higher education is especially relevant and Professor Andrew O’Shaughnessy’s examination of Jefferson’s views will inspire anyone interested in higher education.”

The free lecture will take place on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, at 4:30 pm at the UW-Milwaukee Golda Meir Library, 4th-floor conference room

Thomas Jefferson regarded his founding of the University of Virginia as one of his three greatest achievements in life together with the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Dr. O’Shaughnessy will share how Jefferson’s ideas continue to have relevance to public education in our country to this very day.

Dr. Andrew J. O’Shaughnessy is Vice President of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies.

The James Madison Lecture is an annual lecture series on early American history co-presented by the Wisconsin Historical Society and the Center for the Study of the American Constitution at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  The Lectures honor the scholarly work of Dr. Merrill Jensen (1905-1980), an influential scholar of the American Revolution, beloved mentor and longtime faculty member of the University of Wisconsin – Department of History.  Funding for the Lectures is provided by the James Madison Lectures endowment which has been made possible by a generous bequest from the Estate of John A. Peters and many private donors.

This program is also generously supported by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

For more information on the James Madison Lecture Series visit
About Wisconsin Historical Society
The Wisconsin Historical Society, founded in 1846, ranks as one of the largest, most active and most diversified state historical societies in the nation. As both a state agency and a private membership organization, its mission is to help people connect to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing stories. The Wisconsin Historical Society serves millions of people every year through a wide range of sites, programs and services. For more information, visit

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