This year’s TRA Gala Dinner weekend at the Harvard Club of New York City will celebrate TR as a master communicator addressing his various constituencies, including Capitol Hill and the public. At the Symposium, several experts will examine how Theodore Roosevelt, America’s greatest public relations president, essentially invented the application of public relations to the promotion of his ideals and his presidency. Two extremely knowledgeable Congressmen, then one of the greatest presidential strategists of our time, and finally a former presidential Communications Director and a professional journalist who is also a historian will explore this fascinating subject from different angles. At the Gala Dinner, talk show host Conan O’Brien, who trained at Harvard’s Lampoon and has studied TR closely, will focus on TR’s use of humor, on those who skewered him, and on what he thought about being skewered. Conan is certainly well positioned to entertain us.
This year’s keynote speaker is Conan O’Brien, not only a well-known late-night TV host but also a tremendous fan of TR, who probably knows more about Theodore Roosevelt and humor than most historians. No doubt humorously, he will talk about TR as a humorist and will share some stories about how TR used humor and how he felt about being the butt of often vicious humorous attacks.
The Symposium, “TR’s Public Presidency,” will first cover Theodore Roosevelt as a public relations strategist focusing on his dealings with Capitol Hill. Our panel members, both Congressmen themselves and TR experts, are uniquely qualified to examine this topic. Steve Israel (D-NY) and French Hill (R-AR) are members of the TRA Advisory Board and have been studying TR since childhood. Among the most thoughtful members of Congress, they will have some most interesting insights. Winthrop Roosevelt, the great-great-grandson of TR and a Public Policy Masters Degree holder from Northeastern University, will moderate. Next, Karl Rove, one of the greatest political strategists of our time and a longtime member of the TRA, is in a unique position to help us examine TR’s political strategy. Geoffrey Cowan, a University Professor at USC and author of Let the People Rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary, will be the interlocutor. Then David Greenberg, author of Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency, will show us how TR excelled at, even invented, this new practice. Mark Gearan, President Clinton’s Communications Director and currently Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Governments will be the interlocutor. Finally, we will have a perennial favorite, speeches by the first place high school winners of the Theodore Roosevelt Public Speaking Contest.
You will have a chance to meet the Commanding Officer of the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71), which recently returned from deployment. He will bring with him this year’s winner of the Junior Officer Leadership Award, the highly coveted honor given each year in the name of the TRA. You will also hear about the five new students, dependents of crew members, to whom we gave college scholarships.
The winner of the 2018 Theodore Roosevelt Association Book Prize will be announced.
We will honor Long Island University’s establishment of the Theodore Roosevelt Center at LIU. President Kim Cline will say a few words about this exciting new development, a relationship which will greatly enhance the TRA’s ability to achieve its mission to perpetuate the memory and ideals of Theodore Roosevelt.
We will congratulate the first winner of the Theodore Roosevelt Award, to be given annually to the most outstanding graduate of the National War College, which is located in Roosevelt Hall at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, DC. NWC is the senior program offered by the National Defense University, and graduates are in line to be General Officers and Admirals.
There will be a silent auction with all types of unusual offerings and a live auction with some extra-special unique items.
Each attendee will receive a special gift, a unique TR collectible available only at the event. Executive attendees will receive an additional unique TR collectible, as well as an opportunity for a personal photograph with Conan O’Brien.
Meeting talk show host Conan O’Brien, who will discuss Theodore Roosevelt’s unique humor.
Hearing from two Congressmen of different parties but with TR in common.
Listening to one of the great political strategists of our time sharing some of his insights about TR’s extraordinary skills.
Hearing an expert discuss TR and political cartoons of his time. Learn how cartoons shaped his presidency and how he shaped the art of cartooning.
Learning how Theodore Roosevelt was a communicator without peer.
Dining in historic the Harvard Dining Room, which TR frequently visited when he was in New York.
Congratulating the standout recipient of this year’s Junior Officer Leadership Award from the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and her Commanding Officer, both of whom can tell you about the ship’s recent deployment.
Learning about our nation’s most prestigious institution for advanced military education, the National War College, and congratulating this year’s recipient of the Theodore Roosevelt Award.
Cheering on the winners of this year’s Theodore Roosevelt Public Speaking Contest.
Meeting the President of Long Island University, the future home of the new Theodore Roosevelt Center at LIU.