Bill Clinton to give lecture at Northrop

Neil Munshi

Over the past 25 years, the Distinguished Carlson Lecture Series has welcomed heads of state, Nobel laureates and civil rights leaders.

At 5 p.m. on Nov. 5, former President Bill Clinton will speak at Northrop Auditorium as part of the series’ 25th anniversary.

“We issue invitations to people to make a Carlson lecture all the time,” said Julie Lund, director of communications for the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. “We were lucky enough that former President Bill Clinton was able to accept our invitation at this time.”

The lecture series is funded by a gift from Curtis L. Carlson, the founder of Carlson Companies to the Humphrey Institute, she said.

In the past, the series has hosted such notable speakers as Coretta Scott King, Jesse Jackson, Elie Wiesel, the Dalai Lama, Toni Morrison and Barry Goldwater.

Because Clinton likes to keep his talks timely, Lund said, she wasn’t sure what he will be speaking about.

“We might have thought he might talk about Katrina, but now there was this terrible disaster in Pakistan, so that could possibly be (the subject),” she said. “He just wants to make sure that his remarks are always very current, and that’s why it’s just billed as ‘An Evening with Bill Clinton.’ “

Sarah Hamilton, assistant communications director for the Clinton Foundation – the former president’s nonprofit organization – said Clinton often focuses on two key components.

“Usually the president likes to talk about global interdependence and our struggle to embrace our common humanity,” she said. “And of course, whatever current events are happening.”

Former Vice President Walter Mondale, a friend of both Clinton and former Vice President Hubert Humphrey, will also speak at the event.

The evening will also feature a clip from a full-length documentary film on Humphrey.

“It’s a real celebration of Hubert Humphrey and his legacy,” Lund said.

The event will be re-broadcast by Minnesota Public Radio at 7 p.m. on 91.1 KNOW-FM.

Tickets are free and will be available starting Oct. 18 at Northrop, Coffman Union bookstore, the St. Paul Student Center and the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs building.