Perkins Fund Brings Guest Lecturers to Campus
The Ambassador Edward J. Perkins Speaker Series Fund was established in September 2020 to recognize the incredible work of the late Ambassador Edward J. Perkins, former student and Lewis & Clark life trustee. Ambassador Perkins passed away on November 7, 2020 (see his obituary on page 54).
The Perkins Fund will bring guest lecturers to campus to enrich the experience of students studying not only international affairs but all disciplines. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will be the first Perkins speaker. An endowment for this annual lecture will honor in perpetuity Ambassador Perkins, his extraordinary legacy, and his connection to Lewis & Clark.
Efforts to create the Perkins lecture series were led by our own Diplomat in Residence, Niels Marquardt BA ’75, in July 2020. Ambassador Perkins’ remarkable story has long been well known to many on campus, where he was the commencement speaker in 1988 and served as a trustee and life trustee since 1994. Recent events—including Perkins receiving the American Foreign Service Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award—have highlighted his trailblazing diplomatic career, which began in Portland, specifically on Palatine Hill.
“Lewis & Clark was where I got my academic start,” said Perkins. “It had an international focus that helped me see beyond my own experiences and contemplate the enormous challenges and opportunities that awaited.”