Former British Prime Minister Cameron coming to DePauw

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
David Cameron
Courtesy photo

David Cameron, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 2010 until stepping down from the post in July, will come to DePauw University on Thursday, Dec. 8.

“The Historic Events of 2016 and Where We Go From Here,” presented by DePauw’s Timothy and Sharon Ubben Lecture Series, will be one of Cameron’s first public speaking appearances since leaving office on July 13.

The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Neal Fieldhouse, located within the Lilly Physical Education and Recreation Center (702 S. College Ave.). Following Cameron’s formal remarks, the prime minister will respond to questions, which may be submitted to DePauw student journalists will present the questions to the former Prime Minister at the event.

Like all Ubben Lectures, the event is presented free of admission charge and is open to everyone. There are no tickets. Students may enter through the front doors of Lilly Center (facing College Avenue) beginning at 2 p.m. All others should enter through the building’s north doors, which will open at 2:20 p.m. All doors will close and the building will be secured at 4:15 p.m.

All guests must present a DePauw University or government identification card to gain entry.

The following will be prohibited within the Lilly Center -- bags (including purses and backpacks), personal photography and any recording devices, strollers and umbrellas. Coats will not be allowed in Neal Fieldhouse. Racks will be provided outside of the venue where coats can be hung at the owner’s risk.

Cameron becomes the sixth British prime minister to visit DePauw, continuing a tradition that began in 1958 when Harold Macmillan, at the time the leader of Great Britain’s government and whose grandfather was a graduate of the university, spoke at DePauw’s commencement and delivered a still-cited speech on “Interdependence” which was televised nationally by NBC. Macmillan, who later returned to DePauw in 1968, also received an honorary doctorate during the graduation ceremony.

Harold Wilson presented a 1981 talk on the Greencastle campus. The Ubben Lecture Series brought Margaret Thatcher to DePauw in 1992, John Major in 2001, and Tony Blair in 2008.

Born in London in 1966, Cameron was educated at Eton College and Brasenose College, Oxford, and studied philosophy, politics and economics. From 1988-93 he worked at the Conservative Research Department, assisting Prime Minister Major before leaving politics to work for Carlton Communications. In 2001 Cameron became a member of Parliament, serving in the opposition shadow cabinet under Conservative leader Michael Howard, succeeding Howard in 2005.

On becoming Party Leader, Cameron successfully modernised the Conservative Party, following three successive election defeats. He was elected Prime Minister in 2010, heading a Coalition Government with the Liberal Democrats. When the Conservatives secured a majority in the 2015 General Election, he remained as Prime Minister leading a Conservative Government and became the first sitting Prime Minister since the mid-19th century to increase his number of Parliamentary seats, vote share and popular vote in a general election.

On June 24, a day after voters decided in a referendum that the United Kingdom should withdraw from membership in the European Union (commonly referred to as “Brexit”), Cameron announced that he would resign before the start of the Conservative Party Conference in October. He held his final cabinet meeting on July 12 and submitted his resignation to the queen the following afternoon. He resigned from Parliament in September.

Cameron’s administration is credited with introducing signficant changes to welfare, immigration policy, education and healthcare, legalizing same-sex marriage and privatizing the Royal Mail and other state assets.

On July 13, his successor, Theresa May, “heaped praise on Cameron ... saying he had led the Tories -- and the country -- in the right direction by successfully campaigning to legalize same-sex marriage and modernizing what had been known as ‘the nasty party,’,“ reported the Washington Post.

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said that Cameron would be remembered as “one of Britain’s great reforming Prime Ministers.”

Established in 1986 through the generous support of 1958 DePauw graduates Timothy H. and Sharon Williams Ubben, the Ubben Lecture Series was designed to “bring the world to Greencastle.” The series has presented 106 events over the past 30 years.

This semester’s previous guests were Tony Award-winning Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr., who spoke on Sept. 20, and legendary civil rights leader and presidential adviser Vernon E. Jordan Jr., a 1957 graduate of DePauw, who presented the keynote address at the Oct. 29 inauguration of DePauw’s 20th president, D. Mark McCoy.

Other previous Ubben Lecturers have included Elie Wiesel, Jane Goodall, Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Peyton Manning, Jimmy Kimmel, Gen. Colin Powell, Martin Luther King III, Dan Quayle ‘69, Spike Lee, Mike Krzyzewski, Ken Burns, Todd Rundgren, Andrew Luck, Piper Kerman, Barbara Bush, Bob Woodward, Ross Perot, Karl Rove, Howard Dean, Harry Belafonte, Sam Donaldson, David McCullough, Lee Hamilton ‘52, Ralph Nader, Carl Bernstein, Jane Pauley, Arne Duncan, Bret Baier ‘92, Mitch Albom, Jim Lovell, ice cream entrepreneurs Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Gwen Ifill, George Will and many others.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: