Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author Thomas L. Friedman gave a dynamic lecture on the phenomenon he describes as a "flat world" as the featured speaker for Morningside College’s annual Peter Waitt Lecture, held in Eppley Auditorium at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26. More than 1,300 persons filled the auditorium. A question-and-answer period and book signing followed the lecture.
Morningside College and the Siouxland Chamber jointly sponsoring Friedman, who also spoke at the Chamber’s annual banquet that evening. His visit to Sioux City is one of only two engagements that Friedman scheduled for 2006.
Morningside College President John Reynders said, “Friedman brings a perspective to globalization that is critically important for our students to hear. I am thrilled that the college and the Chamber could join together to bring a speaker of his caliber to Sioux City.”
The president’s office gave each of the new freshman students, in total more than 300 students, a copy of Friedman’s most recent book, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. These students attended the lecture as part of the first-year Passport course.
The Peter Waitt Lecture was established in 1997 by Norman Waitt Jr. in recognition of the contributions of his uncle Peter Waitt as an entrepreneur, businessman, and community leader and to provide quality speakers for Morningside students. The lecture is endowed by The Kind World Foundation.
Friedman has been the foreign affairs columnist at The New York Times since 1995. Previously, he had served as the paper’s Beirut bureau chief from 1982 to 1984 and Israel bureau chief from 1984 to 1988. He next served as chief White House correspondent and then chief economic correspondent in the Washington bureau.
He won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 1983 and 1988 and the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2002. He was elected a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2005.
Friedman has authored four best-selling books, all published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (FSG), New York. The World is Flat came out in 2005 and won the Goldman Sachs/Financial Times Business Book of the Year. His book From Beirut to Jerusalem won the National Book Award for nonfiction in 1989, and his book The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization won the 2000 Overseas Press Club award for best nonfiction book on foreign policy. He also authored Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mediterranean studies from Brandeis University and a Master of Philosophy degree in modern Middle East studies from Oxford University. He resides in Bethesda, Md., with his family.