Tim Gunn

Abraham Lincoln, children’s literature, fashion design, investment management and American presidential history will be some of the topics discussed by speakers at Illinois State University during the spring semester. All events are open to the public, and most are free of charge.

Children’s author Candace Fleming will present “Meeting the Lincolns: Adventures in Nonfiction” on Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Bone Student Center Circus Room. Fleming traces her passion for writing back to elementary school and combines her love of language and history in her recent book, “The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary.” She is the author of numerous children’s books including biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Gwendolyn Wright, host of the PBS series “History Detectives,” will speak about historical investigation during a presentation on March 24 at 7 p.m. in the Bone Student Center. Wright is a professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, with joint appointments in history and art history.

Mesirow Financial CEO and Illinois State alumnus Jim Tyree will be the College of Business’ Business Week keynote speaker on April 1 at 2 p.m. in the Bone Student Center’s Braden Auditorium. Tyree will share his experiences and take questions from College of Business students and community members. Mesirow Financial began in 1937 as a small brokerage firm in Chicago and is now an employee-owned financial conglomerate with $35 billion under management, $451 million in annual revenue, $230 million in capital and 45,000 clients.

Historian James Oakes will present “Measuring Him By the Sentiment of His Country: Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics” on April 2 at 2 p.m. on the main floor of Milner Library. Oakes is a professor of history at the City University of New York Graduate Center and the author of “The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics.”

Former Senator Adlai Stevenson III will speak on April 9 at 2 p.m. on the main floor of Milner Library. Stevenson represented Illinois in the U.S. Senate from 1970 to 1981. Prior to his term in the Senate, he served as a member of the Illinois General Assembly and as State Treasurer of Illinois.

On April 15, Tim Gunn, will discuss his role as a mentor to budding fashion designers on Bravo’s “Project Runway.” His presentation will take place at 7 p.m. in the Bone Student Center Brown Ballroom. Gunn is chief creative officer at Liz Claiborne Inc., and author of “Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality Taste and Style” and host of “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style.” His presentation is part of the College of Applied Science and Technology’s Science and Technology Week. For information on tickets for Gunn’s presentation, call (309) 438-7602.

“Great Presidents Past and Present” will be the topic of a presentation by presidential historian Michael Beschloss on April 23 at 7 p.m. in the Bone Student Center’s Braden Auditorium. The author of nine books, Beschloss is heralded by the New York Times Book Review as “the most widely recognized presidential historian in the nation.” He serves as NBC News presidential historian and is a regular on “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.”

On April 30, professor and author Gloria Cronin will present “A Modernist’s Dilemma: Saul Bellow and His Junk Philosophers Re-Calling God” at 2 p.m. in the Bone Student Center Old Main Room. Cronin is a professor of English at Brigham Young University and a prolific author whose interests range from African-American, Jewish-American and contemporary American literature to postcolonial theory, postmodern theory and gender theory.