Panel: 4:15 p.m.
Presentation: 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 29, Rosenfield Center Room 101
When Harry Hopkins 1912 graduated from Grinnell College, few thought the popular prankster would go on to change the face of the nation — and the world.
But Hopkins is now recognized as one of the most important figures of the 20th century. A key adviser to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Hopkins headed the Works Progress Administration, creating more than 3 million jobs per year over seven years, boosting the economy, and helping to lead the United States out of the Great Depression. Later, he served as Roosevelt’s ambassador to Churchill and Stalin during World War II, becoming perhaps the most powerful non-elected official in American history.
Grinnell will celebrate this distinguished alumnus in the centennial of his graduation year with events honoring Hopkins, “FDR’s right-hand man” on Thursday, Nov. 29, and open to the public at no charge. The celebration includes a 4:15 panel presentation on Hopkins' important role in foreign affairs and a 7:30 p.m. lecture by June Hopkins, Harry Hopkins’ granddaughter.
“Grinnell grads really do go on to change the world,” says Sarah Purcell ’92, associate professor of history and director of the college’s Rosenfield Program, which is organizing and sponsoring the celebration. “But perhaps no Grinnellian has affected our nation more profoundly than Harry Hopkins, whose accomplishments in the fields of social justice and international relations shaped the world as we know it.”
This January, grab the Winter 2012 issue of The Grinnell Magazine for a feature article based on the new book, The Hopkins Touch: Harry Hopkins and the Forging of the Alliance to Defeat Hitler (Oxford University Press, January 2013), by historian David Roll.