(February 16, 2011) — New College of Florida President Gordon E. “Mike” Michalson invites the community to the Fourth Annual Presidents’ Day Talk, “Benjamin Franklin and the Politics of Improvement,” on Tuesday, February 22, at 4 pm in College Hall, Bayfront Campus.

This year’s guest speaker is Alan Houston, professor of political science at the University of California at San Diego and author of numerous books including his most recent Benjamin Franklin and the Politics of Improvement. While researching at the British Library in London for the book, Houston found 47 letters written by, to and about Benjamin Franklin that had been undiscovered for 250 years.

Houston’s research focuses on the development of liberal, republican and democratic ideas in Europe and America. He was awarded the 1992 Foundations of Political Theory Book Award and the 1990 Levi Strauss Award for his book, Algernon Sidney and the Republican Heritage in England and America.

The event is free and open to the public. College Hall is located on New College’s Bayfront Campus at 351 College Dr., Sarasota, Fla., 34243. From U.S. 41, turn west onto College Drive, just north of University Parkway. Continue on College Drive through the stop sign toward the Bayfront. For more information, call the events hotline at 941-487-4888.

The Annual New College Presidents’ Day Talk is dedicated to the late Major General Raymond E. Mason, Jr., former New College Foundation Board Chair and past New College of Florida Trustee. Mason was an American patriot devoted to preserving his country’s history and educating the general public about it in creative ways.

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