Once Bill Lacy picked a topic, he had little trouble finding speakers for this year's Presidential Lecture Series at the Dole Institute of Politics.
That's because this year's series, in February, will focus on Ronald Reagan. Lacy, the institute's new director, served two stints as political adviser at the White House during Reagan's administration and is friends with some fellow staffers.
Reagan biographer Lou Cannon will kick off a series of four events with a speech at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Lied Center. Cannon has written five books on the former president, most recently "President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime," which also will be the title of his lecture.
Other events scheduled, also beginning at 7:30 p.m. but in the institute's Hansen Hall, are:
- "Stagecraft Stories: How Advance Work Builds Presidential Image," Feb. 17.
Presenters will be Jim Hooley, director of presidential advance under Reagan, and Andrew Littlefair, lead advance worker. They will discuss how Reagan attempted to use visual images to help make his points.
- "Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended," Feb. 24.
Jack Matlock, a career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, will discuss the relationship between the two former leaders. Matlock is author of a book by the same name.
- "Electing Reagan: The Presidential Campaign," Feb. 28.
The panel will include Frank Donatelli, former White House political director; Ed Rollins, manager of Reagan's 1984 campaign; Craig Shirley, author of "Reagan's Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign that Started It All"; and Richard Wirthlin, a Reagan pollster who wrote "The Greatest Communicator: What Ronald Reagan Taught Me about Politics, Leadership and Life."
Admission to each event is free, but tickets will be required. Tickets to the Cannon lecture will be available beginning Jan. 20 at the Lied Center box office, 864-2787. Tickets to the other events also will be available beginning Jan. 20, through the Dole Institute at 864-4900.
This is the third Presidential Lecture Series scheduled at KU.