Best-selling author/Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan to speak at Fairfield University

Best-selling author/Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan to speak at Fairfield University

Image: Peggy Noonan Peggy Noonan, a best-selling author, political speechwriter and columnist for The Wall Street Journal, will speak on Wednesday, March 22, at 8 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, as part of Open VISIONS Forum, a program of University College at Fairfield University. Noonan's speech, entitled "Religious Issues in American Public Life," is being coordinated in collaboration with the Aloysius P. Kelley Chair in Catholic Studies celebrating the Jesuit Jubilee Year.

Noonan is the author of several books on America politics, history and culture, including her latest, "John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father" (Viking Adult, 2005). In addition, she is a contributing editor for The Wall Street Journal and writes a weekly column for the newspaper's editorial page website. Her articles and essays have appeared in Forbes, Time, Newsweek, the Washington Post, O Magazine, The New York Times and many other publications.

Noonan, a board member of the Manhattan Institute, is a familiar face on political talk shows and she won an Emmy Award for writing a post-9/11 television special. She has also been an advisor to the popular White House drama "The West Wing."

Noonan has always had a passion for journalism, having begun her career in 1978, as an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. From there she served as editorial and public affairs director at WEEI-AM, the CBS-owned station in Boston, where she won the Tom Philips Award for broadcast commentary. Noonan became a producer at CBS News in New York, where she wrote and produced Dan Rather's daily radio commentary.

In the 1980s, Noonan took on a new role, serving two years as a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. She rose to prominence for writing eloquent speeches for a leader dubbed "The Great Communicator." In 1988, she was chief speechwriter for George H.W. Bush when he ran for the presidency.

Noonan's first book, "What I Saw at the Revolution," (Random House, 1990), detailed her time in the White House.

"Noonan has written the funniest, most richly textured, nervously self-effacing and deftly observed political come out of the 1980s," wrote a Time Magazine reviewer.

She followed it with "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness," (Random House, 1994), "Simply Speaking," (HarperCollins, 1998), "The Case Against Hillary Clinton," (Regan Books, 2000), and the popular "When Character was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan," (Viking Press, 2001). She also published a collection of her Wall Street Journal columns called "A Heart, A Cross and A Flag," (Basic Books, 2003).

When "Simply Speaking," which was later published in paperback as "On Speaking Well," hit the bookstores, Forbes Magazine called it a gem.

"Peggy Noonan packs a wallop of practical wisdom and insightful tips for rookie and veteran speechmakers alike," a reviewer wrote. "This wee volume, written by one of this century's premier presidential speechwriters, will guide you correctly."

In addition to her own works, Noonan was one of 10 historians and writers to contribute essays on the American presidency to "Character Above All," (Simon & Schuster, 1999), and, in 1995, she wrote and hosted a PBS series on the debate over American values.

Noonan holds honorary doctorates from Adelphi University, St. John Fisher College and her alma mater, Fairleigh Dickinson University. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., with her son.

Noonan is appearing as part of Fairfield's celebration of the Jesuit Jubilee Year. Jesuit institutions around the world are marking the 450th anniversary of the death of St. Ignatius Loyola, who founded the Society of Jesus in 1540; and the 500th anniversary of the births of St. Francis Xavier, one of the Catholic Church's great missionaries, and Blessed Peter Faber, who promoted Spiritual Exercises throughout Western Europe. Fairfield has a full slate of activities planned, including several lectures by distinguished scholars, a Conference on Feminism and Jesuit Pedagogy and a Jesuit Baroque Opera.

Tickets are $35, $30 for senior citizens. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit

Posted On: 02-23-2006 10:02 AM

Volume: 38 Number: 178