Background on Eddy Lecture   

The John Kennard Eddy Memorial Lecture on World Politics is a living memorial to a former student.  Along with two of his classmates and friends, John Kennard "Jeff" Eddy was killed by a reckless driver while attending a Russian Studies Seminar at Oberlin College on September 23, 1988.  At the time of their very premature deaths, Jeff and his colleagues (Bill Kroener and Jay Riesz) were juniors majoring in politics and government at Ohio Wesleyan.  The Eddy family has chosen this very valuable and important method of keeping Jeff's flame alive across the generations of Ohio Wesleyan students.  Sponsored by East Asian Studies Program, International Studies Program and the Department of Politics and Government.

Memorial by Ellen Eddy, April 1989

John Kennard Eddy

Class of 1990

November 6, 1967 – September 23, 1988

John Kennard "Jeff" Eddy was a junior majoring in politics and government, attending a twelve-college Russian Studies Seminar at Oberlin College with several other Ohio Wesleyan students and professors, when a reckless driver smashed head-on into their car, killing him, Bill Kroener and Jay Riesz. The previous spring, his long term fascination with politics and history combined with a new maturity to turn him on intellectually. He had always read voraciously— magazines, novels, non-fiction—and watched TV and movies—all to fuel his mind for endless political debate. He was so excited about the Russian Studies weekend.

Born and raised in Short Hills, New Jersey, and a 1986 graduate of the Pingry School in Martinsville, he was the beloved son of John and Ellen Eddy and brother of Hilary Lafferty. He spent many summers in Maine, learning and then teaching sailing, his great passion. 

Jeff had such a distinctive style of dress, posture and speech that he was always noticed in a group and his keen eye for individual idiosyncrasies of speech or movement, perfect mimicry and outrageous word choice made his storytelling legendary.

He loved his friends, called them by special names, listened hard to their troubles and actively sympathized and helped. He was an enthusiastic Beta brother and social chairman at the time of his death. Jeff always knew how to create parties.

He was born with a strong sense of justice, honesty and a deadly eye for sham and pretense. He lived by these values. His last summer he talked of a career in government service, maybe the FBI or Secret Service, in order to combat some of the evil in the world. After OWU he was going to law school or into the Navy.

It seems appropriate to us, his family and friends, to remember our intelligent, committed, witty young man by sponsoring this lecture on World Politics, the ruling interest in his life.

Ellen Eddy, April 1989


Ryan Hass  

Brookings Institution, Director of the John L. Thornton China Center and the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies

"Are the US and China Destined for Conflict?" View recording  


Yoshiko Herrera 

Professor of Political Science at Wisconsin Madison University

Russia's War Against Ukraine


Navin A. Bapat

Dowd Professor in Political Science and the Chair of the Curriculum of Peace, War, and Defense at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Afghanistan and the End of the War on Terror


Joshua Rovner

Associate Professor at the School of International Service at American University

Democracy in the Shadow of Foreign Meddling

Rovner spoke at 7 p.m. Oct. 6 via an online Zoom lecture. Watch his presentation here.


John Overpeck 

Dean of the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan

Global Climate Change, Water Security and Ecosystem Disruption: Higher Scientific Confidence Than You Might Think


Julianne Smith 

George Marshall Fund, former National Security Adviser to Vice-President Joe Biden 

Defining Moment of Déjà Vu? The Future of the Transatlantic Relationship


Beth Simmons 

Andrea Mitchell University Professor in Law and Political Science, University of Pennsylvania 

The Future of Human Rights


Sumit Ganguly 

Rabindranath Tagore Chair of Indian Cultures and Civilizations; Director, Center on American and Global Security, Indiana University 

The Significance of South Asia for World Politics


Mark R. Beissinger 

Henry W. Putnam Professor, Politics, Princeton;  Director, Princeton Institute for International & Regional Studies 

Ukraine, Russia and the End of the Post-Cold War Political Order


Douglas Brinkley 

Professor of History, Rice University; Bestselling Author and Presidential Historian for CBS News

Vietnam, Walter Cronkite and Today's Foreign Policy Lessons

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F 740-368-3644

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Interim Director: Jim Franklin
Professor of Politics and Government
Elliott Hall 308