William & Mary has named Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and historian Jon Meacham as its 2024 Hunter B. Andrews Fellow in American Politics.

Meacham, who has spoken around the world on topics including history, politics and religious faith, will visit William & Mary from April 30-May 1. His time at the university will include a public lecture with a question-and-answer session, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on April 30 in the Sadler Center’s Commonwealth Auditorium. No tickets are required; seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

He will also meet with student leaders and participate in a class discussion.

Jon Meacham (Photo by Heidi Ross)

The Andrews Fellowship is named after Hunter B. Andrews, a William & Mary alumnus who served as a Virginia state senator for more than three decades, including many years as majority leader and chair of the finance committee.

Democracy is one of the core initiatives of William & Mary’s Vision 2026 strategic plan. As part of that initiative, the university is committed to promoting democratic ideals and 21st-century citizenship. As the nation prepares for its 250th anniversary, the university is working to ensure that America’s origin stories are more fully and honestly told.

“To quote Sec. Lonnie Bunch’s Charter Day remarks, history ‘challenges us to live up to Lincoln’s desire for a more perfect union.’ Jon Meacham applies the lessons of history to perfect our democracy and advance freedom,” said W&M President Katherine A. Rowe. “His thoughtful patriotism and commitment to facts as a public good make him a terrific choice for this year’s Andrews Fellowship.”

A prolific author with multiple New York Times bestsellers to his name, Meacham has written on American music, civil rights and many other topics, yet he is best known as a biographer. His upcoming volume, “The Call to Serve: The Life of an American President, George Herbert Walker Bush,” is expected to be published this May. His previous biographies focus on figures such as American presidents Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson and civil rights leader John Lewis. His biography of U.S. President Andrew Jackson, titled “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House,” won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009. Meacham is a contributing editor at Time magazine and has written for outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Vanity Fair and appeared on such national broadcasts as “Morning Joe.”

In addition to his writing, he is the Canon Historian of Washington National Cathedral and the Carolyn T. and Robert M. Rogers Chair in the American Presidency at Vanderbilt University where he is also a distinguished visiting professor and co-chair of the Vanderbilt Project on Unity & Democracy.

Meacham is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the Society of American Historians. He has served as a trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and chaired its board. He has also been a trustee of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and The New-York Historical Society, among other organizations, and he chaired the National Advisory Council of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University.

In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Meacham has earned numerous awards and accolades throughout the years, including the Anti-Defamation League’s Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Prize, the Aspen Institute’s Public Service Award and the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute’s Spirit of Democracy Award. O’Connor was William & Mary’s 23rd chancellor.

The most recent Andrews Fellow at William & Mary was Nate Silver, founder of the award-winning website FiveThirtyEight.com. Previous fellows have included David Brooks, Walter Isaacson, Congressman John Lewis and Sen. Richard Lugar.

, Senior Associate Director of University News