Open Calendar


collegebusiness | University News

Lehr Chair Honoree Juan Williams Among Boys State Speakers

By Jeff Murphy, June 15, 2018

WARRENSBURG, MO – In addition to evening sessions featuring special presentations by a number of distinguished guest speakers, Fox News political analyst Juan Williams will accept the 2018 Lehr Memorial Chair when the University of Central Missouri hosts the 79th session of the American Legion Boys State of Missouri June 16-22.

Considered one of the most coveted honors for high school juniors across Missouri, Boys State originated in 1938 with the first session in Fulton. It has been hosted since 1953 by UCM. Since its founding, Missouri Boys State newshas provided more than 40,000 high school students the opportunity to attend a practical laboratory in citizenship and leadership training. Using a “learning by doing” format, participants get to see, hear and interact with state and nationally known guests who talk about a variety of issues designed to teach them more about how government works and how to become better engaged citizens.

While Boys State is not a public event, members of the community are able to attend evening sessions featuring guest speakers. Among those individuals is Juan Williams, who will be honored on the evening of June 19 in Hendricks Hall with the Lehr Memorial Chair. This award was established in 1988 as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Missouri Boys State, and was created to honor the late Missouri State Auditor George W. Lehr, who was a Boys State participant as a youth and tireless supporter of the program during his life as a public servant. The award was designed to help bring well-known public service and thought leaders to the annual program.

Williams has been a regular on Fox News Sunday and the weekday political newscast, Special Report with Bret Baier, as well as a regular substitute host for Bill O’Reilly on The O’Reilly Factor. He also had a 10-year career with National Public Radio, is an accomplished author of many books, and has received multiple awards for his writing and investigative journalism. His professional accolades include an Emmy Award for his television documentary writing and has widespread critical acclaim for his documentaries titled Politics: The New Black Power and A. Phillip Randolph: For Jobs and Freedom.

Among the many previous recipients of the Lehr Chair are individuals such as Bob Woodward, journalist and author; James Carville, media personality and political icon; Bill Bradley, former professional basketball player and U.S. politician, to name a few.

Although the list of speakers is subject to possible change, individuals currently slated to speak at this year’s Boys State include Sly James, Kansas City mayor, Sunday, June 17; Eric Schmitt, Missouri Treasurer, Monday, June 18; Shawn Askinosie, a former criminal defense lawyer who created a bean to chocolate factory, Thursday, June 21; and Eric Motley, an executive vice president at the Aspen Institute responsible for institutional advancement and governance, Friday, June 22.

Learn more at the Boys State website.


  • facebook
  • twitter
  • youtube
  • linkedin
  • instagram