Jim Leach

30-year US Congressman, former National Endowment for the Humanities Chair
The Frailty of Today's Civil Society
April 11, 2015
Public Affairs Speaker
Susan Webb Yackee
Director, La Follette School of Public Affairs

Nominated Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities by President Obama, Jim Leach is best known as a 30-year member of the U.S. Congress (R-Iowa) where he chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, and the Congressional Commission on China. Post-government service includes Interim Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton. Since September 2013, he has been University of Iowa Chair in Public Affairs and visiting law professor.

Leach holds 13 honorary degrees, received decorations from two foreign governments, and is recipient of the Wayne Morse Integrity in Politics Award, Adlai Stevenson Award from the United Nations Association, Norman Borlaug Public Service Award, and the Woodrow Wilson Medal from Princeton.

Thanks to the Madison Public Library for compiling this list of resources for those who would like to read more on this topic. Also, see the links below for more information on these suggested readings.



Hearts of romaine with baby lettuces, sliced Roma tomatoes, cucumbers and carrot shreds
served with creamy ranch and fat-free French dressings


Asparagus and Fontina cheese quiche with broiled Parmesan tomato slices and haricot verts
Luncheon rolls with butter


Coffee (regular and decaffeinated) 
Tea and milk available on request



Suggested Readings

Kristi Williams

Our theme for the Civics Club 2014-2015 season is Civil Discourse in a Changing Society.

Are we, as a civilized society, becoming increasingly polarized, to the point of abandoning respectful discourse in favor of abrasive “win at all costs” tactics? Our distinguished keynote and public affairs speakers will address this important issue. As a member, you have an opportunity to question keynote speakers. You gain a new perspective as you become acquainted with fabulous members and guests seated at your table.

We guarantee that you will learn something new at each Madison Civics Club luncheon meeting. Join us. Rejoin us. Invite at least one other to join, as well. We look forward to seeing you as we experience another inspiring Madison Civics Club year.

Boris Frank

Boris Frank

If you are already a member of the Madison Civics Club, all the meetings are included in your membership fee. 

Please join us for the 2014-2015 year! If you are interested in joining and are not already on our membership / mailing list, please send your name and address to info@madisoncivicsclub.org. We will send you a membership brochure and program information.

For more information about our meetings, read Meeting Information and FAQs.

Parking at the Monona Terrace Convention Center is often very tight. If possible, please consider parking at a nearby ramp, carpooling with others, walking, biking, or using public transportation. If you drive, please build time into your schedule to find a parking place. And remember that the fee for parking is $5.

WYOU is now broadcasting and streaming their recording of our October luncheon with Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Watch on-demand on your computer or check the WYOU broadcast schedule to watch on the cable television broadcast.


Madison Civics Club on TV!

Co-Chair Boris Frank and Assistant Chair Linda Berman will be sharing MCC history and information about upcoming programs on Talk of the Town on CW57. Catch the conversation!

Wednesday, 4/1, at 6:30am
Wednesday, 4/1, at 4:30pm
Thursday, 4/2, at 7:30am
Sunday, 4/5, at 7:30pm

CW57 broadcasts on

Charter channel 2; HD channel 616
TDS channel 57; HDTV channel 1057
AT&T U-verse channel 57; HDTV channel 1057
Direct TV channel 57
Dish channel 57 


Anyone can become a member of the Madison Civics Club.

The 2014–2015 membership fee is $120. The membership fee includes the cost of all four luncheon meetings for the season. Contributing Membership ($150) and Sustaining Membership ($200) are categories for those willing to give an additional amount to support the increasing costs of the ongoing operations of the Madison Civics Club. Or, you can be a "Friend of the Club" by donating any amount above the membership fee. Amounts above the membership fee of $120 may be claimed as charitable contributions.

To become a member, please print and fill out the form linked here and mail it in with your check. Or become a member by clicking on the blue "Membership" tab at the top of the screen. Membership fees, donations, and contributions to our endowment fund can be made through our online payment system.

For more information about Madison Civics Club:

  • Click on "Updates" above for late-breaking information about meetings.
  • Follow us on Twitter for the latest news and information from Madison Civics Club.
    If you don't have a Twitter account, you can still see our tweets here.                   

100th Anniversary Book Collection

As part of its centennial celebration, the Madison Civics Club donated a collection of about 150 books by Wisconsin women authors to the Madison Public Library. During our anniversary year the collection was displayed at each branch library for several weeks, before returning to its permanent home at the South Madison branch. We are pleased to announce that in honor of Women's History Month, our collection will again be on display at the South Madison library, from April 11 through April 30. The books will then return to the shelves.

Culver's VIP Foundation Supports Youth Grants

The Youth Grants Committee is pleased to announce that the Culver's VIP Foundation has provided a $1000 grant in support of our Youth Grants program. Thank you, Culver's!

American Family Insurance Supports Youth Grant Attendance

We are excited to announce that American Family Insurance has generously agreed to donate $1500 to underwrite the cost for our Youth Grant guests' attendance at this years' Madison Civics Club luncheons. Thank you, American Family, for providing our promising youth the opportunity to meet with and hear our speakers, and to be recognized in person for their important work in our community.

Soliciting Youth Grants Candidates

The Youth Grants Committee would like to know of youth groups whose community service projects complement our speakers for the coming year (listed left). Organizations with 501(c)(3) status are eligible. Schools qualify. If you know of promising groups, please contact Deanna Fischer (608-835-8057).

Programs Recorded by WYOU

Want to see a program again? Did you miss a program? WYOU recorded the presentations by Parker Palmer and Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Look at those speaker pages for broadcast information, or check for Madison Civics Club schedule information directly on WYOU's website.

Are You Interested in Volunteering with MCC?

The Co-Chairs would love to talk with you about how you can use your time and talents with Madison Civics Club. Please contact Boris Frank and/or Kristi Williams.

A Thank You to Madison Public Library

Thanks to the Madison Public Library staff for compiling the readings for each of our speakers. All resources listed are available through the Madison Public Library.

We Met the Challenge!

Thanks to the support of Madison Civics Club members and Board of Directors, we met the challenge! During the 2012-13 Civics Club season and in honor of the Club's 100th anniversary, the Madison Community Foundation offered a challenge gift of $5,000 toward our newly established endowment fund. We contributed $15,000 and earned the additional gift. The Madison Civics Club Endowment Fund will provide a permanent base of support for our programming and operations. We invite your continued investment with a gift today or through your estate plans.

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