Robert H. Jackson Lecture Series Concludes At Chautauqua

CHAUTAUQUA – A discussion on civility wrapped up a week of lectures for the Robert H. Jackson Center at Chautauqua Institution.

James H. Mullen Jr., president of Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., spoke Thursday during a weeklong Special Studies lecture series hosted by the Robert H. Jackson Center entitled “The Practice of Justice Jackson’s Art: Talent and Responsibility in Public Communication” at Chautauqua Institution. His lecture was entitled “A Conversation with Jim Mullen.”

Robert H. Jackson was a chief U.S. prosecutor of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg. Additionally, Jackson was a Chautauquan throughout his life, is regarded as one of the finest writers to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, was a leading lawyer in private practice and was a top U.S. government official under President Franklin Roosevelt. Additionally, Jackson was a leading public figure and speaker in the 1930s and 1940s, and was often on nationwide radio.

Greg Peterson, Robert H. Jackson Center co-founder and chairman of the board of directors, interviewed Mullen for the final part of the series. Peterson once attended Allegheny College.

Peterson opened the discussion by asking Mullen whether he was a Yankees or a Red Sox fan, to which Mullen replied he was a Yankees fan. Mullen went on to share information about himself before tackling other issues.

“I think we can all look back and find that person or persons that really shaped our lives, changed our lives, whether it’s our parents or other family members,” Mullen said. “But, there were those individuals who were smart enough and open enough, humble enough to accept their help. Almost every successful person I’ve ever met will point back, either to a faculty member from college or to that person or persons in their lives that helped frame their future.”

Mullen spoke a great deal about students and campus life, stating that he sees students who are very passionate about service, but not necessarily passionate about politics.

“Today’s young people are, according to any survey, remarkably committed to service,” Mullen said. “I think what we worry about is that, while we celebrate the commitment to service, that we try to encourage young people to find fulfillment in serving in the public life.”

He went on to discuss civil behavior, which he described as someone having humility, respect for others and a willingness to listen. Additionally, he said people should have a belief in what politics can do and achieve, and take joy in politics.

The Robert H. Jackson Center is located at 305 E. Fourth St. in Jamestown. Additional information about the center can be found at