Presidential historian and best-selling author Michael Beschloss will give the Cutchins Distinguished Lecture at Virginia Tech on Thursday, March 26, 7:30 p.m., in Burruss Auditorium. The lecture is titled "Presidential Courage."

In a talk based on his recent book of the same title, Beschloss will discuss crucial times when presidents took political risks and overcame obstacles to dramatically change the future of the United States. Appointed NBC News’ presidential historian, Beschloss provides viewers with expert analysis of the executive branch. The talk is free and open to the public, no tickets required. For assistance, please call (540) 231-9457; parking information is available online.

Beschloss is the author of eight books, including the best sellers “The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler’s Germany, 1941-1945;” “Taking Charge: The Johnson White House Tapes, 1963-1964;” and “Reaching for Glory.”

A Chicago native, Beschloss received a bachelor’s degree in 1977 from Williams College and an MBA in 1980 from Harvard and holds three honorary doctorates. He has been a historian on the staff of the Smithsonian Institution, a Senior Associate Member at Oxford University in England, and a Senior Fellow of the Annenberg Foundation in Washington D.C. He is a regular guest on “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” on PBS. In 2005, he won an Emmy for his role in creating the Discovery Channel series, “Decisions that Shook the World,” which he also hosted.

Beschloss is a trustee of the White House Historical Association, the National Archives Foundation, and the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs. His awards include the Order of Lincoln, from the state of Illinois, and the Harry S. Truman Public Service Award. He lives in Washington D.C., with his wife and their two sons.

The Cutchins Distinguished Lecture is sponsored by the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development and the Pamplin College of Business and is also held in celebration of Founders Day. The center aims to educate students about leadership and prepare them to be leaders of integrity and ability. It is named in honor of the late W. Thomas Rice (class of ’34, civil engineering), a retired railroad industry executive and former rector of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. The lecture series is named for the late Clifford A. Cutchins III (class of ’44, accounting), a former bank chairman and rector of the Board of Visitors.

Press Availability: Michael Beschloss will be available to answer questions from the media on Thursday, March 26, at 4:30 to 5 p.m., in the New River Room, Inn at Virginia Tech. Please contact Sookhan Ho at (540) 231-5071for details.