Retired Four-Star Admiral James Stavridis Will Visit USC Upstate for Dr. John B. Edmunds, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series

Spartanburg, S.C. – Retired four-star U.S. Navy Admiral and author Jim Stavridis will be the featured speaker at the University of South Carolina Upstate’s sixth annual Dr. John B. Edmunds, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series. The event will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, in the Humanities and Performing Arts Center (HPAC) Theater at 170 Gramling Drive in Spartanburg.

Stavridis, a native of West Palm Beach, Fla., was considered for a cabinet position with President Donald Trump’s administration and as a potential vice presidential running mate for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

He attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and served for 37 years in the Navy. For four years, Stavridis served as the 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO. He oversaw operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and the Balkans, and led efforts to halt piracy off the coast of Africa.

“Admiral James Stavridis provides unparalleled insight into some of the most important questions facing our country’s foreign and military policies,” said Rob McCormick, interim dean of USC Upstate’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. “From issues in the South China Sea to cooperation within NATO, Admiral Stavridis has unique perspective about the challenges that Americans face around the globe.”

Stavridis spent almost three years as the head of U.S. Southern Command in Miami and was responsible for military operations throughout Latin America. He retired from the Navy in 2013 as the longest-serving combatant commander in recent U.S. history.

Following his military career, Stavridis spent five years as the dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he also earned his Ph.D.

Stavridis won the Battenberg Cup for commanding the top ship in the Atlantic Fleet and earned the Navy League John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership, along with more than 50 domestic and international medals and decorations. He has authored eight books and serves as a columnist for Time Magazine and chief international security analyst for NBC News.

“The Edmunds Lecture Series brings leaders and thinkers of international acclaim to Spartanburg to speak on compelling topics of great national interest,” said Chris Crowley, a USC Upstate alum and member of the Edmunds Lecture Series planning committee. “As a career naval officer and the former supreme commander of NATO, Admiral Stavridis possesses unique insights into the challenges the world faces today.”

Tickets, which include a reception at 5:30 p.m., are $50 for the general public. They are available now at

For more information on how you can support the Edmunds Lecture Series, please contact University Advancement, at 864-503-5234 or


In its sixth year, the Dr. John B. Edmunds, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series is dedicated to bringing significant scholars and leaders in history, political science, philosophy and religion to the University of South Carolina Upstate and the Upstate community. Sponsored by the Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy and American Studies at USC Upstate, the series has hosted Peggy Noonan, Rick Atkinson, David McCullough, Bob Woodward, and Jon Meacham.

Dr. John B. Edmunds, Jr.

Dr. John B. Edmunds, Jr. served for 43 years as a professor of American history at the University of South Carolina Upstate. A Spartanburg native, Dr. Edmunds earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of South Carolina, where he specialized in the history of the Palmetto State. In 1967, as the first professor hired by the University of South Carolina Upstate, Dr. Edmunds began a career distinguished by excellence as a teacher, a scholar, and an administrator. For more than four decades, Dr. Edmunds inspired Upstate students with his enthusiastic teaching.

Dr. Edmunds was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of South Carolina history, his deep affection for his native state, and his ability to convey his love for South Carolina to his students. He was the author of two books, “Francis W. Pickens and the Politics of Destruction” and “The Episcopal Church of the Advent: History and Records, 1848-1998,” as well as numerous articles on South Carolina.

About USC Upstate

The University of South Carolina Upstate is a regional comprehensive university offering more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business administration, nursing, and education. Located along the I-85 corridor in Spartanburg between Greenville and Charlotte, USC Upstate is ranked by U.S. News & World Report at #2 among Top Public Schools. It serves as a major talent producer for the region, with more than 6,000 students, approximately 1,300 new graduates a year, and nearly 30,000 alumni, many of whom live and work in the state. The USC Upstate Spartans compete in 17 NCAA Division 1 sports as a member of the Big South Conference. For more information, visit

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