Bob Woodward speaks on ‘Presidential Leadership and the Price of Politics’

Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who helped to break the Watergate scandal, answered questions for a limited group of YSU faculty and students on Thursday before speaking in Stambaugh Auditorium as part of the Skeggs Lecture Series. Photo by Dustin Livesay/The Jambar.

On Thursday night, Bob Woodward, half of the reporting team who broke the Watergate scandal, spoke to a packed house at Stambaugh Auditorium.

Youngstown State University’s Office of Alumni and Events Management welcomed the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist as part of the Skeggs Lecture Series.

Woodward has served as an associate editor for The Washington Post over the past 35 years. He has also written 17 books and has won two Pulitzer Prizes, among other journalism awards.

Before the public lecture, Woodward spoke to a small group of journalism and political science students.

George McCloud, a YSU professor of communications, said Woodward is a legend in journalism and American history.

“It is good to learn from a legend and to also learn what he has accomplished,” McCloud said.

During the public lecture, Woodward told funny stories about politicians such as Al Gore and Henry Kissinger. He also talked about secret government.

“If we had a blackboard here and had people name what bothered them outside of their personal life, some would say war, climate change or health care,” Woodward said. “If I were to answer that question, I’d say we should worry the most about secret government.”

Woodward added that he asked YSU President Cynthia Anderson what was on the minds of the students, and she answered, “Jobs.”

In 1966, the Skeggs Lecture Series was established in memory of the late Leonard T. Skeggs Sr., who prompted Howard W. Jones to become YSU’s first president.

Jacquelyn LeViseur, director of the YSU Office of Alumni and Events Management, said the lectures are Skeggs’ legacy.

“This is how Leonard Skeggs’ vision lives on throughout the YSU campus, as well as the community,” she said.

Besides Woodward, the Skeggs Lecture Series has also brought in high-profile figures such as Toni Morrison, Cornel West, Colin Powell and Margaret Thatcher.

McCloud said he believes the Skeggs Lecture Series benefits the community.

“[It] tries to bring in large-scale people who have made a difference in the whole world,” McCloud said.

On Oct. 30, humorist and author David Sedaris will lecture to the community.