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Arthur Brooks to talk happiness at Wingate University

by Stephanie Godwin, student writer

Fresh off his Feb. 6 speech at the 68th annual National Prayer Breakfast, where he urged President Trump and other leaders to love their enemies, Arthur Brooks is headed to Wingate University.

The well-known behavioral economist and former American Enterprise Institute president will present “The Art of Happiness: Reflections of Arthur Brooks” at 6 p.m. on Feb. 20 in the Batte Center’s McGee Theatre. The event is free and open to the public.

A Harvard professor and author of 11 books, Brooks spent his first decade out of high school as a touring classical French hornist. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1994 from Thomas Edison State College and a master’s in economics from Florida Atlantic University a year later before pursuing earning a Ph.D. from the Pardee Rand Graduate School. He taught at Georgia State University and Syracuse, focusing much of his academic research on philanthropy and nonprofits, before turning to the junction of culture, politics and economics that would come to define his career.

The son of a professor and an artist, Brooks grew up in Seattle with strong liberal influences but after years of research has become the leader of a conservative movement that he says “fights poverty, promotes equal opportunity, celebrates earned success, and values spiritual enlightenment.”

Brooks spent 10 years as president of the American Enterprise Institute, one of the world’s leading think tanks. He has been awarded six honorary doctorates, been selected as one of Fortune magazine’s “50 World’s Greatest Leaders” and gives more than 100 speeches around the globe each year.

At the National Prayer Breakfast last week, he told his audience of 3,500 politicians, diplomats and international leaders that contempt is “the polarization that is tearing our society apart.”

At Wingate, he’ll talk about happiness as a follow-up to the release of his film, The Pursuit, which was shown at the University on Tuesday. The AEI documentary is the culmination of three years of research, conversations and international travel, during which Brooks looked to answer the question of how we can lift up the world, starting with those at the margins of society.

Admission is free to Brooks’ talk, but tickets are required and are available at Wingate students should RSVP via WuSync for this Lyceum event.

Feb. 12, 2020