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Bill Purcell

Bill Purcell, former mayor of Nashville, will talk about how many American cities are experiencing “rebirth” when he presents the inaugural Ashe Lecture on September 24 at the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy at the UT.

The Ashe Lecture series—funded by a gift from Victor Ashe, former Knoxville mayor and ambassador to Poland—was established to honor Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr. by bringing mayors and ambassadors to talk about local and international political topics. The Baker Center will host two speakers each year for the next five years.

Purcell’s talk, American Cities Are Back: Now what do we do?, begins at 7:00 p.m., in the Baker Center’s Toyota Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Matt Murray, director of the Baker Center, said Purcell will share his vision of what’s happening in America’s cities.

“We have seen great change in Knoxville, and along with change comes opportunities and challenges,” Murray said.

Purcell is now an attorney at Jones, Hawkins and Farmer in Nashville, has served in state legislature, and was director of the Harvard Institute of Politics.

“In a little more than a generation, American cities have made an extraordinary recovery,” Purcell said.

He will draw from his own experiences in Nashville and his work in public policy to help explain the past decline and what policy makers “need to do to ensure the continued success of our cities,” he said.

The next Ashe lecture will be held in the spring and will feature Sen. Richard Lugar. Lugar is the Senate’s most senior Republican, former mayor of Indianapolis, and former chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee.

C O N T A C T :

Nissa Dahlin-Brown (865-974-8681, Nissa@utk.edu)