American Tapestry: We Tell Ourselves Stories, Part IV: Economic Freedom, "The American Dream", and a Nation of "Hustlers"

February 25th,2020 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Professor/Instructor/Speaker: Andrew Roth,Ph.D.

After a several month hiatus, Dr. Andrew Roth continues his American
Tapestry: We Tell Ourselves Stories series. What is the "story of America"?
Is there such a thing? Is there only one story, or are there many stories? In
this fourth installment, Roth continues his exploration of the post-1968
shattering of the American story by tracing the story of Economic Freedom,
"The American Dream" & a Nation of "Hustlers". In part IV, Roth analyzes
the tension between our Jeffersonian sense of ourselves at yeoman farmers
living in small towns versus the reality that we live in Alexander Hamilton's
world of high finance, manufacturing, and entrepreneurial zeal. We'll meet,
in addition to such famous success stories as John D. Rockefeller and Jeff
Bezos, others such as African-American entrepreneurs Annie Malone and
Pennsylvania's own Stephen Smith. We'll examine the American-created selfimprovement
industry beginning with Benjamin Franklin and proceeding
through Dale Carnegie to Joel Osteen and the success-gospel. If Americans
hustle, in the sense of work hard, which they do, some are also "hustlers"
who know how to cut a corner. We'll meet P.T. Barnum and Tom Thumb William
Thompson – the original Confidence-Man who gave us the expression "Con-
Man" – and we'll ask "Why is the Godfather so Enduringly Popular?" It's
all here in part IV: Economic Freedom, "The American Dream" & a Nation
of "Hustlers". While this lecture builds on Roth's "1968 in America Series",
and Parts I, II, and III of "American Tapestry", it is a self-contained talk that
requires no previous attendance.
– Andy Roth, Ph.D.

Andrew Roth,Ph.D.

As a Scholar-in-Residence at the Jefferson Educational Society (JES), Roth is working with his colleagues to enhance the Jefferson Civic Leadership Academy by including an academically oriented research component to the program. At the JES, Roth is also doing research on and preparing presentations about “1968: The Far Side of the Moon and the Birth of the Culture Wars”, which is a component of a larger research project on “The American Story: What Binds Us Together as Americans.” Previous work at the JES has included presentations on “Xander Hamilton: From St. Kitts to Weehawken to Hip-Hop Hit: The Life of Alexander Hamilton”; “George Washington: Primus Inter Pares”; “On Leadership: Towards a Practical Theory of Leadership”; “An Unlikely Trio: Washington, Lincoln and The Jesuits”. Roth also teaches graduate level leadership courses  on “Leadership: Theory and Practice” and “Leading Change: The Leadership Challenge.” Lastly, he works with independent colleges on strategic visioning, strategic planning and enrollment management.

In 2016-17, Roth served as the Interim-President of St. Bonaventure University leading the transition from Sr. Margaret Carney to Dr. Dennis DePerro. During his brief tenure, he helped the University implement its strategic plan, created an Operational Efficiency Task Force to address systemic budget issues, fostered significant conversations on campus about the University’s identity, oversaw an increase in enrollment, approved the consolidation of student support services, initiated two campus beautification projects, and instituted Martin Luther King day as an observed holiday.

Previously, he served as president of Notre Dame College, from 2003 until his retirement in June 2014, upon which he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for his leadership and was named President-Emeritus. During his presidency, Notre Dame College experienced a transformational growth that became the subject of three separate doctoral dissertations. At Notre Dame, in addition to establishing a number of intercollegiate athletic programs, Roth established a Nursing program, an Academic Support Center for students with learning differences, an Abrahamic Center to foster inter-faith dialog, a “Books That Changed the World” discussion forum, and other academic programs.

Prior to Notre Dame College, Roth served for almost thirty years at Mercyhurst University (nee College), where he was a tenured faculty member; a coach – he founded the women’s soccer team; and for over twenty years a senior administrator: Director of Admissions, VP for Enrollment, Vice-President of Academic Affairs, and Dean of the College.

Roth holds degrees from John Carroll University, Case Western Reserve University, Gannon University and the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is also engaged with various civic organizations in Cleveland and Erie. When not working on his various projects, he enjoys reading, working out, and cycling on Presque Isle.  He is married to retired banker Judy Owens Roth; they have three children and seven grandchildren.