Susan Eisenhower to visit UCA to discuss grandfather’s intervention in 1957

CONWAY — Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Dwight Eisenhower, will discuss his intervention in the 1957 Little Rock Central Crisis in a lecture at the University of Central Arkansas on Thursday, Feb. 23.

Eisenhower’s 11 a.m. lecture in the College of Business Auditorium, part of UCA’s Arkansas Civil Rights Symposium: Little Rock Central 55 Years Later, is free and open to the public.

“Susan Eisenhower is the most ideal presenter for this topic due to her continuance of several of Dwight Eisenhower’s leadership projects through her work at the Eisenhower Institute,” said Dr. Rollin Potter, dean of UCA’s College of Fine Arts and Communication. “President Eisenhower’s leadership at that crucial time changed American history.”

The day’s other events will include a screening of the 30-minute documentary film, The Crisis Mr. Faubus Made: The Role of the Arkansas Gazette in the Central High Crisis, at 2 p.m. in the College of Business Auditorium. A panel discussion will follow from 2:30-4. The panel, to be moderated by Ernest Dumas, long-time Arkansas Gazette reporter and editorial writer, will include Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine, along with Jerry Dhonau and Bill Lewis, Gazette reporters who covered the Central High Crisis; and Wadie Moore, who graduated from the segregated Horace Mann High School in 1968 and went on to become the first black newsroom employee at the Arkansas Gazette, where he was a sportswriter and editor until the paper closed.

The film screening and panel discussion are also free and open to the public.

In 1957, the Little Rock Nine prepared to desegregate Little Rock Central High School.  On the night before school started, Gov. Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent them from entering the school, eliciting the editorial ire of the late Arkansas Gazette. President Eisenhower stepped in with the force of the federal government, enabling the black students to finish the school year, if under duress.

Under the leadership of owner J.N. Heiskell, who served as editor for 70 years until he died at age 100, the Gazette became the first newspaper to win two Pulitzer Prizes in the same year for its coverage of the crisis.

Eisenhower is a daughter of President Eisenhower’s son John. She is a strategist and international affairs expert, an award-winning author, frequent television news guest and distinguished lecturer and is president of the Eisenhower Group, Inc., which provides strategic counsel on political, business and public affairs projects, and chairman emeritus of the Eisenhower Institute. According to, the Institute honors the legacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower and is a distinguished center for leadership and public policy that prepares the successor generations to perfect the promise of the nation.

After more than 20 years in the foreign affairs field, Susan Eisenhower is best known for her work in Russia and the former Soviet Union. A long-time Republican, she endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008.

For further information about the UCA activities, contact Donna Lampkin Stephens at (501) 852-2599, (501) 450-5605 or