David Shi to Speak About Americans and the Pursuit of Happiness at Constitution Day

August 27, 2018 at 12:37 pm

Spartanburg, S.C. –  Dr. David Shi, noted author, historian, and leader in higher education, will speak at the University of South Carolina Upstate’s ninth annual Constitution Day celebration on Monday, Sept. 17. His lecture, “Americans and the Pursuit of Happiness,” will begin at 7 p.m. in the BMW Classroom at the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics, 160 E. Saint John St., in downtown Spartanburg.

“We are deeply honored to have Dr. David Shi deliver the guest lecture at the USC Upstate’s Constitution Day,” said Dr. Carol Loar, professor of history and chair of the Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy and American Studies. “Dr. Shi is a much sought-after speaker who is highly-regarded for his expertise in American history and culture.”

Shi, the 10th president of Furman University from 1994 to 2010, is a leading figure in American higher education. A prolific writer and speaker, Shi has shared his knowledge of such topics as American history, sustainability, and leadership with thousands of people in the corporate, higher education, and nonprofit sectors.

Shi, an Atlanta native and a 1973 magna cum laude Furman graduate who earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia, championed the university’s emphasis on engaged learning, energy conservation and environmental stewardship. Under his direction, Furman became a national leader in promoting sustainability.

An All-Southern Conference football player at Furman and a Distinguished Military Graduate, Shi was inducted into the U.S. Army ROTC Hall of Fame in 2016.

In 2003, Shi received the Presidential Leadership Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and was named Greenville Magazine Business Person of the Year. Shi was a charter signatory of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2006. During his presidency, Furman built the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental) certified building in South Carolina.

In 2010, the environmental organization Upstate Forever presented Shi with its Extraordinary Achievement in Environmental Conservation Award. That same year, Furman University’s Board of Trustees named its Center for Sustainability in honor of Shi. Established in 2008, the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability is a net-zero-carbon facility powered by renewable energy that has evolved into an animating hub where educators, students and community leaders work together to address the most complex issues of sustainability.

Shi is the author of several books, including Matthew Josephson, Bourgeois Bohemian (Yale University Press, 1980), The Simple Life: Plain Living and High Thinking in American Culture (Oxford University Press, 1985), which was a History Book Club selection and Pulitzer Prize nominee, and Facing Facts: Realism in American Thought and Culture, 1850-1920 (Oxford University Press, 1994). He is also author of the best-selling textbook America: a Narrative History (W. W. Norton), now in its tenth edition, and For the Record (W.W. Norton), now in its fifth edition.

Shi maintains an active schedule as a public speaker on campuses and at corporate and community events. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for Duke Energy, the Board of Trustees at Brevard College, and the Board of Managers of the South Carolina Historical Society.

This event is free and open to the public. For more details, contact Dr. Carol Loar, professor of history and chair of the Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy and American Studies at USC Upstate, at 864-503-5785.