Lecture Honors Fallen Johnnie

March 27, 2018 | By Tim Pratt

Erik Kristensen attends the Annapolis Cup croquet match against the Naval Academy.

The sixth annual Erik S. Kristensen Memorial Lecture is set for April 13 at St. John’s College in Annapolis.

This year’s event features bestselling author and historian Arthur Herman, who will present: “Utopia, Ideology and Grand Strategy in the 21st Century.”

The lecture series, jointly sponsored by St. John’s College and the United States Naval Academy, honors LCDR Erik S. Kristensen, an alumnus of the Academy and the St. John’s Graduate Institute.

Kristensen, a Navy SEAL, was killed in the line of duty while leading a search-and-rescue mission in Afghanistan in 2005. His story is recounted in the 2013 film Lone Survivor.

The series to honor Kristensen was initiated by Lt. Michael Zampella (A92), who was inspired by Kristensen’s story and served with men who knew him.

The lectures focus on civil-military relations; great works of military or naval history; literary works depicting military or naval figures and events; the importance of naval and military power in peacetime and in war; and the role of liberal arts in professional military education.

Herman is the author of nine books, including the New York Times bestselling How the Scots Invented the Modern World and the Pulitzer Prize finalist Gandhi and Churchill.

The Economist magazine picked Herman’s Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II as one of the Best Books of 2012. His most recent work, 1917: Lenin, Wilson, and the Birth of the New World Disorder, was published by Harper in November of 2017.

This is the first year the Kristensen lecture has been incorporated into the college’s Friday night Formal Lecture Series. The lecture begins at 8 p.m. in Francis Scott Key Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.