Tulane Alumni Association
Distinguished Alumnus/a Award 2011
The Honorable Newton L. Gingrich
Born in Pennsylvania, Newt Gingrich’s coming of age as the son of a military family inspired his lifelong devotion to public service. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Emory University and a Master’s and Doctorate in modern European history from Tulane University. He then taught history and environmental studies at West Georgia College for eight years before his election to the U.S. Congress in 1978.
Mr. Gingrich served the 6th District of Georgia for twenty years. In 1995, he was elected Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, where he served until 1999. He is well-known as the architect of the “Contract with America” that led the Republican Party to victory in 1994 by capturing the majority in the U.S. House for the first time in forty years. Under his leadership, Congress passed welfare reform, balanced the budget and cut taxes. Time magazine named him “Man of the Year” in 1995 for his exceptional leadership.
In his post-Speaker role, Mr. Gingrich has become a highly sought-after scholar, lecturer and educator. He serves as a member of the Defense Policy Board and is the longest serving teacher of the Joint War Fighting course for Major Generals, teaching officers from the five services as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Professor at the National Defense University. In addition, Mr. Gingrich serves on the Terrorism Task Force for the Council on Foreign Relations and was recently named Co-Chair of the UN Task Force, a bipartisan Congressional effort to reform the United Nations. Mr. Gingrich was appointed to the United States Commission on National Security and is credited with the idea of a Cabinet-level Secretary to address homeland security issues. Mr. Gingrich is an Editorial Board Member of the Johns Hopkins University journal, Biosecurity and Bioterrorism, serves as Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and is a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Mr.
Gingrich is the founder of the Center for Health Transformation, a collaboration of public and private sector leaders committed to creating a 21st Century Intelligent Health System. He is also the Co-Chairman of the National Commission for Quality Long-term Care. Mr. Gingrich is the Chairman of the Gingrich Group, a communications and consulting firm that specializes in transformational change. Additionally, Mr. Gingrich serves as General Chairman of American Solutions for Winning the Future, a grassroots organization designed to provide significant solutions to the most important issues facing our country.
A strong advocate of volunteerism, Mr. Gingrich has long championed the positive impact every individual can have on society. He has raised millions of dollars for charity, donating both time and money to a wide array of causes, including Habitat for Humanity, United Cerebral Palsy, the American Cancer Society and ZooAtlanta. Widely recognized for his commitment to the environment, the Georgia Wildlife Federation named him Legislative Conservationist of the Year in 1998. The American Diabetes Association has awarded him its highest non-medical award and the March of Dimes named him
Citizen of the Year in 1995. He currently serves on the board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
As an author, Mr. Gingrich has published 23 books, including 13 fiction and non-fiction New York Times best-sellers. He resides in Virginia with his wife, Callista, where they collaborate to host and produce historical and public policy documentaries. The Gingrich family includes two daughters, two sons-in-law and two grandchildren.