University of Pittsburgh
October 22, 2009

Pitt's Honors College to Feature Bruce Babbitt Nov. 3 as Part of the American Experience Distinguished Lecture Series

The lecture is titled "Life Without Oil: A Vision for the 21st Century"
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-As part of the American Experience Distinguished Lecture Series, the University of Pittsburgh Honors College will feature Bruce Babbitt, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior and chair of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 in a talk titled "Life Without Oil: A Vision for the 21st Century" in the Twentieth Century Club, Bigelow Boulevard and Parkman Street, Oakland. Barbara Baker, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, will moderate the question-and-answer session following the lecture.

Babbitt served as governor of Arizona from 1978 to 1987, was a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for president in 1988, and was appointed the nation's 47th Secretary of the Interior by President Bill Clinton, serving from 1993 to 2001.

As Secretary of the Interior, Babbitt created the National Landscape Conservation System, brought about a forest plan in the Pacific Northwest, helped restore the Florida Everglades, and was instrumental in the passage of the California Desert Protection Act and legislation for the National Wildlife Refuge System. He also is responsible for implementing the rules allowing for the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park.

Babbitt, departing his position as chair of WWF in October, is on the board of directors of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a think tank based in Cambridge, Mass., concerned with the use, taxation, and regulation of land.

His book, "Cities in the Wilderness: A New Vision of Land Use in America" (Island Press, 2005), makes the case for a new national land-use policy that will protect environmental heritage for generations to come.

Babbitt earned the BA degree in geology at the University of Notre Dame; an MS degree in geophysics at Newcastle University, England, while on a Marshall Scholarship; and an LLB degree at Harvard University Law School.

The late Robert G. Hazo created the American Experience program 39 years ago to offer Pittsburgh's mid-to-high level managers the opportunity to gain insight into political and economic thought, with the intent of enlightening the public's political discourse. The program's current director is Edward L. McCord, director of programming and special projects in Pitt's Honors College. The series focuses on political and economical issues featuring annual addresses by such internationally renowned speakers as the late John Kenneth Galbraith, Pat Buchanan, Paul R. Ehrlich, and Teresa Heinz Kerry.

In addition to the Honors College, the Babbitt lecture is presented by the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, the National Aviary, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and The Garden Club of Allegheny County.

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Those interested in attending must RSVP with name, phone number, and name/s of additional attendees to For more information on the American Experience Lecture Series, visit