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CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
International Programs
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-2026
e-mail: lois-gray@uiowa.edu

Release: Aug. 31, 2000

Lord Acton to address Foreign Relations Council Sept. 7 during kickoff

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Richard Lord Acton of Cedar Rapids will speak on "The House of Lords in Transition" Thursday, Sept. 7 at the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC) kickoff event for the 2000-2001 academic year. The event will be at 7 p.m. in the meeting room, lower level, Iowa State Bank & Trust Co., 102 S. Clinton Street, and is co-sponsored by University of Iowa International Programs.

A buffet of international desserts from The Bread Garden Bakery will be served. Wine and cheese will also be served, compliments of Iowa State Bank & Trust. The cost is $5 for members and $6 for non-members. The deadline to register for the event is noon Tuesday, Sept. 5. Checks can be written to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council and mailed to ICFRC, 120 International Center, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802. For more information, call ICFRC Executive Director Tom Baldridge at 335-0351. Reservations are unable to be made by phone but last minute adjustments may be made.

Born in Shropshire, England, Acton's family immigrated in 1948 to Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, where he was educated at St. George's College, Salisbury. Later he received his bachelor's and master's degrees in modern history at Trinity College, Oxford.

In 1989, he took his seat in the House of Lords as the fourth Lord Acton, dividing his time between Iowa and London since his marriage to Patricia Nassif, a clinical professor at the UI College of Law.

Later, the government of the United Kingdom put forth a proposal to restructure the House of Lords. This passed in November 1999, which resulted in the abolition of Acton's hereditary peerage. However, the Prime Minister appointed him as a Life Peer, and Acton returned to the House of Lords in April.

Acton is also a writer whose articles have appeared in many American periodicals, including The New York Times Book Review, The North American Review, British Heritage, the Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune and The San Francisco Chronicle. In 1995, Acton and his wife wrote a book on the legal history of Iowa entitled, "To Go Free: A Treasury of Iowa's Legal Heritage," published by Iowa State University Press to commemorate Iowa's sesquicentennial. He also received the Iowa State Historical Society's Throne/Aldrich Award in 1995 for the best article on Iowa history published by The Palimpset. His articles have appeared in The Iowan and The Des Moines Register. His latest book is "A Brit Among the Hawkeyes," published by Iowa State University Press.

For those unable to attend, WSUI-AM (910) will carry this program Monday, Sept. 11, following the noon news.

The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council is a non-profit association of community and university people interested in learning more about U.S. foreign policy, world affairs and current global issues impacting world societies. The group provides members with the opportunity to hear more than 35 experts per year who visit the UI campus and the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area.

Meetings are scheduled from August to June to take advantage of these speakers and are held at noon or in the evening to allow as wide a participation as possible from the business community, other professionals, the community at large and students, faculty and staff from the university. Meetings are scheduled at catered luncheons, as dinners or as evening desserts.

ICFRC is part of International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

ICFRC currently has approximately 200 members. Annual membership fees are $50 for general member's dues, $75 for a two-person household, and $20 for students and visiting scholars.