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John W. Stauffer


MA 1993, American Studies

As one of the world’s leading authorities on antislavery, protest movements, and interracial relations, John Stauffer, a Harvard University professor and program chair, devotes much of his time to writing, teaching, and researching.

Fortunately, Stauffer’s most passionate pastimes are also his vocation. He is the author of seven books and more than 45 articles. Stauffer’s 2008 book Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln appeared not only on the Boston Globe and bestseller lists, but is also prominently displayed on President Barack Obama’s bookshelf (according to Time journalist David Von Drehle). “I can honestly say that Purdue is the most diverse institution I’ve ever attended — especially in terms of class, age, and nationality — and the most democratic,” Stauffer says. “The best Purdue students are as good as the best Harvard students; the difference is they don’t know it.”

Photo by: Greg Martin