On Monday, Oct. 10, at 6:30 p.m., Cumberland University will host J. Roderick Heller III as he discusses the life of Felix Grundy, a Tennessean and friend of Andrew Jackson whose distinguished career included service as U.S. attorney general under President Martin Van Buren as well as terms in the U.S. Senate and House.
Heller's talk will be followed by a short question-and-answer session and a signing for his book, "Democracy's Lawyer: Felix Grundy of the Old Southwest." All proceeds from the sale of books will be donated to the Cumberland University history program.
Heller is chairman and CEO of Carnton Capital Associates, an investment firm in Franklin, and Harpeth Associates, a Tennessee LLC developing an $85 million mixed-use project in downtown Franklin. He was a partner in the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering in Washington D.C. from 1971 until 1982 and then served as chairman and CEO of three successful corporate turnarounds, including NHP Inc., the nation's then-largest owner and manager of residential apartments.
Heller was the founding chairman of the Civil War Trust and vice-chairman of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He also served as chairman of WETA, Washington's public radio and television station and chairman of NCRC, the capital's then-economic development corporation. Heller was also a director of numerous for-profit and non-profit boards. He graduated from Princeton University, received a master's degree in history from Harvard University and graduated from Harvard Law School. In addition to his book on Grundy, Heller was co-editor of "The Confederacy Is on Her Way up the Spout: Letters to South Carolina, 1861-1864."
The Oct. 10 event will be held in Vise Library and is open to the public. Reservations are not required, but attendees are encouraged to arrive early for optimal seating. The lecture is sponsored by Cumberland University's Alpha Xi Tau chapter of the Phi Alpha Theta International History Honor Society and the Cumberland University History Society.