New York State Senator James L. Seward '73, H'99

Hartwick Welcomes Senator Seward for Rude Memorial Lecture

February 28, 2017

New York State Senator James L. Seward ’73, H’99 will deliver the 2017 Leslie G. Rude Memorial Lecture, to be held Wednesday, April 12, at 7 p.m. in the Anderson Center for the Arts Theatre on the Hartwick College campus. His presentation, “Politics, Protests and PR: Public Service in the Age of Fake News, Alt-Left vs. Alt-Right, and Twitter wars,” is free and open to the public.

Seward will offer his perspective on the ever-changing landscape of communicating with the public. While the method of contact has evolved greatly since he was first elected more than three decades ago, he maintains it is the core message that remains critical.

Earlier in the day, the senator will address a public policy class, and meet with political science faculty. Before the lecture, he will also have dinner with select faculty and students.

A native of Otsego County, the senator attended Oneonta public schools and graduated from the College with a B.A. in political science in 1973. He also studied at the Nelson Rockefeller Institute of SUNY-Albany. In 1999, Hartwick honored him with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Senator Seward, now serving his 16th term as a state senator, is chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Insurance and is a member of several other senate committees including education, higher education, agriculture and health.  He has been a member of the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction since it was founded and was recently named to the newly created Senate Select Committee on Technology and Innovation.

“Hartwick College is delighted that New York State Senator James Seward will be this year’s Les Rude Memorial speaker,” said Professor of Political Science Dr. Laurel Elder. “Senator Seward, a Hartwick graduate, exemplifies the College’s mission of combining liberal arts learning and real-world impact. He has used his Hartwick political science degree to shape policy, represent the interests of the Oneonta area, and offer vital constituent service through his more than three decades of public service. The issues he will be speaking about – the challenges of communicating with the public in an era of social media and heavily partisan media – could not be more timely and important.”

Leslie Rude was an outstanding Hartwick College faculty member and administrator. Following his death in 1998, Professor Emeritus Norma Hutman and Marion Rude established the Leslie G. Rude Memorial Lecture Series to reflect his passionate interest in political science and public speaking and his commitment to public life. The purpose of the Leslie G. Rude Memorial Lecture is to bring a prominent speaker with political expertise to the Hartwick campus each year, to share ideas with students, faculty, and community members about issues pertinent to the current political climate.

To learn more about Seward, visit his website.

For additional information on the Leslie G. Rude Memorial Lecture, visit the webpage or contact Senior Director of Engagement Alicia Fish at 607-431-4021 or at