Donald Kagan is the Hillhouse Professor of History and Classics at Yale University and is the former dean of Yale College. He holds an M.A. in the classics from Brown University and a Ph.D. in history from Ohio State University.
A leading classical scholar, Kagan is most recently author of an acclaimed study, On The Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace (1994). Among his numerous articles and books on classical history are The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War (1969), The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition (1981), and The Fall of the Athenian Empire (1987).
Kagan was formerly Bass Professor of History and Classics and Western Civilization at Yale, which gave him an eyewitness view of the controversy surrounding a $20-million donation to the university. The Yale administration sparked alumni outrage when it returned the donation rather than follow the wishes of the donor and implement an agreed-upon series of programs in western civilization.
The Kagan lecture is cosponsored by the Henry Salvatori Center and the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies.