About Clay Jenkinson

Clay has been leading cultural tours for several decades. For the University of Nevada he led tours to Jefferson's France, Greece and the Mediterranean, and Jefferson's Virginia. He has also twice led tours through the Panama Canal (on cruise ship) and through Alaska (glaciers, grizzly bears, Denali National Park, etc.). He has also led groups through literary and historical England after crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary.

Clay teaches capstone humanities courses in Rome for the University of Mary.

With his dear friend and colleague Becky Cawley, Clay has led umpteen tours in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark; tours through Jefferson's Virginia; and tours on the Green River in the "footsteps" of John Wesley Powell.

Clay is a public humanities scholar stationed in Bismarck, North Dakota. He has hiked the Little Missouri River twice through the Badlands of the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming. He has visited Troy at the Hellespont, and, as John Milton put it, run "three times around Troy wall" (much to the amusement of his travel friends). He spent four years at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He has written nine books, several of them award-winning. They include his signature book, The Character of Meriwether Lewis: Explorer in the Wilderness; an edition of Lewis & Clark in North Dakota; several books on Thomas Jefferson; a book on Theodore Roosevelt and the American West; and a meditation-memoir, Message on the Wind: A Spiritual Odyssey on the Northern Plains.

Clay has made four documentary films, and is working on a fifth--about the life and achievement of CBS news commentator Eric Sevareid (a fellow North Dakotan).

Clay has won many awards, including the prestigious National Humanities Medal (the highest award of the National Endowment for the Humanities). He was once arrested in Marshall Tito's Yugoslavia. He has performed his Chautauqua characters in all fifty states, plus Britain, the Mariana Islands, and the Panama Canal.

Clay believes the National Endowment for the Humanities, the public libraries, and public broadcasting are "the most Jeffersonian things in America."