Better Together 2017: David McCullough

Our community education series brings innovators to the Gulf Coast to discuss emerging issues and pitch big ideas for transforming our region.

SOLD OUT -- Better Together 2017 David McCullough: Great People Make Great Communities

Our Better Together luncheon is currently at capacity but we are accepting reservations for our waiting list. If you would like to be put on the list, please fill out our contact form here.

Join Gulf Coast Community Foundation for a luncheon and conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough about communities, leadership, and innovation.

March 2, 2017
The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
Lunch and program begin promptly at 11:45am
Book signing at 1:30 p.m.
$75 (includes lunch)


Save the Date David McCullough

David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, has been called the “citizen chronicler” by a former Librarian of Congress. Yet this acclaimed historian insists that communities create the individual citizens whose stories he chronicles. “There’s no such thing as a self-made man or woman,” McCullough has said. “And…very little of consequence happens alone. It’s always a joint effort.”

Gulf Coast Community Foundation has invited McCullough to join us for a lunchtime conversation on how great communities shape great people, and vice-versa. As our Gulf Coast region looks to the future, with all of its challenges and opportunities, we think this living legend’s perspective and optimistic belief in the ideals of America can help us dream big for our community while also attending to the fundamentals required for progress. 

A History Lesson for the Future

David McCullough is a fitting speaker for Gulf Coast’s annual “Better Together” luncheon, which began 13 years ago with a discussion of the value of social capital and connected communities. In best-selling books like Truman and The Wright Brothers, McCullough masterfully illustrates how communities shape the people who come from them, and how in turn those people can shape the still-unfolding events that eventually become “history.”

According to McCullough, regional identities and a shared sense of purpose drive the innovations born of a community. At a hyper-local level, meanwhile, our upbringing in neighborhoods and homes lays the foundation for things like attitude, spirit, moral sense, and modes of civility.

Orville and Wilbur Wright, for example, were products of both a “hotbed of invention” in turn-of-the-19th-century Dayton, Ohio, and a nurturing home full of books to be read and love from encouraging parents. While their house was modest and the brothers never received a college education or formal scientific training, these two men went on to “solve a problem that had never been solved by anybody,” says McCullough.

He may write histories and biographies, but David McCullough stresses that his subjects lived in “their present.” For them, nothing was predetermined. “They don’t know how it’s going to come out,” he says.

As our region makes collective decisions today that will shape our Gulf Coast and its citizens for generations, we welcome the insights of this world-class storyteller in helping us plan and write our own future.