‘Commerce of the Old and New’

Mary Butkus

Standing beneath a portrait of Washington University co-founder William Greenleaf Eliot, Sir Nigel Sheinwald, British ambassador to the United States, delivers the annual T.S. Eliot Lecture March 4 in Holmes Lounge, Ridgley Hall. The T.S. Eliot Lecture is named in honor of the famed poet and author who was the grandson of William Greenleaf Eliot. Sheinwald titled his address “Britain and America: An Easy Commerce of the Old and New,” taking a line from T.S. Eliot’s Little Gidding, the final poem of his Four Quartets. Sheinwald focused his talk on the importance of the alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States for the two countries’ continued security and prosperity, despite such rising powers as China and India. “The fact that four million British people come here every year; that we are each other’s largest investors, with a million jobs on both sides of the Atlantic depending on that; that we are the top two collaborators for international science and innovation — these are not facts which arose yesterday,” Sheinwald noted. “But I call them ‘new’ because they are, for me, among the most important reasons for the confidence I have in the future of our relationship.”