By Amanda Lee Anderson
On November 19, 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell will speak at the Comstock Auditorium, located in the School of Music. He will be a guest of U of L’s McConnell Center for Political Leadership.
Powell is known for being a four-star general, a former twelfth chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the recipient of many awards and honors. The most notable include two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President’s Citizens Medal, and the Congressional Gold Medal. He holds honorary degrees from universities all over the United States, and prior to his appointment, he was the chair of America’s Promise, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to mobilize and empower America’s youth.He is also a noted speaker. Dr. Gary Gregg, director of the McConnell Center, described him as one of the top five speakers in the United States.
“I conducted a poll among all the McConnell Scholars, asking them who they most wanted to come and speak, and Colin Powell was the most requested,” Gregg said. “Then Senator McConnell made the request for us.”
The McConnell Scholars themselves are looking forward to this monumental event. Some, like sophomore political science major Coy Travis, believe that this is demonstrative of U of L’s quality of education and opportunity for students.
“It is a tremendous opportunity for the McConnell Center and for U ofL,” Travis said. “Schools like Harvard and Yale can boast that they have had four Secretaries of State visit their campuses in the past ten years, and now U of L can boast the same thing. Not only that, but a group of U of L students will be able to interact with him on a personal level.”
Sophomore biology major and McConnell Scholar Jonathan Ballard voiced a similar opinion. “The opportunity for U of L students to meet and interact with General Colin Powell, America’s sixty-fifth Secretary of State, is a phenomenal event. We are very fortunate to have this chance to learn and grow from his profound leadership.”
Tickets to this event are available from the McConnell Center web site, at www.mcconnellcenter.com. They are being distributed on a first come, first serve basis. For students who are not able to get tickets in time, the Center is hoping to set up a closed-circuit television to watch the program live. Visit the website for more information, or call the McConnell Center at 852-3323.