JACKSON, Tenn. – Oct. 25, 2001 – Union University will welcome former Prime Minister of Great Britain, John Major, as its keynote speaker for the Fifth Annual Scholarship Banquet, Tuesday, Oct. 30, at the Carl Perkins Civic Center. Major is the fourth world leader to visit West Tennessee at the invitation of Union. Previous speakers include Margaret Thatcher, Colin Powell and Mikhail Gorbachev. This will be Major's first visit to the state of Tennessee.
According to organizers, Major’s original topic for the banquet when first scheduled was to be “The Changing World,” an overview of world economics and global politics. However, in light of the recent attacks on America and the war on terrorism now underway, Major will address international terrorism and fortifying national security. In 1991, during his seven-year term as Prime Minister, Major was chairing a meeting of the Gulf War Cabinet when 10 Downing Street was attacked by terrorist missiles. Major resolved to proceed with initiating the Northern Ireland Peace Process and established counter-terrorism measures to protect the UK mainland from further attack. Working closely with President Bush and the Gulf coalition partners, Major presided over anti-terrorist protection mechanisms and instigated discussion at G7 Summits for coordinated action against the spread of international terrorism.
"We are delighted to bring this global statesman to West Tennessee," said Union President David S. Dockery. "As Margaret Thatcher's successor and President Bush's partner in the Gulf War, John Major has had a significant impact on Britain and the world during the past decade. While our own nation is currently dealing with crisis and the effects of terrorism, Mr. Major will offer much for us to think about and learn from with regards to his own experience with terrorists.”
Lead sponsors for the event include BancorpSouth and Mr. and Mrs. Carl Kirkland. Premier sponsors include Mr. and Mrs. Chip Christian, Mr. and Mrs. Benny Fesmire, First Bank, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Holmes, Porter Cable/Delta, Union Planters Bank, and White Investments, L.L.C., Roy White, President & C.E.O.
The Scholarship Banquet is supported by Union's Board of Presidential Associates for the purpose of raising funds to provide scholarships. More than 80% of all Union students receive some type of financial assistance from the university.
Limited balcony seating is still available. For more information, contact the Advancement Office at (731) 661-5050.
Sara B. Horn,