Union University

Union University

Union University News

Carson urges Americans to become serious about education, politics

Dr. Ben Carson speaks at the Carl Perkins Civic Center during Union’s 16th annual Scholarship Banquet Oct. 22. The sold-out event raised more than $500,000 for student scholarships. (Photo by Morris Abernathy)
Dr. Ben Carson speaks at the Carl Perkins Civic Center during Union’s 16th annual Scholarship Banquet Oct. 22. The sold-out event raised more than $500,000 for student scholarships. (Photo by Morris Abernathy)

View More Photos

JACKSON, Tenn.Oct. 23, 2013 – America may be experiencing changes in its power structure, but Dr. Benjamin S. Carson said he believes God is not ready to let Americans relinquish leadership as a powerful and influential nation.

“If America ever ceases to be good, she ceases to be great,” Carson said Oct. 22 at Union University’s 16th annual Scholarship Banquet. “It is our responsibility as God-fearing Americans to once again make America good.”

Carson retired in June as a full professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he directed pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for more than 25 years. He was the keynote speaker for the annual banquet at the Carl Perkins Civic Center, a sold-out event that raised more than $500,000 for student scholarships.

The author of five books, Carson holds more than 60 honorary doctorates and has received hundreds of awards and citations, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008. In 2001, CNN and Time magazine named him one of the nation’s 20 foremost physicians and scientists. The movie “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story” premiered on TNT in 2009 and is based on Carson’s memoir.

During his address, Carson explained how his childhood experiences helped shape the man he has become.

Medicine was the only occupation that ever interested Carson, he said, as he was always excited to visit the doctor’s office or watch TV medical programs. He aspired at a young age to become a doctor, but his future seemed bleak due to his parent’s divorce and his childhood spent in the ghetto.

Carson said his chances at success also were hindered from being a careless student. But the one person to never stop believing in his potential was his mother – and she continued to push Carson and his brother to do their best.

“By not accepting excuses, she made us look for solutions,” Carson noted about his mother. “If you find somebody who can accept responsibility, then you’re generally going to have somebody who is going to be extremely successful in whatever they do.”

Carson said his mother had only a third grade education, but she worked hard to make sure her children learned all that they could. What often seemed like torture to Carson – such as giving up play time in order to read and write book reports at his mother’s request – actually set him on his pathway to success.

By the seventh grade, Carson had gone from the bottom of his class to the top. He also developed a new impression of himself, realizing his potential and his desire to pursue his aspirations.

As a result, Carson reminded the audience to invest in young people that lack direction or support from their families.

“We can’t afford to throw any of our citizens away,” said Carson, adding that each person has the potential to make valuable contributions to society. “We have to collectively understand in this nation that we’re all in the same boat. And if part of the boat sinks, the rest of us are going down, too.”

Carson noted that nearly a third of high school students fail to graduate, and many college students have to take remedial courses to learn basic college skills. In order for schools and universities to improve, he said Americans must once again become serious about education.

“The founders of this nation said our nation is based on a well-educated and informed populace,” Carson said. “If the populace ever becomes other than that, the nature of the nation changes.”

These changes impact more than just educational standards, as Carson said that the political sphere is quickly shifting due to increasing governmental power.

“I don’t have anything against government – good government,” Carson said. “But I have a real problem with government that expands and expands until it reaches into every part of your life. This is exactly what the founders of this nation warned against.”

Americans are facing their “last stand” against the government, Carson said, with the power structure beginning to change even faster as the government takes control of health care. But he also noted that God will honor the prayers for decency, honesty and a return to the stature that Carson said the nation deserves.

“The Bible says that without a vision, the people perish,” Carson said. “The same thing could happen with this nation if we don’t once again reclaim the vision and reclaim the values that made this into a great nation.”

The annual Scholarship Banquet has become one of the premiere events in West Tennessee each year, and is Union’s primary fundraising event for its student scholarship fund. Previous speakers have included George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Condoleezza Rice, Mikhail Gorbachev, Laura Bush, Tony Blair and Robert Gates.

All told, Union’s Scholarship Banquets have generated more than $6 million for student scholarships.

Beth Knoll

 

Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - David S. Dockery, president of the university, welcomes Dr. Ben Carson to the campus of Union University prior to the annual Scholarship Banquet.
10/22/13 - David S. Dockery, president of the university, welcomes Dr. Ben Carson to the campus of Union University prior to the annual Scholarship Banquet. - Morris Abernathy
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson and his wife Candy are greeted by student leaders upon arrival to Union.
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson and his wife Candy are greeted by student leaders upon arrival to Union. - Morris Abernathy
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 -  Dr. Ben Carson greets students at Union University prior to the annual Scholarship Banquet.
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson greets students at Union University prior to the annual Scholarship Banquet. - Morris Abernathy
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson answers questions from students at Union University prior to his appearance at the annual Scholarship Banquet.
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson answers questions from students at Union University prior to his appearance at the annual Scholarship Banquet. - Morris Abernathy
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - David S. Dockery, president of the university, talks with Dr. Ben Carson and his wife Candy prior to the annual Scholarship Banquet, at which Carson was the featured speaker.
10/22/13 - David S. Dockery, president of the university, talks with Dr. Ben Carson and his wife Candy prior to the annual Scholarship Banquet, at which Carson was the featured speaker. - Morris Abernathy
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Guests and donors converse with each other moments prior to hearing Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, speak to a full house for the 16th annual Union University Scholarship Banquet.
10/22/13 - Guests and donors converse with each other moments prior to hearing Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, speak to a full house for the 16th annual Union University Scholarship Banquet. - Kathleen Murray
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Caleb Valentine, president of Student Government Association, gives the invocation at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet at the Carl Perkins Civic Center.
10/22/13 - Caleb Valentine, president of Student Government Association, gives the invocation at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet at the Carl Perkins Civic Center. - Amanda Rohde
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Vickie Searl and Paige Tang, junior music majors, play the harp and violin at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet.
10/22/13 - Vickie Searl and Paige Tang, junior music majors, play the harp and violin at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet. - Matt McDaniel
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Proclamation performs at the beginning of the 16th Annual Scholarship Banquet at the Carl Perkins Civic Center.
10/22/13 - Proclamation performs at the beginning of the 16th Annual Scholarship Banquet at the Carl Perkins Civic Center. - Anne Richoux
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Members of Proclamation perform at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet at the Carl Perkins Civic Center.
10/22/13 - Members of Proclamation perform at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet at the Carl Perkins Civic Center. - Jacob Moore
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - A timeline of David Dockery's years as Union president fills the stage at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet at the Carl Perkins Civic Center.
10/22/13 - A timeline of David Dockery's years as Union president fills the stage at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet at the Carl Perkins Civic Center. - Jacob Moore
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - A packed audience anticipates hearing Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, speak about overcoming circumstances and pursuing higher learning at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet.
10/22/13 - A packed audience anticipates hearing Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, speak about overcoming circumstances and pursuing higher learning at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet. - Kathleen Murray
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - David S. Dockery, president of the university, welcomes guests to the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet at the Carl Perkins Civic Center.
10/22/13 - David S. Dockery, president of the university, welcomes guests to the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet at the Carl Perkins Civic Center. - Anne Richoux
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - David S. Dockery, president of the university, speaks on Union's national honors at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet.
10/22/13 - David S. Dockery, president of the university, speaks on Union's national honors at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet. - Jacob Moore
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Gary Grisham, president and CEO of The Bank of Jackson, introduces Dr. Ben Carson as the speaker for the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet, which raised over $500,000 for student scholarships.
10/22/13 - Gary Grisham, president and CEO of The Bank of Jackson, introduces Dr. Ben Carson as the speaker for the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet, which raised over $500,000 for student scholarships. - Matt McDaniel
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, speaks to a full house at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet.
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, speaks to a full house at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet. - Matt McDaniel
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson, pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, speaks at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet, which raised over $500,000 for student scholarships.
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson, pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, speaks at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet, which raised over $500,000 for student scholarships. - Matt McDaniel
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, speaks about the importance of education at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet at the Carl Perkins Civic Center.
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, speaks about the importance of education at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet at the Carl Perkins Civic Center. - Amanda Rohde
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, speaks about overcoming circumstances and pursuing higher learning at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet.
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, speaks about overcoming circumstances and pursuing higher learning at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet. - Amanda Rohde
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson speaks at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet.
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson speaks at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet. - Anne Richoux
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson speaks on the need for literacy and political awareness in America at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet.
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson speaks on the need for literacy and political awareness in America at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet. - Jacob Moore
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, speaks to a full house at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet at the Carl Perkins Civic Center.
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, speaks to a full house at the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet at the Carl Perkins Civic Center. - Kathleen Murray
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, shares his life story with guests of the 16 annual Scholarship Banquet, which raised over $500,000 this year for student scholarships.
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, shares his life story with guests of the 16 annual Scholarship Banquet, which raised over $500,000 this year for student scholarships. - Morris Abernathy
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson poses with Tim Smith (far left), dean of the School of Nursing, and his family after the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet.
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson poses with Tim Smith (far left), dean of the School of Nursing, and his family after the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet. - Matt McDaniel
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Blake Hodges, sophomore business administration major, and fellow students greet Dr. Ben Carson following the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet.
10/22/13 - Blake Hodges, sophomore business administration major, and fellow students greet Dr. Ben Carson following the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet. - Anne Richoux
Large | X-Large
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson greets Jordan Pratt, enrollment counselor for undergraduate admissions, after the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet.
10/22/13 - Dr. Ben Carson greets Jordan Pratt, enrollment counselor for undergraduate admissions, after the 16th annual Scholarship Banquet. - Jacob Moore

Media contact: Mark Kahler, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

Search News


Recent News

Aug.
July
June
May
April
March


Excellence-Driven Christ-Centered People-Focused Future-Directed

Apply to Union Campus Visits Give to Union