JACKSON, Tenn. – Oct. 2, 2002 – More than $400,000 was raised for student scholarships from Union University’s Sixth Annual Scholarship Banquet this year featuring keynote speaker James H. Baker, former secretary of state under President George H. Bush, held Tuesday night. An additional $402,000 was raised by the university since the announcement was made last spring that Baker would be speaking, bringing the total amount raised for scholarships to over $802,000, the most ever raised for one scholarship banquet at Union.
“How grateful we are for the generous support by the friends of Union University,” said Union President David S. Dockery. “These generous gifts will help keep the excellent education provided by Union accessible to numerous quality students in coming years.”
Baker, the former Secretary of State under President George H. Bush, has served in senior government positions under three United States Presidents including the Ford, Reagan and Bush administrations. He spoke on the era of transition the United States has seen in over the last quarter of a century in international relations and the economy, pointing out the lessons we can learn from the past.
“More important to us as Americans than our disagreements is what we have in common – the underlying consensus about fundamental issues,” Baker told the large crowd in attendance.
He touched on dynamic changes of the economy during the 1970s as well as international relations.
Baker met earlier in the evening with a small group of Union students and faculty members on campus. Union assistant professor of political science Sean Evans and his students Matt Oshel and Greg Wilson enjoyed hearing Baker’s perspective on Iraq. Baker served as secretary of state during the first U.S. invasion of Iraq.
“It’s not often you get to hear from someone with his expertise on the issue that is the issue of prominence today, which is whether we should go into Iraq,” said Evans.
Baker told Evans, and repeated in his speech, that President George W. Bush’s policy of preemption is not a new policy. It follows what the U.S. did in Panama and Granada.
“Here if we have responded after the event, we will have responded too late,” he said.
Lead sponsors for this year’s banquet were BancorpSouth and Carl and Alice Kirkland. Premier sponsors include Chip and Rita Christian, Benny and Norma Fesmire, First Bank, Jack and Zan Holmes, Jerry Kuykendall & AK Enterprises, Pentair Corporation, Schilling Enterprises, Inc., Gary and Lisa Taylor, Union Planters National Bank and White Investments LLC, Roy White, CEO/President.
Sara B. Horn,