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Snow to speak in November

Friday, September 21, 2007  
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By Alison Roberts

Oklahoma Christian University administrators announced former White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow, will address students, faculty and friends of the university at a special event on Nov. 29.

Snow ended his tenure at the White House on Sept. 14 after serving as press secretary since May 8, 2006. Before stepping onto Capitol Hill, Snow worked as a journalist in both print and broadcast media in outlets such as USA Today, Washington Times and FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel. He also served as a speech writer for President George H.W. Bush in 1991.

“He will bring an unusual insight into politics in Washington,” Nathan Mellor, the executive director of the academy of leadership and liberty said. “He has been on both sides of the struggle between politics and journalism.”

Administrators also feel Snow will provide students a unique perspective on dealing with difficulties in life. Snow, who was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2005, has recently discovered that the cancer spread to his liver.

“I saw him recently on FOX News talking about his battles with cancer,” Vice President for Advancement John deSteiguer said. “He talks very plainly about what he is going through and brings a lot of lessons to the table.”

In what Mellor calls “an Oklahoma Christian tradition,” Snow comes to the university through a grant provided by the Hatton Sumners Foundation.

The Hatton Sumners Foundation honors the memory of the former Texan congressman of the same name. Sumners spent much of his career fighting to preserve the checks and balances of the U.S. government. The foundation designates grants for the purpose of ensuring that future Americans understand democracy and share the same mind-set as Sumners himself, according to the foundation.

“This event is part of the Hatton Sumners Speaker Series,” Mellor said. “Tony Snow is only one of many distinguished individuals that have come to speak at Oklahoma Christian.”

“For decades, OC has had speakers who have really had a great impact out in the world come to campus and speak to the student body and our off campus constituency,” de Steiguer said.

Some of the previous guests on the university’s campus have included Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, General Tommy Franks, Dinesh D’Souza, Kenneth Starr and Michael Medved.

“This is an important part of the educational process,” Oklahoma Christian President Mike O’Neal said. “The Sumners Foundation has done us a great favor by funding these programs. We get people of significance, people that are good role models and people that have a good message and expose them to our students so that they have an opportunity to hear and see these people.”

The speaker series are designed by university officials to provide students with access to individuals that have made a significant impact on their field regardless of their views.

“Students will gain a broader view of complex issues,” Mellor said. “This will prepare them to be more well-rounded citizens.”

Administrators encourage student participation in the main event. Tickets will be made available free of charge for students with an ID card before being issued to a public audience. While at Oklahoma Christian, Snow will also attend a dinner on campus and reception at the home of President O’Neal.

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