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Huckabee to deliver Distinguished Speaker address

Tuesday, October 7, 2008   (0 Comments)
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Former Republican presidential nomination hopeful and Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee will continue the Oklahoma Christian University (OC) tradition of intriguing and dynamic speakers at the next installment of the Hatton W. Sumners Distinguished Speaker series. Former Sumners Speakers have included Tony Snow, Judge Kenneth Starr and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. The dinner and lecture will take place on Thursday, October 23.

Huckabee will deliver an address on character and leadership. He will also be available following the lecture to sign books which will be available for purchase.

“We are very excited to have Gov. Huckabee and we hope that this gives the OC alumni another reason to visit campus,” stated Piper Johnson, Director of Development and Marketing at the Academy of Leadership & Liberty.

From 1996-2007, Huckabee served as the 44th Governor of Arkansas. When he left office on January 9, 2007, he set out on a nationwide tour to promote his fifth book, “From Hope to Higher Ground: 12 STOPS to Restoring America’s Greatness.” The book reveals his optimistic vision for what America can become with the right kind of leadership and a clear direction.

Huckabee became governor in July 1996 when his predecessor resigned. He was one of the youngest governors in the country at the time. Huckabee was elected to a full four-year term as governor in 1998, attracting the largest percentage of the vote ever received by a Republican gubernatorial nominee in Arkansas, and was re-elected to another four-year term in November 2002.

Huckabee first was elected lieutenant governor in a 1993 special election and was elected to a full four-year term in 1994. He was only the fourth Republican to be elected to statewide office since Reconstruction.

A significant part of his adult life was spent as a pastor and denominational leader. He became the youngest president ever of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, the largest denomination in Arkansas. Huckabee led rapidly growing congregations in Pine Bluff and Texarkana. He said those experiences gave him a deep sense of the problems faced by individuals and families.

Huckabee’s efforts to improve his own health have received national attention. Diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2003, he lost 110 pounds. Barely two years later, he has completed four marathons: The 2005 and 2006 Little Rock Marathons, the Marine Corps Marathon and the ING New York City Marathon. As a result of his accomplishments, The Road Runners Club of America named him its ‘Southern Region Runner of the Year’ and USA Track & Field has named him their ‘Athlete of the Week’ for the country.

Continuing to call for a national emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle, Huckabee completed his fourth book, “Quit Digging Your Grave With A Knife and Fork.” This 12-stop program is a no-nonsense approach to managing one’s health through lifestyle change rather than a simple diet and exercise plan.

Huckabee, 52, enjoys playing bass guitar in his rock-n-roll band, Capitol Offense, which has opened for artists such as Willie Nelson and the Charlie Daniels Band, and has played the House of Blues in New Orleans, the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, CO and for two presidential inauguration balls.

The former governor and his wife, Janet, live in North Little Rock. They have three grown children: John Mark, David and Sarah.

Other highlights of the evening will include the presentation of the Pendleton Woods Distinguished Service Award to Barbara Green, co-founder of Hobby Lobby, and a performance by CMT “Can You Duet?” stars and OC alumni the Herndon Twins.

The event is being held on the OC campus and will start with a dinner in the Gaylord University Center at 6 p.m. followed by the lecture in Hardeman Auditorium at 7:30.  Tickets are $35 for the dinner and the lecture or $15 for the lecture alone and can be purchased by contacting Jennifer Gill at 405-425-1065.

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