Huckabee to deliver Distinguished Speaker address
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
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
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
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.