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Over 1,000 tickets still available for Colin Powell speech Jan. 24

Central Michigan University has distributed about 2,000 tickets to students as of Thursday for former U.S. Secretary of State and military general Colin Powell’s Martin Luther King Jr. week speech.

Powell will serve as keynote speaker for Martin Luther King Jr. celebration week. The event is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Jan. 24 at the CMU Events Center.

Tickets were available for distribution starting Dec. 3 and are still available free of charge at Tickets Central, with a two ticket limit per person, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until tickets run out.

There were over 3,300 general admission tickets available for the event, according to Pamela Gates, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences, who is co-hosting the event. Gates said in a Dec. 4 statement that she expected all of the arena’s seats to be filled.

“We have more than 3,300 general admission tickets, and we expect to give all of them to students, faculty and community members, ” she said.

Bob Ebner, Director of University Events, said he is still very confident that seats will be filled before the Jan. 24 event.

“People are very excited about this event,” Ebner said. “There’s been a lot of promotion, a lot of buzz, I think we’ll see a very large crowd come out for this.”

The retired general will be giving his speech, titled “Taking Charge,” as part of the Philip A. Hart and William G. Milliken Speaker Series, which is housed within CHSBS. Powell’s appearance cost the university $125,000, a majority of which will come from the series’ fund.

Along with CHSBS, Program Board and the Office of Institutional Diversity are also funding a portion of the event. Ebner said the Powell keynote is an especially important event for CMU.

“This is a big deal, and we have a lot of people working very hard and taking this very seriously,” Ebner said. “It’s not every day someone like Powell comes to little ol’ CMU.”

Powell earned 10 separate medals during his 35-year service in the military, including the prestigious Purple Heart award.


  1. General Powell is a great leader, but the $125,000 could have been better spent elsewhere. He would have been a perfect speaker 10 or 20 years ago, but frankly, he isn’t relevant today. General Powell won’t say anything challenging the orthodoxy of campus or the Washington establishment. And don’t worry: Those 1,000 remaining seats will be full because professors will require students to attend or bribe them with undeniable amounts of extra credit.

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