Former military general, Secretary of State Colin Powell to keynote MLK Jr. week at CMU


Former military general and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell will speak at Central Michigan University on Jan. 24.

Powell, a four-star military general and Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005 under President George W. Bush, will serve as keynote speaker for Martin Luther King Jr. celebration week, according to a release sent out by the university Monday afternoon. The event is scheduled for 8 p.m. Jan. 24 at the CMU Events Center.

Tickets will be free and made available beginning in mid-November.

“Colin Powell is a man of high character and great integrity who has much wisdom to offer the students, faculty and staff of CMU, as well as residents of the surrounding region,” University President George Ross said in the release. “We are honored and humbled to host one of America’s greatly admired and respected leaders.”

Powell will be paid $125,000 for his appearance, a 'majority' of which will come from the the Philip A. Hart and William G. Milliken Endowed Speaker Series fund, according to the release. The Office of Institutional Diversity, Multicultural Academic Students Services, Speaker Series and Program Board have also helped to fund the event.

Additional events with Powell are likely to be added at a later date, according to the release.

"Gen. Powell’s speech, ‘Taking Charge,’ is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students, the campus and the community to gain leadership counsel from one of the nation’s most highly decorated generals,” said Pamela Gates, dean of the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

A respected and well-known statesman with more than 35 years of military service, Powell rose to captain status within the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and earned more than 10 separate medals for his duty, including a Purple Heart, Bronze Star two Legion of Merit awards.

A moderate Republican and rumored vice presidential pick in 2008, Powell endorsed then-Senator Barack Obama over Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. On Thursday, he endorsed Obama over former Massachusetts governor and GOP candidate Mitt Romney.


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