You may recall that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was scheduled to speak at Bluefield College back in the fall, until weather intervened in the form of Hurricane Sandy.
His talk has now been rescheduled for April 16.
Here’s a release from the college with details:
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush has rescheduled his visit to Bluefield College, Tuesday, April 16, for the Hugh I. Shott, Jr. Lecture Series.
Originally slated for October 30, the Bush lecture was postponed due to an early winter storm created by a strong cold front from the Great Lakes that merged with moisture from Hurricane Sandy along the East Coast to dump nearly a foot ofsnow on the Greater Bluefield region.
But now, thanks to the Hugh I. Shott, Jr. Foundation, the Bush visit is back on with a lecture — featuring limited public access after invited guests are seated — at 11 a.m. on April 16 in the Bluefield College Dome Gymnasium.
In addition to his speech, open to the community at-large if space permits, Bush will attend a private reception and luncheon following his lecture. The former Florida governor will also participate in an invitation-only discussion forum with students from Bluefield College, Bluefield State College, Concord University, West Virginia University, and Marshall University.
A two-term Florida governor, elected in 1998 and 2002, Bush is well known for his policies that promote job growth. In fact, Bush tax cuts during every year of his tenure as governor helped Florida lead the nation in job creation. During his visit to Bluefield College, he will speak about “America’s Promise in Uncertain Times.”
“The Hugh I. Shott, Jr. Foundation has sponsored the Shott Lecture Series since 1988,with a lecture approximately every five years that rotates between Bluefield College, Bluefield State College and Concord University,” said Shott Foundation president R.W. ‘Buz’ Wilkinson. “Our hope is that the lectures will accomplish two goals: provide quality speakers with national and international recognition, and give students from the three local colleges — plus West Virginia University and Marshall University — the opportunity to interact with these national leaders in a forum environment. We are pleased that this sixth lecture will bring Jeb Bush to our area.”
While governor, Bush put Florida on the forefront of consumer healthcare advances by signing Medicaid reform legislation, “Empowered Care.” He also led efforts to promote and reform education. In fact, during his tenure as governor, Florida students made the greatest gains in achievement, and Florida was one of only a handful of states to close the achievement gap. He will speak about the challenges facing education during his remarks at Bluefield College.
“We are fortunate to have Governor Bush as keynote speaker in this year’s Shott Lecture Series,” said BC president Dr. David Olive. “As governor, he had a tremendous track record in improving student success and making Florida public schools a model for our nation. He designed policies that positively impacted students’ reading at grade level and improved graduation rates.”
Before governor, Bush served Florida as secretary of commerce, during which time he promoted the state’s business climate worldwide. He also created Foundation for Florida’s Future, a non-profit organization that later joined forces with the Greater Miami Urban League to establish one of the state’s first charter schools.
In addition to politics, Bush formed and managed a real estate development company, which grew to become the largest full-service commercial real estate company in south Florida. He also co-authored “Profiles in Character,” a book profiling 14 of Florida’s civic heroes making a difference without claiming a single news headline.
Currently, Bush is chair of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and head of his own consulting business, Jeb Bush and Associates, where his clients range from small technology start-ups to well-known Fortune 500 companies. The son of former United States president George H.W. Bush, he is also the chairman ofFoundation for Excellence in Education, a national foundation focused on education reform.
Bush’s visit to Bluefield College is part of the Shott Lecture Series, developed by the Hugh I. Shott, Jr. Foundation to “enhance the educational opportunities available to students of southern West Virginia and southwest Virginia.” Prominent speakers in various fields are invited to speak for the series that alternates between Bluefield College, Bluefield State College and Concord University.
With his appearance this spring, Bush will join a distinguished list of speakers in the lecture series, including former U.S. Homeland Security director Tom Ridge (BSC 2006), former U.S. secretary of education Dr. William J. Bennett (CU 2001),former vice president of the United States Dan Quayle (BC 1997), former U.S. secretary of state Dr. Henry Kissinger (BSC 1991), and former U.S. ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick (CU 1988).
“Bluefield College, along with the other colleges and the communities throughout Virginia and West Virginia, are grateful to the Shott Foundation for not only its generosity in funding this event, but also for the vision of its directors to have created this lecture series,” said Dr. Olive. “The lecture series is a wonderful gift to our students and communities, and we are richly blessed to have access to speakers such as Governor Jeb Bush due to the Foundation’s generosity.”
The Shott Foundation, founded in 1984 by former Bluefield Daily Telegraph publisher Hugh I. Shott, Jr., who died in 1985, is designed to reinvest its resources “to improve the social and economic quality of life in southern West Virginia and other communities within the trade area of the Daily Telegraph.” Shott once stated that the Foundation allowed him to return the benefits of his enterprises to the communities that helped build his success.