Mississippi College

Bob Dole Keynotes Mississippi College Scholarship Banquet

January 11, 2008

An American political luminary who ran for the White House, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole will be the keynote speaker at Mississippi College's scholarship banquet March 31.

As voters continue to go to the polls in primaries across the nation leading up to the November 2008 presidential election, Dole is expected to touch on the lively race for the Oval Office in his speech on the Clinton campus.

His visit to headline the MC event is a key part of the Christian university's $65 million Growing the Vision Campaign that's designed to increase support for scholarships, academic needs and building projects. Recent reports show at least $52 million has been raised since MC leaders unveiled the campaign in Fall 2006.

Dole served as Kansas senator from 1969 to 1996 and was his party's presidential nominee in 1996. He stepped down as Senate majority leader that year to run for president. Twice decorated for heroism, including Purple hearts for injuries sustained during World War II, Dole is currently special counsel at a Washington, D.C. law firm. In 2007, President George Bush named Dole as co-chair of a national commission to investigate problems at Walter Reed Army Medical center in Washington.

"We're honored to welcome a former candidate for president, Senate Majority Leader and advocate for veterans to the MC campus," said Mississippi College President Lee Royce. "We look forward to hearing his legendary wit and wisdom regarding the national and political scenes."

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the B.C. Rogers Student Center. Individual tickets for the event are $125. MC is also inviting companies and individuals to sign up for an array of sponsoring packages to enhance student scholarships and meet with the former U.S. Senate powerhouse. It ranges from $1,000 for silver sponsors to $5,000 for gold sponsors to $25,000 for silver sponsors. More than 500 visitors are expected to attend the MC banquet.

Dole, who was the Republican vice presidential candidate in 1976, has showcased his humor on a number of TV shows since leaving politics and on a number of TV commercials. He's been featured on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno, "Late Night" with Conan O'Brian and 'The Late Show" with David Letterman, among others. The Kansan has written two best-selling books on political humor. Dole is married to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Hanford Dole of North Carolina.

Brookhaven banker Bill Sones, who recently stepped down as chairman of the MC Board of Trustees, welcomes the distinguished guest to the Clinton campus. 'We're excited we are able to get a high-profile visitor like Bob Dole. He has so many years of experience," Sones said Thursday at his office at the Bank of Brookhaven. It will be great to get Dole's take on the tight race for the White House, he said.

Dole lost his 1996 White House bid to Democrat Bill Clinton, whose wife, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic senator from New York, is among her party's front-runners for the presidency.

Sones, the chairman, president and CEO of the Bank of Brookhaven, said he hopes the inaugural scholarship banquet becomes an annual event at his alma mater. The program will help MC continue to attract high-quality students, he said. With 4,600 students, MC is Mississippi's largest private university and the second oldest Baptist college in the nation with roots dating back to 1826.

Dole is also expected to meet with Mississippi media at a press conference prior to his MC speaking engagement.

For additional information on the MC scholarship banquet, contact Amy Rowan at 601-925-3201 or by e-mail at rowan@mc.edu

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