Mississippi College

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush Headlines Mississippi College Scholarship Dinner

December 10, 2012

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will be the keynote speaker at Mississippi College’s spring scholarship dinner on March 26, 2013.

The younger brother of former President George W. Bush, Jeb Bush pressed for public education reform, including charter schools, during his service as Florida’s 43rd governor from 1999 to 2007. The prominent Republican is widely mentioned a potential White House candidate in 2016.

Gov. Bush is the latest in a  lineup of  American luminaries headlining the major event on the Clinton campus.

Last spring’s MC scholarship banquet speaker, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who’s now a Stanford University professor, helped raise $333,000 for student scholarships at the event attracting nearly 600 guests to Anderson Hall. Other speakers in the series at the Baptist-affiliated university have included magazine executive Steve Forbes and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Held since 2008, the scholarship dinners have raised more than $1.3 million to help academically talented students with financial need receive a Mississippi College education.

Leaders at the Christian university believe Gov. Bush’s timely visit will provide plenty of food for thought for his audience as well as give a significant boost to the university’s scholarships for deserving students. While President Obama was re-elected in November to a second term, many people are already starting to talk about the next White House election.

The 59-year-old Floridian did a superb job as his state’s governor, and would have to be considered a leading GOP prospect for president in 2016, says Ron Howard, the university’s vice president for academic affairs and a political science professor.

“His record of moderate to progressive leadership, together with his known voting-getting power among Latinos, makes this son and brother of former U.S. presidents a major player in Republican politics over the next four years,” Howard said. “Gov. Bush is known for his advocacy for immigration and educational reform.”

A native of Midland, Texas who moved to Florida in 1981, Jeb Bush was elected the 43rd Governor of Florida on November 3, 1998 and re-elected by a wide margin in 2002. The son of former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush, he lives in Miami with his wife, Columba, and they have three children.

Bush is presently the head of his own successful consulting business, Jeb Bush and Associates, where his clients range from small technology start-ups to well-known Fortune 500 companies. Bush is also the chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a national organization focused on education reform. He’s a 1973 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Texas with a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Affairs.

Before becoming governor, Bush served as Florida’s Secretary of Commerce where he promoted the Sunshine State’s business climate worldwide. After moving to Florida in 1981, he and partner Amando Codina launched a small real estate development company, which became the largest full-service commercial real estate firm in South Florida.

During his tenure as Florida’s governor, Bush cut taxes every year and his state led the USA in job growth. Under his leadership in Tallahassee, Florida students made dramatic improvements in their achievement levels, and he put Florida at the forefront of consumer healthcare advances by signing Medicaid reform legislation in June 2006.

Individual tickets for Mississippi College’s 2013 scholarship banquet are $200 per person. The event on that Tuesday evening in Anderson Hall begins at 6:30 p.m. For additional information, contact Amy Rowan at 601.925.3257 or email her at rowan@mc.edu. See www.mc.edu/banquet for additional details or to purchase tickets online.

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