Debate between former presidential candidates will launch Sebelius Lecture Series at FHSU

Fort Hays State University is bringing an exciting new lecture series to Hays. The Keith Sebelius Lecture Series, named for the late FHSU graduate and First District Congressman, will begin this fall.

The first lecture, set for 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 4 at the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center in Sheridan Hall, will be in the format of a debate between two prominent but unsuccessful presidential candidates. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean will square off on the topic: "The Proper Role of Government in a Free Society."

Santorum, a Republican, and Dean, former national chair of the Democratic Party, will offer contrasting views on what to expect during the remaining years of the Obama administration. The debate will address a wide variety of issues concerning Americans today, from the economy to healthcare.

"The Sebelius Lecture Series fills a need at FHSU to provide robust discussions of national issues," said Dr. Edward H. Hammond. "The Student Government Association should be commended for initiating the series and providing part of the funding. My office is helping to fund the series, and we also received a grant from the Young America's Foundation."

The next speaker in the Sebelius Lecture Series will be Karl Rove, the iconic GOP political strategist whose provocative and robust knowledge of the major political issues of the day have made him one of the most sought-after political pundits of our time. During his lecture on Feb. 4, Rove, the former White House deputy chief of staff under President George W. Bush, will offer insightful analysis and predictions about the heated debates today in Washington, the nation's political course and the bigger challenges America faces.

The lectures will be a separate package from the university's annual Encore Series. Vincent Bowhay, assistant director of the Memorial Union-Special Events and Student Activities, said, "In addition to the lectures, the first 200 patrons contributing $100-$150 to the lecture series will also be invited to attend a luncheon with Howard Dean in November and with Karl Rove in February."

Tickets to the Sebelius Lecture Series will be available at the beginning of August when the Encore Series brochure is distributed. Season tickets for both lectures are $35 for reserved seating and $30 for unreserved seating for the general public, $25 for reserved seating and $20 for unreserved seating for senior citizens and people 18 and younger, and $18 for reserved seating and $8 for unreserved seating for FHSU students. Donations to be a patron of the Sebelius Lecture Series are in addition to the cost of the season tickets.

The new lecture series is named for former U.S. Rep. Keith Sebelius, who graduated from FHSU in 1941. While at FHSU, Sebelius was one of the original Lewis Field Pioneers, which allowed young men to live on campus while working a variety of jobs to pay their tuition, room and board. Sebelius was born in Norton. He earned a law degree and returned to Norton to practice law. He served on the city council and as mayor. He also served in the Kansas Senate. He became active in the Republican Party and ran for the U.S. House seat previously held by Bob Dole in 1968. He served for 12 years and did not seek reelection in 1980. He died at age 66 and is buried in Norton. His son, K. Gary Sebelius, is a federal magistrate judge and the husband of former Democratic Kansas Gov. and current U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. His son, R. Douglas Sebelius, is Norton County Attorney.

About Rick Santorum
Santorum's impressive presidential campaign positioned him as a leading voice of the Republican Party. He began his presidential campaign as a dark-horse candidate, but with a victory in the Iowa caucuses, became a center-stage challenger who went on to win another 10 states and claim the mantle of conservative alternative to the frontrunner. In four years in the U.S. House and 12 in the Senate, Santorum earned a reputation as a passionate fighter for conservative values and a vocal advocate for smaller government, cutting wasteful spending, a strong national defense and a return to America’s founding principles.

About Howard Dean
A physician who entered politics to try to get universal health coverage in the United States and instituted an innovative healthcare plan as governor of Vermont, Dean offers an experienced and dual perspective as physician and politician to the discussion of health reform in America. His groundbreaking campaign for president and subsequent four years as chair of the Democratic National Committee provided him with both an insider's view and a reformer's commitment to the economy and health care. His skillful stewardship of the national party began in 2005 and continued through the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

About Karl Rove
Rove has more than two decades of experience in the political arena. He is a political strategist and a former White House deputy chief of staff. He writes a weekly op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, appears frequently on the Fox News Channel and is the author of The New York Times bestseller, Courage and Consequence.

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