Each year, the Missouri Western Foundation welcomes a guest speaker to speak about critical issues that our nation and world are facing today. The only downturn to the speakers that the foundation chooses is the fact that many of these speakers are on one political party or the other. This year’s Convocation on Critical Issues was supposed to be over energy. Thomas Boone Pickens spoke on energy and its relation to both the presidential candidates. Pickens even went on to discuss how he has met with President Obama and how he doesn’t have an energy plan. As a speaker who comes to address a large crowd of students they should try to stay neutral. We have seen it in the last few years when Western brought yet another political figure, Newt Gingrich, former Republican president candidate. It’s time the foundation takes a step back and considers changing the convocation topic from "Critical Issues" to "Motivational Issues." There are many speakers that the foundation could welcome to Western that are in a minimal price range and would have a greater impact on the students, faculty and St. Joseph community. Some of the many inspirational speakers that speak on college and university campuses throughout the United States include Anderson Cooper from CNN; Michelle Aguilar, Season 6 Winner from the Biggest Loser; and Vernice "FlyGirl" Armour, America's first African American female combat pilot. Selecting a speaker who has had an impact would be beneficial. Students could feel a connection from one of the three individuals that we listed above: Cooper for coming out about his being gay and making it to the top, Aguilar for taking a challenge to change her life and Armour for becoming the first African American combat pilot. The difference is clear, and many students can relate to one of those three. If the foundation would like to see the numbers increase in years to come they should consider changing the topic for next years’ convocation.