By Nathaniel Conant
October 3, 2012
Thursday Oct. 4 is a big opportunity for Missouri Western students and St. Joseph residents as well. T. Boone Pickens is speaking at the 19th annual Convocation on Critical Issues.
In past years Missouri Western has had a wide spectrum of politicians, such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Newt Gingrich, to journalists like Tom Friedman of the New York Times. Even an astronaut from NASA, Jerry Leninger has been a part of the Convocation speeches.
There were many reasons Pickens was chosen to speak this year. The University Advancement committee along with other supporters and some alumni are part of the final decision of who comes to campus.
“When we bring convocation speakers we try and bring people that we think have something worthwhile to say on our critical issues. That doesn’t necessarily mean we agree or disagree but we hope you come to listen and think about their opinion.” Mark Heier, Assistant Director of Public Relations said.
Normally the schedules of the convocations are a dinner the night before the speech. But because of Pickens schedule he is flying into Rosecrans airport the morning of the convocation. His transportation from that point is handled by the Washington Speakers Bureau. After the question and answer Pickens will be headed back to the airport. His busy schedule only allows him a four hour window to come to campus.
The convocation is in Looney Complex at 10:30 a.m. followed by a luncheon in Fulkerson, starting at noon. After the lunch Pickens will be doing a short question and answer for the media and the 500 people that will also be at the meal.
Jonathan Yordy, Vice President of University Advancement, said “It’s important to take advantage of the opportunity and not just this year but any chance you get to hear from someone that is so successful and learn their mindset it is a huge advantage for the students.”
The exact amount of time Mr. Pickens will speak is unknown but Jerry Pickens says “His main points will be alternative energy sources in regard to the economy in general nad the impact it will have.”
Having the chance to listen to as powerful an individual as T. Boone Pickens is an amazing opportunity that should be taken full advantage of. There is much Missouri Western and residents of St. Joseph can learn from someone that has been and is successful as him.