Media Information
Amanda J. Billings
Executive Director of Marketing and Communications
Phone: (812) 330-6222
Fax: (812) 330-6205

Fifth Annual O'Bannon Institute
to Feature Donaldson & Begala


Bloomington, Indiana—Forty year ABC news veteran Sam Donaldson and CNN political analyst Paul Begala will headline the fifth annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service at Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington on April 24th and 25th.  This year’s O’Bannon Institute theme is “National Issues, Local Impact” and discussions will be focused on the 2008 Presidential election and how candidates’ positions on the issues of education, healthcare, and the environment will affect the state of Indiana.  Both Donaldson and Begala will provide commentary on the Presidential race as part of their O’Bannon Institute remarks.

Sam Donaldson will headline the Institute’s fundraising reception and dinner that will be held on April 24th, with proceeds benefiting the Ivy Tech Center for Civic Engagement.  A conversation with Paul Begala will be the highlight of a full day’s activities on April 25th.  In addition, Ivy Tech students, faculty and staff will participate in volunteer activities to kick-off the Institute’s events.

The O’Bannon Institute, launched five years ago by Ivy Tech-Bloomington, is an annual opportunity for the community to come together to discuss issues related to non-profits, education and political service.  Previous speakers at the Institute have included former U.S. Senators, Governors, and others who have spent their lives in service to their communities. 

John Whikehart, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington, said that Donaldson and Begala   bring unique insight to the Institute in a very exciting election year. “Less than two weeks before we go to the polls in Indiana to help choose our next President, Ivy Tech is a providing a forum to discuss the issues that will impact our citizens.  Sam Donaldson and Paul Begala have spent their lives involved in Presidential politics, and Institute attendees will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear their thoughts on this historic race for President.” 

Sam Donaldson is a forty year veteran of ABC News and was Chief White House Correspondent for the network during the Carter, Reagan and Clinton Presidencies.  Mr. Donaldson co-anchored, with Diane Sawyer, the ABC television program Prime Time Live and co-anchored the Sunday morning news program This Week With Sam Donaldson & Cokie Roberts.  He currently appears on ABC News Now, the ABC News digital network.  His half-hour show Politics Live is an unscripted dialogue with guests discussing the top political news stories of the day

Paul Begala, CNN political analyst and former top aide to President Clinton, was a senior strategist for the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign for President.  He is the author of several New York Times best-selling books, including  Is Our Children Learning? The Case Against George W. Bush, Buck Up, Suck Up, and Come Back When You Foul Up and Take It Back:  Our Party, Our Country, Our Future – the latter two he co-authored with James Carville.

Those interested in attending the O’Bannon Institute fundraising event featuring Sam Donaldson should contact Gretchen Bass in the Chancellor’s Office at 812-330-6001 or by e-mail at  Information about the dinner is also available on the O’Bannon Institute website at Tickets are $35 per person, or $50 for those wanting to attend a private reception with Mr. Donaldson.  Reservations are also being accepted for the Friday, April 25th Institute (which is free), and those reservations can be made at the same contact information listed above.

Ivy Tech Community College is the nation’s largest statewide community college system with a single accreditation and the state’s second largest public post-secondary institution with over 110,000 students enrolled annually (summer, fall and spring semesters unduplicated headcount).  Ivy Tech has 23 campuses and nearly 100 learning centers located throughout Indiana.  It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering degrees and certificates that lead to good paying jobs and credits that transfer to other Indiana colleges and universities, allowing students to pursue bachelors' degrees. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.