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Amanda J. Billings
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Phone: (812) 330-6222
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email: abillings7@ivytech.edu


Ex-First Lady Laura Bush to speak at Ivy Tech event

January 6, 2010

By Tom Spalding
tom.spalding@indystar.com


Former First Lady Laura W. Bush will be the featured speaker this spring at a forum that has turned into Ivy Tech Community College's signature annual event, the school announced today.

The Texan's speech will focus on literacy -- a cause dear to her heart -- during Ivy Tech's seventh annual O'Bannon Institute for Community Service in Bloomington.

Ivy Tech-Bloomington Chancellor John Whikehart says that there is no one better fit to discuss the topic of literacy than the former first lady.

"Ivy Tech is honored and pleased to provide the public an opportunity to hear Mrs. Laura W. Bush's expert remarks on literacy and education," he said. "As a leader of youth literacy initiatives, Mrs. Bush has dedicated her life to changing lives, and we are confident that our featured speaker will bring life and light to issues of local, national and global concern."

Proceeds of the April 8 benefit the Ivy Tech Center for Civic Engagement.

Bush -- actively involved in issues of education, health care and human rights -- is the latest high profile speaker at the O'Bannon Institute event, launched seven years ago as a yearly opportunity for the community to come together to discuss government, volunteerism, nonprofit organizations, education and political participation.

Past speakers include historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Eugene Robinson, Sen. George McGovern, Sen. Birch Bayh, Sen. Alan Simpson, Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, journalist Sam Donaldson, campaign strategist Paul Begala, and Indiana First Lady Judy O'Bannon.

Bush is also set to speak at a Boy Scout celebration in February in Evansville. The Boy Scouts of America is marking its 100th anniversary in February, and local Scouts plan to celebrate at several events.