Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
By Jayten Ames
For the past 12 years, the university has hosted the McLane Lecture for students and staff to hear from speakers who have been in positions of influence.
This year, the lecture received more attention from students than usual when it was announced that the speaker would be George W. Bush.
The prestigious guest caused students to seek access to this event with quite a bit of interest. Due to limited seating in the Mayborn Campus Center, attendance for the event required tickets for entrance. The day that tickets for the lecture became available, the turnout was large.
As one walked into the building, all he or she could see were lining the walls of the Bawcom Student Union so they could claim tickets to the event. The line stretched from the Campus Activities Center, down the wall past Starbucks and all the way out the door to the football stadium.
Interest in the event didn’t just end with students. Although numerous alumni and community members inquired about purchasing tickets, they were reserved only for students, faculty and staff in addition to special guests of the university such as trustees and donors.
The event was well received. The turnout was almost unprecedented, as there was a point that there was standing room only in the cram-packed arena. The president received a total of four standing ovations, and there was a private luncheon in his honor after he spoke at the lecture.
This was a moment on campus that many students will not soon forget. As students endeavor to live by the inspirational words of the former president, one must wonder what can be done to top this year’s lecture.