Colin Powell to speak Tuesday at Show Me Center

Monday, October 1, 2012
Colin Powell

Retired four-star Army general, statesman and author Colin Powell will present a speech, "Diplomacy: Persuasion, Trust and Values," on Tuesday at the Show Me Center.

The presentation is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Southeast Missouri State University president Dr. Ken Dobbins has met Powell before, and expects him to make for a great kickoff to the university's Speakers Series.

"I was privileged to meet Gen. Powell when he visited Lift for Life Academy, a St. Louis charter school that Southeast sponsors," Dobbins said. "He's a great American, and education happens to be an important issue with him. When you think about where he was growing up in Harlem, and then taking ROTC at City College of New York and then reaching the post of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he would be the first to say that education was the key for all of that to happen. I suspect he'll touch on the importance of education in his speech Tuesday night."

Powell's speech has been cited as a compelling presentation filled with humor and anecdotes from his years of service at the highest levels of international affairs. He's also expected to describe the forging of alliances, bringing people and countries together and promoting universal ideals of democracy and peace around the world.

Dr. Hamner Hill, chairman of the Political Science, Philosophy, and Religion Department at Southeast, also plans to be in attendance.

"I'm interested in hearing Powell talk about how he sees the world," Hill said. "He's still a very respected figure around the world. I know that he's spoken often of being a good communicator, and he would certainly have to be, having served as national security adviser, chairman of the Joint Chiefs and as secretary of state."

A point of contention with Powell has been his controversial 2003 address to the United Nations, when he made the case for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. But Hill said that is something Powell has probably left in the past and likely won't discuss Tuesday night.

"Powell has talked about that a lot, and I don't know if there's anything more he would want to say about it. I'm more interested in current developments in Iraq and Afghanistan and their future outcomes," Hill said.

Hill said that he is intrigued with Powell, who has never had a political label firmly applied to him.

"Powell calls himself a fiscal conservative with a social conscience of a Johnson or Kennedy on matters of civil rights. He has also said that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats address his concerns to his liking," Hill said.

Powell served as national security adviser from 1987 to 1989 for President Ronald Reagan while retaining his Army commission as a lieutenant general. He was later promoted to a full general before he became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993 under President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton, the first African-American to hold the position. Powell was also the first African-American to become secretary of state, serving from 2001 to 2005 under President George W. Bush. He is also the author of "My American Journey," "A Soldier's Way" and "It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership."

The Southeast Missourian is a sponsor of the event.

Powell's speech marks the beginning of the fifth season for the University Speakers Series at Southeast. Other series events are talks by Tony La Russa on Nov. 8; Michelle Kwan on March 6; Jeff Corwin on April 10; members of The Second City comedy troupe Nov. 12; and John Legend on Jan. 23.

Tickets for Southeast students, faculty and staff with a valid university ID card and $10 for the public, and are available at the Show Me Center box office and at


Pertinent address:

1333 N. Sprigg St., Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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