I would like to welcome you all to the 2005 President’s leadership Lecture. This annual lecture has become a premier event. We have been privileged to have such DYNAMIC past guest speakers, Lee Scott, President and CEO of Wal-Mart, Andy Taylor, the Chairman and CEO of Enterprise Rent-A-Car and today we welcome Ed Whitacre, The Chairman of SBC Communications.
Allow me to recognize some of our noted guests. Dr. Richard Meyers, the President of Webster University, Cindy Brinkley, President, SBC, Missouri. Debra Hollingsworth, vice president of external affairs, SBC, Webster University Alumni and School of Business Advisory Board member. Cedge Barksdale Board member of SBC. Also here is the Chair of Webster University’s Trustees Ed Glotzbach and former Chief Information officer of SBC. Trustee, Dave Steward, of WWT is here.
I am honored to introduce my good friend congressman Kent Hance, a longtime friend of our Presidential Guest speaker Ed Whitacre. A native of Dimmitt, Texas Kent earned his BA from Texas Tech university and his law degree from the University of Texas. he is a successful attorney, former Texas State Senator and served his country for three terms in the United States House of Representatives . These are all noted accomplishments of a man committed to public service and to empowering others, but more importantly, Kent Hance is a friend of higher education – he has served on the board of Regents of West Texas University and at my alma mater Wayland Baptist University. Kent recently endowed a $1 million chair in Entrepreneurship at Texas Tech University.
One of Kent’s most noted accomplishments came on November 7, 1978 when he soundly defeated a young George W. Bush in the Congressional election for the 19th congressional district. This is the only election defeat ever suffered by the current US President.
Kent Hance won the election as a democrat and it was in later years that he changed his political affiliation and became a Republican. for the good ole boys, back in west Texas Kent has become a legend of sorts. the folks in west Texas still talk about the lessons Bush learned from the Hance School of Political Campaigns:
Rule #1 - Learn the Native Language:
West Texas voters got their first introduction to young George W in a TV ad that showed W jogging. Kent quickly responded that in west Texas if you see a guy jogging, they think he is running from something. the lesson - Understand the people.
Rule #2 - Stay on Message
Even though Bush attended the name brand school in Yale and Harvard, Kent successfully turned it into a political liability. Kent’s campaign ads were simple and forceful. One of his ads read, While Bush was at Yale, Hance was at Texas Tech.” “While Bush was far away at Harvard Business School, Hance was right here at the University of Texas Law School.” The message was clear – vote for one of your own or vote for a Yankee from the east. the Lesson - Create a sense of connection to your constituency.
Rule #3 - Don’t Burn Bridges
Even though Bush lost the election, to Kent hance by a convincing margin, Kent was respectful and remained friends with W, and the relationship flourished and grew over the years.
The people of west Texas are proud of their treeless landscape and often remind the visitor that in this part of the country it is so flat that it is possible to watch your dog run away for days. They do not hesitate to tell you that on a clear day in west Texas, it is indeed possible to see tomorrow.
Kent Hance understands the value of relationships and the ability to touch the human CONSCIENCE. He has demonstrated over and over again the benefit of seeing around corners and a commitment to creating a better tomorrow for all. Please join me in giving a warm Webster welcome to a good ole boy that did good, my friend, Kent Hance.
""We were all born originals, but most of us spend the rest of our lives trying to be copies. It's your originality that will set you apart." "
- Dr. Benjamin Akande
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