JACKSON, Tenn. – June 18, 2014 – Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee will be the keynote speaker for Union University’s 17th annual Scholarship Banquet Oct. 7 at the Carl Perkins Civic Center in Jackson, Tenn.
Huckabee was the 44th governor of Arkansas, serving from 1996-2007. He hosts his own self-titled talk show on the Fox News Channel and is the author of 11 books, with a 12th book due for release in January 2015.
An ordained Southern Baptist minister, Huckabee served as a pastor of two Arkansas congregations from 1980-1992. He was elected president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, serving from 1989-1991.
“Mike Huckabee will continue Union's tradition of hosting outstanding leaders who share their wisdom and expertise with our community,” Union President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver said. “We look forward to welcoming Governor Huckabee to Jackson as well as to raising money for student scholarships.”
Huckabee was serving as lieutenant governor in 1996 when the sitting governor was forced to resign. Huckabee finished that term and then was elected to two more terms. Only the fourth Republican elected to any statewide office in Arkansas since Reconstruction, he served longer than the other three officials combined.
He worked to cut taxes, create jobs, reform the education system and rebuild Arkansas roads. His administration fought long-standing corruption in the state’s political machine, resulting in numerous indictments and convictions of powerful legislators and other elected officials.
Huckabee ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, finishing second to John McCain. His political action committee, HuckPac, amassed a volunteer team with thousands of activists in all 50 states.
An avid musician since age 11, Huckabee plays bass guitar and is featured in the musical segment of his Fox News show. His hobbies include hunting, fishing, and music. He was named one of the 25 Most Influential People for Conservation by Outdoor Life magazine, and was named Man of the Year by the American Sportfishing Association in 1997.
The former governor and his wife, Janet, live in Florida and still spend part of their time in Arkansas. They have three grown children and four grandchildren.
The annual Scholarship Banquet has become one of the premier events in West Tennessee each year, and is Union’s primary fund raising event for its student scholarship fund. Previous speakers have included Tony Blair, George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Condoleezza Rice, Mikhail Gorbachev, Laura Bush, Rudolph Giuliani, Colin Powell and Ben Carson, among others.
All told, Union’s Scholarship Banquets have generated more than $5 million for student scholarships.
Sponsors already committed include BancorpSouth, Keith and Beverly Absher, Carl and Alice Kirkland, First Bank, The Jackson Sun, Northwestern Mutual/Rod and Amy Parker, Harry and Beth Smith, Thad and Alicia Smotherman, Gary and Susan Grisham (with Bank of Jackson) and Norm and Dale Hill.
Sponsorship opportunities for the 2014 event are available at all levels. For ticket information, including table sponsorships and individual balcony seating, contact Union’s Office of University Relations at (731) 661-5050.