Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 11, 2012

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is 2012 Shott Lecture Series speaker

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD, Va. — When the chads were hanging in Florida in November of 2000, Gov. John Ellis “Jeb” Bush was in the first year of his first term as governor of Florida. Jeb’s older brother, former President George W. Bush received Florida’s 25 electoral votes and emerged from that close and hotly-contested election as president.

Jeb Bush went on to complete two terms as governor of Florida, where the state experienced successful job growth, and eight consecutive years of no tax increases. On Oct. 30, Bush will serve as the 2012 Shott Lecture Series speaker, when the series returns to the Dome Gymnasium on the Bluefield College campus.

R.W. “Buz” Wilkinson, president of the Hugh I Shott Jr., Foundation said in prepared remarks that the foundation’s goal is to “provide quality speakers with national and international recognition , and give students from three colleges (Concord University, Bluefield and Bluefield State colleges) — plus West Virginia University and Marshall University — the opportunity to interact with these national leaders in a forum environment.”

Bush’s remarks — “America’s Promise in Uncertain Times” — will be the sixth in the series that started in 1988 with Jeane Kirkpatrick, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger (1991); former Vice President Dan Quayle (1997); former U.S. Secretary of Education William J. “Bill” Bennett (2001); and former director of U.S. Homeland Security Tom Ridge (2006).

“We think that Jeb Bush will be a good speaker to interact with the students,” Wilkinson said. “We usually have about 10 students from each school who will be able to speak with him.”

BC President Dr. David Olive was quoted in a press release as stating that students in Florida made great strides in terms of achievement during his tenure. “As governor, he had a tremendous track record in improving student success and making Florida public schools a model for our nation,” Olive said. “He designed policies that positively impacted students’ reading at grade level and improved graduation rates.”

Chris Shoemaker, BC director of marketing and public relations said that in addition to the students, the Shott Foundation invites several people to attend the event.

“If there are some additional seats available, we will open it up on a limited basis to the public,” Shoemaker said. “When Vice President Quayle was here in 1997, we had a line of people waiting outside. The way we did it then was to open the available seats up to the public at 10:50 a.m., before his speech at 11 a.m. We had several people who stood in the back of the gym to hear Vice President Quayle.”

The Shott Foundation was founded in 1984 by former Bluefield Daily Telegraph publisher Hugh I. Shott Jr., who died in 1985. The foundation’s stated purpose is: “To provide the social and economic quality of life in Southern West Virginia and other communities within the trade area of the Daily Telegraph,” according to the press release. “Shott once said that the Foundation allowed him to return the benefits of his enterprises to the communities that helped build his success.”

— Contact Bill Archer at