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Sen. Bob Graham keynotes at 42nd Model Senate

U.S. Senator and former Florida Governor Bob Graham will be the keynote speaker at Stetson University's 42nd Model U.S. Senate, Friday, March 15. The public is invited to attend.

U.S. Senator and former Florida Governor Bob Graham will be the keynote speaker at Stetson University’s 42nd Model U.S. Senate, Friday, March 15. The public is invited to attend.

Senator Bob Graham, former Florida Governor, will be the keynote speaker at Stetson University’s 42nd Annual Floyd M. Riddick Model United States Senate, scheduled at the university’s DeLand campus, March 14-16. Graham will speak with the students participating in the Model Senate during the day on Friday, March 15. At 7 p.m., that evening, March 15, Senator Graham will give a public lecture on civic engagement in the Stetson Room, second floor of the Carlton Union Building, 131 E. Minnesota Ave., DeLand. The lecture is open to the public, free of charge.

As the nation’s first and oldest college-level Model U.S. Senate, Stetson University’s Model U.S. Senate’s mission is to educate college students about the legislative process in one of the nation’s oldest political institutions, the U.S. Senate. Now in its 42nd year, the Model U.S. Senate has served as the launching place for dozens of political careers and will continue to serve the students of Stetson University and other colleges and universities across the nation.

Each year, over a hundred students from colleges and universities across the nation gather at Stetson to debate the issues in one of five legislative committees and on the floor of the Senate. This year Stetson is hosting seven visiting schools and approximately 50 visiting students.

Under the direction of Stetson University political science professors T. Wayne Bailey, Anne M. Hallum and David L. Hill, Stetson’s Model U.S. Senate has grown into an organization with a national reputation for excellence in civic education. It has attracted dignitaries, political scholars, and national leaders to Stetson’s historic DeLand campus, including former Florida Governor Lawton Chiles, U.S. Representatives John L. Mica and E. Clay Shaw, and U.S. Senators, Vice President Joseph Biden, William Bradley, Robert Byrd, Thad Cochran, Wyche Fowler, Albert Gore Sr., Nancy Kassebaum, Charles Mathias, John Melcher, Bill Nelson, Paul Sarbanes, and U.S. Senator/Stetson alumnus Max Cleland.

“Thanks to help from Political Science Professor T. Wayne Bailey, who founded the Model Senate program at Stetson in 1970, Senator Graham will be able to spend a full day interacting with the model senators, meeting with Stetson faculty, and giving a public address,” said Robert Jones, student director of the Model Senate. “Senator Graham is, by far, one of the most respected politicians in Florida history and we are honored to have him as our special guest.”

Graham has had a role in nearly every major public policy issue in modern Florida’s history. First as a state legislator, then governor and finally a three-term U.S. Senator, Graham is one of the most accomplished politicians in Florida’s history. He created the Bob Graham Center in Public Service to continue his legacy of leadership and train the next generation of Sunshine State leaders.

Stetson will introduce two new journalism components to the Model Senate this year. One component will allow students to role play journalists from news outlets such as CNN, Fox News, etc., and cover the fictional Model Senate events. The second component allows students to live-blog about the actual event on the blog and twitter page (@SUmodelsenate). All tweets about the Model Senate will be archived under the hashtag #SUsenate13. The blog can be found at blog.stetson.edu/model-un.

For more information about Sen. Graham’s public address on March 15, or Stetson’s 42nd Model U.S. Senate, contact Student Director Robert Jones at (386) 804-0784, or by email rljones@stetson.edu.