Bob Graham dedicated his life and career to public service for nearly 40 years. He served as Florida’s governor, senator and state representative, and is one of the most accomplished politicians in Florida’s history.
This week, Graham will be discussing the principles on which the Senate was founded and its future during his keynote address at the 48th Annual Floyd M. Riddick Model United States Senate, Friday, March 29, 6 p.m., at Stetson University in the Carlton Union Building’s Stetson Room (second floor), 131 E. Minnesota Ave., DeLand. The event is free and open to the public, and Cultural Credit is available for students.
Graham’s presentation, “The United States Senate: Where We Came From, Where We Are and Where We Go from Here,” also will assess the degree to which the contemporary body meets those principles.
“Bob Graham provides a real-life example of what a politician can and should be,” said David Hill, Ph.D., professor and chair of political science at Stetson University. “It is perhaps an understatement to say that former Senator Graham is one of the most important leaders in Florida history, including his three terms in the U.S. Senate, during which he chaired the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence before and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Graham’s decades of experience give him a unique perspective on politics, governance and the Senate, and is the perfect keynote speaker for the Floyd M. Riddick Model United States Senate.”
After retiring from public office, Graham taught courses at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics at Harvard University for a year and later focused on founding the Bob Graham Center for Public Service in 2006 at the University of Florida, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1959.
In 2009, he wrote, “America, the Owner’s Manual: Making Government Work for You,” to encourage and teach the public to participate in democracy.
He also serves on the board of directors of his family’s business, the Graham Companies, which has interests in beef, dairy, pecan orchards and real estate developments in Miami Lakes.
The Floyd M. Riddick Model United States Senate, March 28-30, is open to all students and reproduces the actual procedures and activities of the U.S. Senate in an effort to provide experience and education for its participants. Each student is assigned a senator in one of the five legislative committees and is responsible for researching and introducing a variety of bills.
During the three-day Senate session, students will be attending committee meetings and hearings, pressing for the passage of their assigned bill, participating in a caucus or meeting in their respective parties and debating and voting on the Senate floor.
This year’s event includes students from Stetson University, the University of Central Florida, University of Florida, Florida Southern College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia.