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Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


General Colin Powell to Headline FGCU's University Lecture Series

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University hosts General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) 6 p.m. Friday, March 23, 2007, in Alico Arena as the third speaker in FGCU's distinguished University Lecture Series.

General Powell's message "Diplomacy: Persuasion, Trust and Values" brings a global perspective to FGCU and provides a foundation for global initiatives and global thinking from within the United States.

"General Powell's experienced leadership has helped shape our country's foreign policy and has helped all of us better understand the complex dynamics of national security," FGCU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Bonnie Yegidis, who spearheaded development of the University Lecture Series, said. The University Lecture Series is an initiative of the Office of the Provost and is coordinated by the University Lecture Series Committee.

This University Lecture is sponsored by Key Private Bank. "Key Private Bank is proud to be the grand sponsor of the Florida Gulf Coast University Lecture Series for the second year," Mike Dillon, District President of the Florida Region for Key Private Bank said. "General Colin Powell, a figure of international renown, is an excellent choice to deliver the 2007 lecture to the Southwest Florida community, and we are pleased to play a major role in this event."

General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) became the 65th Secretary of State on January 20, 2001. As he stated at his confirmation hearing, the guiding principle of U.S. foreign policy during his tenure was that "America stands ready to help any country that wishes to join the democratic world."

Before becoming Secretary of State, Powell served as a key aide to the Secretary of Defense and as National Security Advisor to President Reagan.

He also served 35 years in the United States Army, rising to the rank of Four-Star General and serving as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989-1993). During this time he oversaw 28 crises to include the Panama intervention of 1989 and Operation Desert Storm in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

General Powell, a purveyor of democratic values, uses the power of diplomacy and the universal ideal of democracy to build trust, forge alliances and transform once-unstable regions into areas where societies and cultures prosper.

He is a recipient of numerous U.S. military awards and decorations including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Distinguished Service Media (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Superior Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Legion of Merit, Soldier's Medal, Bronze Star Medal, and the Purple Heart.

General Powell's civilian awards include two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President's Citizens Medal, the Congressional Medal and the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Medal.

He has also received awards from over two-dozen countries to include a French Legion of Honor and an honorary knighthood bestowed by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.

General Powell's best-selling autobiography, "My American Journey" was published in 2003.

The University Lecture Series exists to expand the world of ideas and creative expression for its students, faculty and the broader community. Distinguished speakers of national and international importance visit campus to stimulate intellectual engagement and inspire critical and creative thinking on a wide range of topics of local and global significance.

The Series encourages thought-provoking experiences and stimulating dialogue, and advances the University's mission to serve as the intellectual and cultural center of Southwest Florida. Accordingly, the Series featured former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev last year, and renowned author and poet Maya Angelou the previous year.

FGCU offers free tickets to the public beginning 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 29 at the Alico Arena box office. Due to the magnitude of the event, all guests who wish to obtain tickets must visit the Alico Arena box office in person. No orders will be taken by telephone or internet. All guests are limited to two tickets per person with no exceptions. Tickets will be distributed on a first come first serve basis until they have all been distributed.

For more information regarding tickets, please contact the Alico Arena box office at (239) 590-7145. The University posts updated information on the University Lecture Series web site,, as it becomes available.

Media representatives and interested corporate sponsors or donors should contact ULS Chair Jim Wohlpart, associate dean and professor of the College of Arts and Sciences at (239) 590-7181.

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