Colin Powell to Open 1998-99 UB Distinguished Speaker Series

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: August 24, 1998 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Retired Gen. Colin L. Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Persian Gulf War who is widely regarded as a possible presidential or vice presidential candidate, will open the 1998-99 Distinguished Speakers Series at the University at Buffalo.

Powell's lecture will begin at 8 p.m. on Sept. 24 in Alumni Arena on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

Earlier in the day, Powell will receive a SUNY honorary degree at Buffalo State College's annual academic convocation, to be held at 3:30 p.m. in Rockwell Hall.

The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell was raised in the South Bronx and educated in New York City public schools. He participated in ROTC while a student at City College of New York, and received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon graduation in 1958.

He served in a variety of stateside and overseas assignments, including two tours of duty in Vietnam and posts in Korea and Germany.

He attained the rank of general in 1989, and was appointed to the first of two, two-year terms as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in October 1989. His role in Operation Desert Storm during the Persian Gulf War made him a household name.

He retired from the Army in 1993, after 35 years of service.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, Defense Distinguished Service Medal and the Purple Heart. He also has been decorated by 15 foreign governments, including honorary knighthood bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II.

Powell's best-selling autobiography, "My American Journey," was published in 1995.

Since 1997 he has been serving as chairman of America's Promise -- The Alliance for Youth, the national campaign on behalf of the nation's young people.

The sponsors for Powell's appearance are Buffalo State College; Delaware North Companies, Inc.; and the divisions of Public Service and Urban Affairs and Student Affairs, both at UB.

Contributing sponsors are The Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers, the Junior League of Buffalo, McDonald's, The National Conference for Community and Justice, Inc., and Tops Markets.

The Distinguished Speakers Series is presented by UB and the Don Davis Auto World Lectureship Fund. Series sponsors are Citibank, the UB Student Association and University Bookstore.

Other speakers scheduled for 1998-99 are Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel on Nov. 10, ABC News co-anchor and National Public Radio news analyst Cokie Roberts on March 24 and former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda on April 22.

Series tickets and individual lecture tickets are available through the UB Center for the Arts box office. Call 645-6255 for more information.

Individual lecture tickets also will be available at TicketMaster locations after Aug. 24. Call 852-5000.