Bill Clinton to speak at Michigan State forum Nov. 18

The Detroit News

Former President Bill Clinton will appear Nov. 18 at Michigan State University, giving the keynote speech at the school’s Governor Jim Blanchard Public Service Forum.

Clinton is the first recipient of the Spartan Statesmanship Award, announced last month along with the forum. Both were established through a $1 million gift to MSU from Blanchard and his wife, Janet.

“The goal of this lecture series is to provide generations of students, faculty and people in the MSU community with the opportunity to hear and learn from national and international political leaders and others,” said Blanchard, who was governor from 1983-91 and also served as a congressman and ambassador to Canada.

“We are honored that Bill Clinton accepted this award and agreed to come to campus,” Blanchard said. “His public service in politics, followed by his excellent work through the Clinton Foundation, is exactly the type of dedication and inspiring story we hoped to bring through the Blanchard Forum.”

Clinton, the nation’s 42nd president, served from 1993 to 2001. His wife, former senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is the frontrunner in the 2016 Democratic presidential race.

The event at MSU’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center will raise funds to pay for student participation in the event and future forums.

The Blanchard Forum and statesmanship award are administered by the Department of Political Science in MSU’s College of Social Science.

“Jim and Janet Blanchard really stepped up in a huge way, not only by funding the award and forum, but by honoring one of the most revered statesmen of modern times in Bill Clinton,” said Neal Schmitt, interim dean of the college. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our community to come together for a special event, and it showcases the growing impact of the political science department in our college.”

After leaving the White House, Bill Clinton established the Clinton Foundation to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote health and wellness, and protect the environment.

He also served as the top United Nations envoy for the Indian Ocean tsunami recovery effort and as the U.N. special envoy to Haiti.