Former Obama Spokesman Is First Gaard Scholar-In-Residence

IMG_2944 Central hosted its first Gaard scholar-in-residence, Tommy Vietor, October 9-11.Vietor served President Barack Obama as a spokesperson for nearly a decade,including two years as national security spokesman and two years as assistant White House press secretary. At Central, Vietor spoke about the importance of global citizenship. The Thomas J. and Charlene P. Gaard Endowed Residency in the Liberal Arts was established in 2013 to benefit Central College students, faculty, staff and the greater Pella community. In his roles with the Obama administration, Vietor served as a primary contact for the media on foreign policy, national security, education and labor issues. He was named one of the top ten communicators of 2014 by Campaigns and Elections magazine. His experiences align with Central’s yearlong theme of global citizenship, as the college celebrates the 50th anniversary of its study abroad programs. Vietor spoke at the Intersections convocation October 9 regarding the importance of global citizenship, in addition to visiting several classes and meeting with student groups. He also presented a public address titled, “A Global Education: Lessons from my Time in Politics,” in the evening at Cox-Snow Recital Hall. Oscar Reynaga, lecturer of Spanish, said his Intersections students enjoyed hearing about Vietor’s life experiences. “They found it refreshing to hear someone speak honestly about the struggles everyone faces when confronted with ‘the real world’ and how life’s path ‘is not always a linear one’ for everyone,” Reynaga said. “They appreciated hearing him say that they should not do things because someone expects them to do so, but that they should instead make their own life choices, especially about things they feel passionate about.” The Gaard Residency will continue to bring notable scholars to Central each semester for multiday visits. The goal is to enable the campus and community to engage in meaningful and up-close exchanges with known experts over an extended period of time.

To encourage serious, intellectual discourse on Civitas, please include your first and last name when commenting. Anonymous comments will be removed.

Comments are closed.