Former Obama press secretary launches Sebelius Lecture Series for 2014-2015

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The lecture series named for one of Fort Hays State University's most notable alumni will feature an appearance in November by Jay Carney, former press secretary to President Barack Obama.

Carney, who was a regular face in the national news until he stepped down in June of this year, will present "Today at the White House and Around the Globe" at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 3, in the university's Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center. This is the first lecture of the 2014-2015 academic year.

"We're honored to have the former White House press secretary at Fort Hays State University," said Vincent Bowhay, chair of the Special Events Committee and assistant director of the Memorial Union. "Mr. Carney was at the center of every major issue or event facing the nation and the Obama administration during his tenure and will be a fitting addition to the legacy of this lecture series."

Carney began his journalism career as a reporter for The Miami Herald in 1987. He joined Time magazine as its Miami bureau chief the following year and subsequently worked as a correspondent in Time's Moscow bureau for three years, covering the collapse of the Soviet Union. He came to Washington in 1993 to report on the Bill Clinton White House. He has written and reported about the presidency of George W. Bush and was one of a handful of reporters who were aboard Air Force One with President Bush during the historic events of Sept. 11, 2001.

In January 2009, Carney went from the private sector to public service as director of communications for Vice President Joe Biden. On Jan. 27, 2011, Carney was selected by President Barack Obama to become White House press secretary, where he served until his departure in late June.

His lecture will feature his unique insight into the issues, policies and players on a multitude of subjects, including the situation in the Middle East, healthcare, immigration reform, the economy and the upcoming mid-term election -- which will take place the day after his appearance at FHSU. He will also address the 2016 presidential elections and what it is like dealing with the White House Press Corps on a daily basis.

Tickets are now available for purchase online at Tickets for the general public are $10 per person; for FHSU students they are $5 per person.

Approximately 200 patrons help sponsor the Sebelius Lecture Series each year. Patrons donate $150 per person. These donations are tax deductible, less benefits received. Patrons will receive an exclusive invitation to a luncheon featuring Jay Carney on the day of the lecture, exclusive tickets to sit in rows A-G in the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center for the lecture, and their names will be prominently placed in the event program. To become a Patron, visit and complete a ticket order form as a Patron.

For more information about the Sebelius Lecture Series, call Bowhay at 785-628-4664 or send email to

About former U.S. Rep. Keith Sebelius
Sebelius graduated from FHSU in 1941. While at FHSU, he was one of the original Lewis Field Pioneers, made up of young men who lived on campus while working a variety of jobs to pay their tuition, room and board.

Sebelius was born in Norton. He earned a law degree and returned to Norton to practice law. He served on the city council and as mayor. He also served in the Kansas Senate. He became active in the Republican Party and ran for the U.S. House seat previously held by Bob Dole in 1968.

He served for 12 years and didn't seek re-election in 1980. He died at age 66 and is buried in Norton. His son, Gary Sebelius, is a federal magistrate judge and the husband of Kathleen Sebelius, a former Democratic Kansas governor and former U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services. His son, R. Douglas Sebelius, is the Norton County attorney.

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