Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich to deliver Sebelius Lecture at FHSU



The lecture series named for one of Fort Hays State University's most notable alumni will feature an appearance in April by Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and a Republican candidate for president.

Gingrich, who can still be seen as a regular commentator on CNN, will present "Provocative Politics: A Candid Discussion with one of the World's Most Distinguished Leaders" at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, in the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center on the FHSU campus. This is the second and final lecture of the 2014-2015 academic year.

"We are excited to have Speaker Gingrich as a part of the Sebelius Lecture Series," said Vincent Bowhay, chair of the Special Events Committee and assistant director of the Memorial Union. "Mr. Gingrich has been an inspiring leader in American politics for more than three decades, with an uncommon intelligence and solution-oriented perspective that has kept the national debate lively and productive."

Gingrich is well known as the architect of the "Contract with America" that led the Republican Party to victory in 1994 by capturing the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. After the 1994 election, Gingrich was elected speaker of the House of Representatives. Under his leadership, Congress passed welfare reform, the first balanced budget in a generation, and the first tax cut in 16 years. In addition, the Congress restored funding to strengthen defense and intelligence capabilities, an action later lauded by the bipartisan 9/11 Commission.

Today, Gingrich is a contributor to CNN, where he continues to advocate bold policy ideas.

From May 2011 to May 2012, Gingrich was a candidate for the Republican nomination for president of the United States, winning the South Carolina and Georgia primaries. The campaign was especially notable for its innovative policy agenda, its effort to bring new coalitions into the Republican fold and for his debate performances. His $2.50-a-gallon energy plan set off a nationwide discussion about the use of America's energy resources.

As an author, Gingrich has published 24 books, including 14 fiction and nonfiction New York Times best-sellers.

Speaker Gingrich's lecture will draw upon his experience as a statesman and champion of opportunity to analyze current global and political issues.

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 reception featuring Newt Gingrich 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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