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Clinton to speak in December

Published: October 19, 2007
Section: News


The University announced Monday via a campus-wide e-mail that former President William Jefferson Clinton will deliver the inaugural speech of the newly-created Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program on Dec. 3. Segal, who had acted as Clintons campaign manager in 1992, passed away in 2006 from asbestos-related cancer.

Krauss added I think itll be an extremely exciting day its a rare opportunity for our students for one of the most electrifying figures of our generation. I think it will be a wonderful day and an inspiring day.

According to a press release from University officials, Clinton will speak in the Shapiro Gymnasium in the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center at 1:30pm. The event will be held exclusively for members of the Brandeis community.

Passionate public servant, visionary activist and close adviser to President Clinton, the late Eli Segal was a model for Brandeis students and young people everywhere. Eli graduated from Brandeis in 1964 and went on to become the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, said Reinharz in his e-mail. His genius for making things happen led to a lifetime of giving backat the local, community and national levels. Both AmeriCorps and the Welfare to Work Partnership were created by Eli to give strength and independence to some of the more vulnerable members of American societythe poor and the young.

The person who contacted [Clinton] and secured his agreement to come is Mrs. Phyllis Segal, said Provost Marty Krauss, who runs the Eli J. Segal Leadership Program. President Clinton and her late husband were very involved with each other during their adult lives he agreed to come in honor of his late friend and because he agrees with the program that Mrs. Segal runs.

Krauss explained that the program began approximately six months ago, when Mrs. Segal approached the Heller School to organize a program in her late husbands name. Eli Segal was on the Board of Overseers of the Heller School he had a connection to the Heller School, and a graduate of Brandeis, said Krauss. Mrs. Segal felt that Brandeis was the place that the program should be launched because of his involvement with the Heller. She initially went to Heller but because of the scope of this program I thought this was a University-wide program, so I got involved with it.

According to Krauss, there are three parts to the Citizen Leadership Campaign, including the creation of a limited number of competitive Eli Segal fellowships for undergraduates and graduate students at the Heller school these will be summer internship programs in selected organizations that are involved in civic engagement types of activities. This is what Eli Segal was all about: civil engagement, encouraging people to be involved in constructive ways and to build stronger communities.

Krauss added she also wished to create an alumni network of people who have been Eli Segal fellows to participate in a program to reinforce and deepen their work as interns once youve done it you want to meet other people who have done this. The third part of the program, Krauss said, was establishing an annual lecture on citizen engagement, for which President Clinton will be the first speaker.

Student responses were positive for the upcoming speech. I'm extremely excited that Bill is coming to speak. We had Carter, and I'm glad Bill is coming, said Lauren Katz 08. The only thing I am concerned about is getting tickets because I don't know how many Brandeis is giving to undergraduates and how they are distributing them.

Jessica Steinberg 10 said that it's great that we are having the last Democratic president here, and hopefully he can give us some insight into the likelihood of reinstalling a Democrat to the White House.”

The University is deeply honored that Mrs. Segal chose Brandeis to host this program, said Krauss.

We are very much looking forward to a magnificent day when the former President addresses the community and that we know he will be welcomed warmly and with respect.