Former Sen. Christopher ‘Kit’ Bond to Deliver Webster University’s Commencement Address May 7

| February 25, 2011

Kit BondFormer Sen. Christopher ‘Kit’ Bond will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at Webster University’s 2011 commencement ceremony, 10 a.m., Saturday, May 7, at The Muny in Forest Park in St. Louis.

Webster alum Mary Alice Dwyer-Dobbin (BA ’63) and Regent’s College Chief Executive Aldwyn Cooper will receive honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees at this year’s commencement.

Bond, who served four terms in the U.S. Senate, is a sixth-generation Missourian who grew up in Mexico, Mo. He graduated cum laude from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and received his law degree from the University of Virginia, where he graduated first in his class.

Bond was elected Mo. State Auditor in 1970 and just two years later, at age 33, became the 47th Governor of Missouri and the state’s youngest. He was elected to a second term as Governor in 1980 and considers expanding the Parents as Teachers program statewide among his proudest accomplishments.

As a U.S. Senator from 1986 to 2010, Bond built a reputation as a statesman who fought for a strong U.S. military, improved care for veterans and men and women in uniform, and, in his role of Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, reformed the nation’s intelligence community.

Bond is an expert on Southeast Asia and recently co-authored The Next Front: Southeast Asia and the Road to Global Peace with Islam. The book outlines the smart-power strategy that he believes America must use to inspire the people in Southeast Asia, home to the world’s largest Muslin population, to reject Islamic extremism. Using a smart-power strategy instead of military force, Bond says, gives America the best and perhaps last chance to defeat radical ideologies that too often result in terrorism.

Dwyer-Dobbin, a 1963 graduate of Webster University, worked in daytime television programming for more than 30 years. As the Executive in Charge of Production for Procter & Gamble from 1996 to 2005, Dwyer-Dobbin managed the soap operas As the World Turns, Guiding Light and Another World, with responsibility for budget and salary issues, casting decisions, publicity and story lines.

Aldwyn Cooper is Chief Executive and Principal of Regent’s College in London, which is home to seven schools, including two Webster University schools: Regent’s American College London (for undergraduate courses) and Webster Graduate School (for postgraduate courses). Prior to his appointment at Regent’s in 2007, Cooper served as Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Glamorgan. Cooper has worked in developing, producing, marketing and supporting interactive technology-based learning systems for 30 years.

Category: St. Louis Campus News, Student Affairs and News, Webster News

Comments (4)

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  1. Zak says:

    As a gay student of Webster University, I’m glad to attend a university well-known in the community for being open and accepting of gltb students. That’s why I was shocked when Webster University today announced that Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri would be this year’s Commencement Speaker.

    Kit Bond has long been an opponent of equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered citizens of Missouri, and the nation as a whole. Tell Webster University that we do not want Kit Bond speaking at the 2011 Commencement!
    Here is a sample of Kit Bond’s record:

    Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.
    Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation.
    Voted YES on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business.
    Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (DOMA)
    Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation.

    Rated 11% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance.(http://www.ontheissues.org/domestic/Kit_Bond_Civil_Rights.htm)
    If you agree, please consider joining our Facebook group, Say NO to Sen. Kit Bond as Webster University Commencement Speaker: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_138102916256102

  2. Suzanne M. Gereaux says:

    It’s difficult for me to respond to this outrage, because I’m still in shock over the announcement!  Asking Christopher Bond to give the commencement address is a slap in the face to every gay or lesbian student and faculty member at Webster as well as every education major at the school.  I’m not sure what statement whoever made this decision is trying to make, but from a liberal arts standpoint, this defies explanation!  It’s shameful!

  3. Nick Dunne says:

    This is a ludicrous choice as a speaker, as Senator Bond does not encompass the mission, values, and culture of the university. To introduce him as a speaker is a kick in the face of the students, staff, and faculty who have contributed to promoting the diversity and innovation that Webster for which Webster is known.

    In June of 2007, he voted YES on declaring English as the official language of the US government.
    In June of 2006, he voted YES on a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
    In March of 2005, he voted NO on shifting $11 billion from corporate tax loopholes to education.
    In May of 2001, he voted NO on funding smaller classes instead of private tutors.
    In October of 1997, he voted YES on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business.
    In September of 1996, he voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. He also opposed adding sexual orientation to the hate crimes bill.

    (Source: http://www.ontheissues.org/senate/Kit_Bond.htm)

    As an institution that promotes DIVERSITY and ACCEPTANCE, allowing Kit Bond to address the students is a degradation of the university’s mission and values.

    –Webster University’s Vision Statement–

    Our vision is to be a premier U.S- based international university setting a distinct standard for global education.

    This vision is built on a foundation of excellence in teaching and enhanced by an international perspective that fosters dialogue, respect and understanding across boundaries and between peoples. The educational endeavors in support of this vision are meeting the needs and enriching a global mix of learners within an ever increasing network of students desiring a U.S. education in multiple parts of the world. The institution is committed to offering these students a distinct personal experience and building the resources required to achieve this vision. The actions of the institution are shaped by our core values.

    –Webster University’s Core Values–

    Students
    By sustaining a personalized approach to education through small classes, close relationships with faculty and staff, and attention to student life.
    Learning
    By developing educational programs that join theory and practice, provide an international perspective, encourage creativity and scholarship, and foster a lifelong desire to learn and actively serve communities and the world.
    Diversity
    By creating an environment accessible to individuals of diverse cultures, ages, and socioeconomic backgrounds and instilling in students a respect for diversity and an understanding of their own and others’ values.
    Global Citizenship
    By educating a diverse population locally, nationally, and internationally, acting responsibly toward the environment to foster a sustainable future, and strengthening the communities we serve.

    Bond’s history does NOT match up with at all with what the University stands for. This is an irresponsible choice. Senator Bond must be dropped from Commencement.

  4. Julia Nelson says:

    The article states “Kit” Bond “… built a reputation as a statesman who fought for a strong U.S. military, improved care for veterans and men and women in uniform.” I would simply love to know how exactly revocation of our female armed forces’ rights to reproductive choice is “improved care.”
    Furthermore, I believe the former Senator’s “family values” voting record is an abomination to civil rights and freedom for all Americans in “pursuit of happiness.” Voting with his religious views is the exact antithesis to separation of church and state. Not to mention, his cherry picked religious stance that marriage is a “sacred Bond between a man and woman,” yet, obviously, adultery, divorce and remarriage, is a perfectly acceptable personal choice for Mr. Bond.
    To say this scheduled address is “outrageous” is a great understatement.