For the second time in six years, a president will speak at Georgia Southern University.
Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, and former first lady Rosalynn Carter will speak at Hanner Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. Feb. 12.
The remarks will be a part of Georgia Southern’s popular Leadership Lecture Series, designed to provide students with an opportunity to hear from influential leaders throughout the world. This will be the first time that the former president and first lady have spoken at Georgia Southern.
“We could not be more excited to welcome President and Mrs. Carter to Georgia Southern University,” said Teresa Thompson, the university’s vice president of student affairs and enrollment management. “At Georgia Southern, our goal is to integrate learning, service and leadership to empower our students to become global citizens who lead with a lifelong commitment to service. The Carters are recognized around the world not only for their leadership, but their commitment to service. This will be a terrific opportunity for our students to not only hear directly from a former U.S. president and first lady, but two great citizens of Georgia.”
Carter served as president from 1977 to 1981. Successful in the Camp David Accords, the Panama Canal Treaties, and SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union, he may be most notable for his admirable humanitarian efforts following his presidency. Since leaving office, Carter has gained a reputation as a tireless champion for social justice. In 1982, he founded The Carter Center, a nonpartisan and nonprofit center that addresses national and international issues of public policy.
He is a university distinguished professor at Emory University and is the author of 27 books. On Dec. 10, 2002, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Carter "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."
Carter was educated in the public schools of Plains, attended Georgia Southwestern College and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1946.
Rosalynn Carter has worked for more than three decades to improve the quality of life for people around the world. Today, she is an advocate for mental health, caregiving, early childhood immunization, human rights and conflict resolution through her work at The Carter Center in Atlanta. A full partner with the president in all the Center's activities, the former first lady is a member of the Carter Center Board of Trustees.
She served as distinguished centennial lecturer at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, from 1988-1992 and is currently a distinguished fellow at Emory’s Department of Women's Studies. She is a graduate of Georgia Southwestern College, where she serves as president of the board of directors for the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving. She has received numerous honors including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. She has written five books and continues to travel and speak throughout the world. The mother of four, she has maintained a lifelong dedication to issues affecting women and children.
The Carters volunteer one week a year for Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that helps needy people in the United States and in other countries renovate and build homes for themselves. Together, the Carters co-wrote the book “Everything to Gain” which describes their work for Habitat. Carter also teaches Sunday school and both serve as deacons at the Maranatha Baptist Church of Plains.
The Carters have three sons, one daughter, nine grandsons, three granddaughters, two great-grandsons and four great-granddaughters.
Carter will be the second U.S. president to speak at Georgia Southern and the visit will mark the first time a president and first lady have visited Georgia Southern together. President George W. Bush spoke on campus in 2006.
Georgia Southern’s Leadership Lecture Series has included a number of well-known leaders and influencers, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, political consultants James Carville and Mary Matalin, Toms Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie, Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell, and, most recently, former United Nations ambassador and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.