Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee coming to Columbia College

Saturday, February 16, 2008 | 2:52 p.m. CST; updated 2:36 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is slated to deliver Columbia College’s Schiffman Ethics in Society lecture March 13.

The lecture, titled “Ethics Surrounding the Future of Medical and Health Care,” will be at 7:30 p.m. at the college’s Launer Auditorium and will be free and open to the public. A question-and-answer session for students, faculty and staff will precede the lecture at 3 p.m. in Dorsey Gym.

Huckabee was chosen to give the lecture this year because of his personal experience with weight loss and his national recognition as a leader on health care, education and energy issues, according to a release from the college. In 2003, Huckabee’s 110-pound weight loss and completion of three marathons earned him the title of Southern Region Runner of the Year by the Road Runners Club of America.

When Huckabee was contacted about giving the lecture, he had not yet declared his presidential candidacy, said Tony Alioto, a Columbia College professor and Schiffman chair in ethics, religious studies and philosophy.

“We chose Huckabee because of his personal story,” Alioto said. “He will be speaking about if it is a moral issue to keep yourself healthy or not.”

Alioto said Huckabee’s speech will not be political and is strictly a speech on the ethics behind health care.

Previous speakers who have given the Schiffman Ethics in Society lecture include Arun Gandhi, grandson of the late Mahatma Gandhi and founder of the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has devoted much of his career to environmental ethics.

The Schiffman lecture series was established in 2000 through a gift by John Schiffman in honor of his late wife, Althea, a 1941 graduate of the college who served on the board of trustees from 1983 to 1987.

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