The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The Battalion May 4, 2024

Wiley series celebrates 25 years of excellence

The Memorial Student Center’s Wiley Lecture Series celebrates its 25th anniversary of bringing big names to the campus of Texas A&M, including former presidents, prime ministers, ambassadors, high-ranking administration officials and other world leaders.
Students know the series from recent lecture programs featuring former New York City Mayor Rudolf Giuliani and former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak. These world-renowned speakers discuss issues of global significance. They broaden the educational experiences of the A&M community by encouraging thought-provoking discussion on national and foreign policy issues.
But the Wiley Lecture Series offers more than lectures, said Lee Gunter, chairman of the student-run organization and senior international studies major.
“Wiley allows students to take those political and social issues they care most about, and delve more in depth in them by having the chance to speak and interact with those individuals who so greatly impact our world,” Gunter said.
The organization will celebrate its anniversary during its main event on April 18. Gunter said that in light of the American death toll in Iraq being 4,000, and with presidential elections quickly approaching, Wiley’s annual event will include a three-person panel focusing on the future of Iraq.
Though Gunter is legally restricted by contract from releasing the names of the speakers at this time, he said students would not be let down by the speakers.
“Each panelist has had extensive, direct involvement in the ongoing situation in Iraq, and will bring to the discussion a wealth of knowledge and experience,” he said.
He mentioned the big names Wiley has brought to campus for past main events such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell.
In spring 2007, Giuliani spoke on foreign policy and the dynamics the Iraq War brought to it. Former President George H.W. Bush introduced Giuliani at the event and the program, and arbitrated questions to Giuliani from the audience.
This year’s program includes a series of smaller lectures throughout the semester in which experts from around the nation, including A&M professors, share their views. These smaller lectures are free programs on topics ranging from future sustainable energy policy to current events in Latin America.
The last program, “The Challenge of Chavez,” included Latin American expert and A&M professor Claudia Avellaneda.
The MSC Wiley Lecture Series began in 1984, when James E. Wiley Sr. and A.P. Wiley Jr., both Class of 1946, were so impressed with “how these young people were able to put it all together” that they volunteered to establish an endowment from proceeds of their business, Wiley Brothers General Contractors of Dallas.
“The committee stays in regular contact with the Wiley family and the Wileys continue to have a great involvement on the A&M campus,” Gunter said.

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