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William S. Cohen Lecture to Feature Former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming

Capitol building

“The State of Our Nation: Hardball vs. Civility” will be the focus of the William S. Cohen Lecture at the University of Maine on Nov. 7 featuring former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

Simpson will be joined by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen in the discussion, moderated by alumnus Mark Woodward, former Bangor Daily News executive editor.

The 3 p.m. event in the Collins Center for the Arts is free and open to the public. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis by calling the Collins Center for the Arts box office, 581.1755 or 1-800-MCA-TIXX. Box office hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

The moderated discussion on hardball versus civility in Washington is the second time a question-and-answer-style discussion format has been featured in UMaine’s William S. Cohen Lecture Series, which began in 1998. Cohen, the Bangor native who represented Maine in Congress for 24 years before joining President Clinton’s cabinet, established the series when he donated a collection of papers chronicling his Congressional career to the university’s Fogler Library.

Taking the stage this year with Cohen will be Simpson, a U.S. senator from 1979-97. From 1985-95, he was assistant Republican leader. In his Congressional career, Simpson sponsored legislation that dealt with the establishment of federal standards for clean air and water, toxic waste cleanup, and nuclear regulation. He was active on issues regarding veterans, aging, the environment and immigration laws.

In 2006, Simpson was named to the 10-member Iraq Study Group, a Congressionally appointed panel co-chaired by Lee Hamilton and James Baker, charged with assessing the Iraq War and offering policy recommendations. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Simpson and Erskine Bowles to co-chair the 18-member National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, commonly referred to as the Deficit Commission or Debt Panel.

Simpson will be the ninth Cohen Lecturer since the start of the series, established to bring to UMaine a distinguished speaker with informed perspectives on matters related to international policy and commerce. Cohen delivered the first lecture in the series in March 1998; Madeleine Albright, then Secretary of State, followed in 1999; retired U.S. Senator and former astronaut John Glenn, 2001, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, 2003; former CBS News correspondent Dan Rather, 2005; Washington Post journalist and author Bob Woodward, 2007; Attorney General Eric Holder, 2009; retired U.S. Marine Gen. James Jones, 2011.

The 2013 Cohen Lecture is a function of UMaine’s William S. Cohen Center for International Policy and Commerce, established in 1997. Cohen, who is a former UMaine business faculty member, donated his collection of papers to UMaine’s Fogler Library when the center was established. In January 2001, Cohen gave the papers from his tenure as Secretary of Defense to the university.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745





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