OGDEN, Utah –Former and current Utah governors will tackle tough issues at the kick-off event welcoming the Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics & Public Service at Weber State University, Oct. 10 at 11:30 a.m. in the Shepherd Union Wildcat Theater.
Governor Gary Herbert and former governors Walker, Mike Leavitt and Norman Bangerter will participate in a panel hosted by KSL radio personality Doug Wright. Governors will be available for pre-event media questions at 11 a.m.
“Creating the Walker Institute at Weber State University combines two passions of mine, education and politics,” said Walker, former governor and WSU alumna. Her hope is that students across the state will strive to hold positions of leadership in Utah and across the nation.
The Walker Institute will serve as a visible and vibrant hub of political engagement for students and community members. The non-partisan organization will promote student leadership, create venues for community involvement and assist in training future leaders.
Leah Murray, associate professor of political science says the institute indicates the commitment between WSU and its partners in creating the next generation of public leaders and serving as a clearinghouse for political internships. “It will help facilitate our students working in congressional internships in Washington
D.C. as well as engage students in state legislative internships.” Murray said. “WSU students are the next generation of Northern Utah leaders. They need to learn to lead in the community.”
The Walker Institute will provide hands-on training for those seeking public office, identify avenues for community service, stage public events and serve as a center for public discussion of current issues and ideas for political reform.
Born and raised in Ogden, Walker is respected for her public service on behalf of Utah’s citizens. She served the state for 22 years in various capacities, including as the first woman in Utah to hold the offices of governor and lieutenant governor.
“I look forward to vibrant discussions on current political issues where students, faculty and community members come together to solve difficult issues facing all levels of government,” Walker said.
Named in her honor, the institute is dedicated to upholding the highest ideals of American democracy and education, and Walker will be actively involved in promoting the institute’s vision of bringing a better understanding of the political process to the community.
Visit weber.edu/walkerinstitute for more information about the institute, and visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.
Nena Slighting, interim director, Walker Institute
Kimberly Jensen, University Communications