The Director’s Corner

Charles E. Parton

July 1, 1993

This past March, 150 friends of Tom Van Meter gathered in Columbus, Ohio for a memorial celebration of his birthday. Organized by William Almendinger, Margie Van Meter and a contingent of close friends, the event served two important purposes. It brought together a group of Tom’s friends and associates, giving them the opportunity to recount the actions and deeds of one of Ohio’s most effective political personalities. The party also raised over $15,000 for the intern program at the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs, an institution he helped create at Ashland University. The Congressman would have approved.

When I moved to Ohio in 1969, the very first thing I saw on television was Jim Rhodes standing at the podium and preaching “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!” It should have been no surprise that the Governor would attend this gala affair, take the podium and resume his sensible sermon with the same enthusiasm and determination that welcomed me to Ohio over 30 years ago. He looks as formidable today as he did then.

The proceeds from the event allowed us to place 11 of our Ashbrook Scholars in important internships around the country this summer. Lamar Alexander, William Kristol, Robert Lichtner and Darrell Kelley each went out of the ways to place Ashbrook Scholars in the organizations. From the letters these interns have sent back to the Center, they are having excellent experiences in the workplace and each express their gratitude for these opportunities.

This summer has been a busy one at the Ashbrook Center. We have interviewed and selected 10 incoming scholars for fall ’93, and they are an impressive group of young people. After orientation in August, their first official function will be to attend the 10th Anniversary Memorial Dinner at which the keynote address will be delivered by Lady Margaret Thatcher. The Memorial Dinner with be the social every of the year in Ohio, and we hope you plan on attending. There is still time to make reservations, but we do expect a full house.

The Major Issues Lecture Series for the fall semester promises to be one of the most exciting ever. On October 22, Dr. William Bennett will lead off the fall series with “In Defense of Western Civilization.” November will feature a presentation on the Fat Tax Rate by Bruce Herschensohn and our guest in December will be William F. Buckley. In an effort to gain a wider audience, Mr. Buckley’s visit will be scheduled as an evening event.

At the beginning of this year the Ashbrook Center began soliciting membership to the Friends of the Ashbrook Center. The enormous response to our membership drive has allowed us to concentrate on presenting the very best programming possible, as witnessed by our upcoming line-up. We are presently working on our Series in the fall ’94 semester, and, once again, I guarantee that you will want to be here.