Published: Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 11:36 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 11:36 p.m.
LAKELAND | Is it true that former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin — the 2008 Republican candidate for vice president — is slated to speak at Southeastern University next year?
The university's 2013 National Leadership Forum has announced that Palin, 48, will speak at the seventh annual forum, scheduled for March 7 and 8 at the university's Lakeland campus. Past forum speakers have included Colin Powell, Jeb Bush, President George Bush and Condoleezza Rice.
The forum is geared toward leaders in the business, professional and church communities.
Brian C. Carroll, vice president for university advancement, said the event was created from a desire to teach students and the community about the ideals of servant leadership. "We wanted to create an event that embodies those values," he said.
Lakeland businessman Bill Mutz, a former auto dealer who has been involved with forum sponsorship, said the upcoming speaker lineup is exciting.
"I think the forum has continued to bring some outstanding speakers to the area who offer a little outside-of-the-box leadership thinking that has been very valuable, not only to individuals, but to organizations that send people to the event."
Having Palin speak was not a decision made with a political agenda, Carroll said. "This is not a political forum, by any stretch of the imagination," he said. "Sarah Palin is going to be talking about overcoming obstacles in leadership, and she's overcome a lot of obstacles."
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Tickets for the limited seating event go on sale today online at seuleadershipforum.com. Forum tickets cover both days of the event, and are sold in four categories: $450 for non-reserved tickets; $650 for a reserved ticket; $1,000 for a VIP ticket and $1,500 for an executive ticket.
Other speakers on the agenda are:
Phil Cooke, writer and speaker who has produced media programming in more than 40 countries.
Jon Gordon, author and speaker.
AmyK Hutchens, business strategist and speaker.
John Ortberg, author, speaker and pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church.
Nancy Ortberg, teaching pastor, author and founding partner of Teamworx2.
Mark Sanborn, author and president of Sanborn & Associates Inc., a leadership development idea studio.
John Maxwell, an internationally renowned leadership expert, coach, and author.
Pat Williams, senior vice president of NBA's Orlando Magic.
The first two levels of tickets cover seating at all sessions, lunch both days and access to a hospitality tent. The VIP tickets cover reserved seating at the front of the event, lunches — including a private lunch with a forum speaker — reserved parking and access to the VIP hospitality tent.
The highest priced ticket buys premier seating, a private, evening reception with Palin and the amenities included with the VIP tickets.
Maxwell will be the keynote speaker at a scholarship gala, to be on the evening of March 7.
Sponsorships finance the speakers, and also provide scholarships. All net proceeds from the event directly benefit the Southeastern University Scholarship Fund. More than 90 percent of the university's students receive financial aid, officials said. In 2011-12, more than $7 million was awarded to students.
For more information about the conference, call the university at 863-667-5455 or 877-367-8620.
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