Sarah Huckabee Sanders returns to alma mater for lecture March 2

February 11, 2020

ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia announced today that Sarah Huckabee Sanders will speak on March 2 as part of the university’s Birkett Williams Lecture Series. The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Performing Arts Center on Ouachita’s campus.

Sanders is a 2004 graduate of Ouachita and most recently served as White House Press Secretary. Of the 32 people to serve in that position, Sanders was the third woman, the first mother, and the first from Arkansas.

“Sarah is among our most recognized alumni and we look forward to welcoming her back to campus,” said Dr. Ben Sells, president of Ouachita. “The lecture series is educational rather than political in nature, so she will respond to questions developed by senior communications and media students on her experience in one of the most highly visible positions in American government.

“The lessons Sarah learned while under an intense media microscope will be beneficial to all of our students, regardless of their career goals,” Sells said. “We are thankful that she is willing to share those valuable insights.”

In her senior year as a political science major with a minor in communications, Sanders served as president of the Ouachita Student Senate. Prior to graduation, she was chosen by faculty and staff as Outstanding Senior Woman.

Sanders’ father, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, is a Ouachita graduate and her mother, Janet, is a former Ouachita student. She helped in her father’s 1992 campaign for United States Senate, and then assisted in his subsequent successful campaigns for governor.

Her involvement in presidential politics began in 2004 when she served as field coordinator in Ohio for President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign. In 2008, she was national political director for Governor Huckabee’s presidential campaign and later served as his campaign manager during his 2016 run. She joined Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign as a senior adviser and transitioned to a role on the White House communications staff upon his election.

TheBirkett Williams Lecture Series was established through a gift from the late Birkett Williams, a 1910 Ouachita graduate, to extend the concepts of a liberal arts education beyond the classroom by bringing renowned scholars and public figures to Ouachita’s campus. Previous guests include President Bill Clinton; Dr. Melba Pattillo Beals, one of the Little Rock Nine and a Congressional Gold Medal recipient; and alumna Dr. Jane Chu, recent chair of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Seating is reserved, and tickets will be available to the general public beginning Monday, Feb. 17, for $10 each. Proceeds from the event will support student scholarships. Tickets can be purchased online at or from the Jones Performing Arts Center box office in person or by phone at (870) 245-5555. The JPAC box office is open weekdays from 1-5 p.m.

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