By Cheval John
Compton was the main guest for the President’s Speaker Series, a semi-annual event that brings prominent leaders to the Sam Houston State University campus to bring a message of substance that will influence the student’s lives.
This year’s event was planned and produced by the Office of the President and Priority One Public Relations, a class within the Mass Communication Department that gives students “hands-on” experience in preparation for their future careers in public relations.
Many in the crowd felt that Compton was personable and humble even though she has covered seven U.S. Presidents for four decades as a reporter.
“I thought she was really good,” Mass Comm student Chelsie Homer said. “She seemed real and open.”
When SHSU President Dana Gibson, Ph.D, moderator along with Priority One faculty advisor Peter Roussel, asked about her thoughts on the students of Sam Houston, Compton shared her personal connection with the university that brought a round of applause.
“I’m married to Dr. William Stevenson Hughes,” Compton said. “He always tells me that he was named after his favorite great aunt by the name of Lizzie Stevenson, who was the great niece of the university, Sam Houston.”
Compton noted that the coverage of the White House has changed over the last 60 years.
“It has changed dramatically,” Compton said. “The instantaneous in technology has made it even harder for the evening news and newpapers because by the time you pick up the paper on your doorstep the next morning, everyone already knows it.
Compton shared her story of being the only broadcast reporter on board Air Force One during the 9/11 attacks and how it hit home for her when her eldest son’s fraternity brother was on the 91st floor in the first tower when the first plane hit.
“At that instant, a day that has been doomsday scenario with burning buildings, people fleeing, panic and terror had a human face,” Compton said. “The young man who got his internship with a fancy Wall Street company, never knew what hit him. I sat down and cried.”
After that brief moment, Compton stressed that no matter what line of work, whether it’s media or business, a person must be able to write.
“Writing is the single most important tool you can have in any career,” Compton said. “It’s a lifelong career growth.”
She also urged students to get an internship because it will allow them to find out if the field that they were pursuing, whether it’s business, teaching, etc. is what they want to do for the rest of their lives.
“An internship not only will show young people what is out there, but will even show them what they don’t want to do.”
by Cheval John
With the unemployment rate at 9.7%, Americans feel that the nation is going down hill.
Some are wondering if the economy will rebound from the “Great Recession?”
Former United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales believe that this nation is still the land of opportunity.
Earlier today, he spoke to a capacity audience on the campus of Sam Houston State in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center for the President’s Speaker Series.
Gonazales talked about his journey towards becoming the first Hispanic U.S. Attorney General and why he’s hopeful for the U.S.
“I know we have serious issues in this country but I have great faith for the future of our country because of the young people that I see,” Gonzales said.
“It’s very encouraging and I’m very hopeful about what’s possible in America.
Gonzales credits his parents for instilling in him the value of hard work and getting an education.
He learned about being accountable from his father who understood that he was responsible for providing for his mom, himself and his seven siblings.
He also believes that serving in the Air Force was the best decision he’s ever made because it taught him about responsibility.
“I think being in the military was a great experience,” Gonzalez said.
“I wish my sons would consider doing something like that. It shaped my role as a husband and shaped my role as a dad.”
Gonzales started at Vinson and Elkins, L.L.P. in Houston after receiving his law degree from Harvard University in 1982. Though he made partner and spent 13 years at the firm, he felt that he was meant to do something more.
Then in 1994, George W. Bush was elected as governor in the state of Texas and named Gonzales to the position of general counsel.
“I really just jump at the chance because this might be something that will really fulfill me. … .Getting into public service,” Gonzales said.
“I remember telling my wife that it will be a few years and then I’ll come back into the private practice.”
After serving a general counselor, he was promoted to Attorney General of Texas.
But that was just the beginning.
Gonzales was named as White House Counsel by newly elected George W. Bush in 2000.
He served in that position for five years before being appointed as the 80th Attorney General of the United States.
In that capacity, he played an important part in the fight against terror.
He also implented the Project Safe Childhood intiative in an effort to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.
Gonzales says that he was proud of being the first Hispanic to serve as U.S. Attorney General because he felt that he was not just bring black justice, hispanic justice, white justice etc., but was bringing justice for the American people.
“I’ve always taken pride in being Hispanic,” Gonzales said.
“There’s no escaping it. I don’t make any apologies for it. … .I take even more pride in saying that I was the Attorney General of the United States.”