December 3, 2016

Letter to the Editor: Gov. Holden leaving Webster

By Bob Holden, former governor of Missouri and founder of the Holden Public Policy Forum at Webster University

As of May 31, I will end my tenure at Webster University.

I want to thank Jim Brasfield and Bill Hall, two professors I had the opportunity to share a classroom, and to all of the faculty who invited me into their classrooms or who participated in one of my Holden Public Policy Forum’s programs.

To the Webster University staff who helped me with press relations, technology, and arrangements for programs or getting speakers connected to classrooms, thank you.

The opportunity to bring to Webster University the first Confucius Institute in Missouri; the creation of the Holden Public Policy Forum; and the invitations to speak around the world as a professor from Webster University was an honor.

During my time with the Holden Public Policy Forum, the students and community have had the opportunity to listen and interact with more than 100 international, national, state and local leaders ranging from politics to education to music.  Some of the noteworthy guests have included Mike Huckabee, former governor and presidential candidate as our first guest; Economist Paul Krugman; Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi; Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; Jazz great Wynton Marsalis.  All of the speakers brought a message of global awareness and connectivity, public service, and a spotlight to Webster University.

Although, the most important and rewarding time has been my time spent with the students.  I have always made it a point to help any student who wanted to advance their career or get more engaged with public policy or public service.

Throughout the past semesters and many conversations with students, I am so gratified with their expressions of enthusiasm and compliments that my classes and forums have been thought-provoking and enlightening.  I will always remember one of my students, a young woman from China, when she said, “I will not go back to China the same person that came to America.” 

I will never forget her comments and the comments of so many other students who have shared their thoughts with me through their evaluations of my classes and programs.

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