Governor Visits Benedictine College

Governor Visits Benedictine College

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback visited the campus of Benedictine College on January 19 to address the students in a Leadership, Vision and Values class (GS198A). In addition to offering some advice to the class, the staunchly pro-life governor took the opportunity to meet with students who were leaving for the March for Life the next day.

“Kansas is the most pro-life state in America and we’re not going back,” he said. “Thank you for standing up for life.”

Benedictine students will fill 6 buses and travel 2,262 miles to participate in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. Last year, Benedictine College was selected to lead the March.

Brownback commented that the March for Life is annually the largest rally in Washington, with hundreds of thousands of participants, yet the media never reports on it at all. He said the legalization of abortion was “one of the great tragedies of our time.”

Brownback also gave the group some life advice, encouraging them to find a mentor, find their passion, and be at peace in the moment. He explained that a person can long for the past or worry about the future, but the present is the only time when one interacts with God.

Brownback is the 46th Governor of Kansas, elected in November to a second term.  Born in Garnett, Kan., he grew up on his family’s farm near Parker, Kan.  He was the state president of the Future Farmers of America in high school and the student body president at Kansas State University.  He graduated from K-State in 1978 with a degree in agricultural economics.  He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1982.  He worked as an attorney in Manhattan, Kan., for four years before entering public service. 

He served as Secretary of the Kansas Board of Agriculture from 1986-1993.  During that time he also was a White House Fellow in the first Bush Administration.

In 1994 Brownback was elected to Congress from the 2nd District, which includes Atchison County.  Twoyears later, Kansans elected him to the U.S. Senate seat once held by Senator Bob Dole.  He was reelected twice, garnering the highest number of votes for any office in Kansas history during his 2004 Senate campaign.  In 2010, he honored his term limit pledge and retired from the Senate.

He and his wife, Mary, have five children, two of them are adopted.  Raised a Methodist, Brownback converted to Catholicism in 2002 and is currently a member of Christ the King Parish in Topeka.  He has spoken on issues of faith and politics at Benedictine College many times, including during the 2010 dedication of the Mother Teresa Center for Nursing & Health Education and as the 2011 Commencement Speaker.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.