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Former Secretary of Defense Will Present Wearn Lecture at Davidson

April 18, 2001
Contact: Bill Giduz 704/894-2244 or bigiduz@davidson.edu

William Cohen
William S. Cohen

William S. Cohen, former secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration, will present Davidson College's Wearn Lecture on Saturday, April 21, on the subject, "The Perils and Promise of a New World." Cohen's free public talk will begin at 11 a.m. in Love Auditorium of Chambers Building.

Cohen was sworn in as the nation's twentieth Secretary of Defense on January 24, 1997. In an address before Congress on the eve of his confirmation, Cohen stressed the need for bipartisan cooperation on national security issues, the maintenance of quality personnel, the insurance of combat readiness, and the modernization of the nation's forces for the twenty-first century.

An accomplished writer, Cohen has published several works of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. His titles include: Of Sons and Seasons, A Baker's Nickel, The Double Man, One-Eyed Kings, Roll Call, Men of Zeal, and Getting the Most Out of Washington.

A native of Bangor, Maine, Cohen received his undergraduate education at Bowdoin College and went to law school at Boston University. His career as a public official began in 1969 with his election to his hometown's city council. He also served as mayor from 1971 to 1972, then was elected to the House of Representatives in 1972. He was elected to the Senate in 1978.

During his congressional career, Cohen was known as a moderate Republican, a bridge-builder between Republicans and Democrats, and a leading advocate for more stringent ethics laws.

In 1974, as a freshman member of Congress and a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Cohen became involved in the Nixon impeachment inquiry. He was among the first Republicans to break ranks with their party and vote in favor of Nixon's impeachment.

Cohen became involved in a second constitutional crisis in 1986, when he was appointed to the select Senate committee formed to investigate the Iran-Contra affair. He was one of only three Republicans to join Democrats in signing the majority report that held President Reagan responsible for the actions of those involved in the scandal.

For more information on Cohen's free, public talk, call 894-2440.

Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,600 students. Since its establishment in 1837, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report magazine. Davidson recently launched "Let Learning Be Cherished," a $250 million campaign in support of student financial assistance, academic resources, and community life.

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