The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Blair to receive Tower Center’s Medal of Freedom

Tony Blair, the former prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, will be awarded the Medal of Freedom from Southern Methodist University’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies tomorrow night at a formal ceremony in McFarlin Auditorium as part of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series.

Blair will be the sixth honoree to receive the Medal of Freedom. Former recipients of this prestigious award include John McCain in 2005, Tommy R. Franks in 2003, George H.W. Bush in 2001, Margaret Thatcher in 1999 and Colin Powell in 1997.

In addition to receiving the Medal of Freedom, Blair will also be addressing the Hart Global Leaders Forum on Thursday morning. The forum is designed to offer area high school students the opportunity to interact with “national and international leaders in government, business, science and the media,” according to the SMU Web site.

Tony Blair was elected leader of the Labour Party in 1994 following the sudden and untimely death of his predecessor and fellow Scottish politician, John Smith. Blair’s election resulted in a sudden shift in Labour party policies that allowed them to win a landslide victory in the 1997 general election, which ended 18 years of rule by the Conservative Party.

Blair served as prime minister from 1997 until his resignation in June 2007. During his tenure as leader of the Labour Party, Blair led them to a record three consecutive general election victories. He is currently the party’s longest-serving prime minister.

There will be two opportunities for SMU students to hear Blair speak on campus. The first chance is Wednesday night when he accepts the Medal of Freedom at the Tate Lecture Series Special Event, and the second is Thursday morning at the Hart Global Leaders Forum.

To see Blair accept the Medal of Freedom, students should come to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium with their SMU IDs at 7 p.m. Wednesday night. Due to security concerns, backpacks are prohibited. The ceremony begins at 8:30 p.m.

To see Blair at the forum, students can pick up tickets for the event at the Mane Desk in Hughes-Trigg. Tickets are limited to one per SMU ID and are given on a first come, first served basis. Again, backpacks are prohibited. The forum is in McFarlin Auditorium and begins at 11 a.m.

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