A Successful Evening with Mike Huckabee

October 11, 2011

On Tuesday, September 27, Florida College hosted former Arkansas governor and 2008 Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee as the keynote speaker at the fourth annual Leadership Dinner.

Phil Ford, former chairman of the West Memphis Board of Higher Education, introduced Huckabee to the sold out crowd. Huckabee then spoke on the value of a Christian-focused college experience.

“An important part of education is not just educating the brain but educating the soul.” he said. “And not reflecting our culture, but illuminating it. ”

Florida College books high profile speakers every year for the Leadership Dinner—and from John Maxwell to Dan Cathy to Tony Dungy, each speech has focused on the importance of values in education and leadership.

With humor, heart-warming stories, and hard-hitting facts, Huckabee illustrated how education that promotes academics and integrity creates valuable workers. To Huckabee, “it’s not as much about what you do, but how you do it.”

“We spend too much time thinking college is learning to do something, but it is rather learning to be something—determining what kind of person you will be.”

Huckabee graduated from a small, Bible-focused college himself and he feels that his success is a direct result of his positive college experience—and he could not help but note the difference in the students at Florida College and those students at the Ivy League schools at which he has spoken in the past.

“The students at Yale are not any smarter nor are they any better than the students that come to Florida College,” he said. “The one difference in that the peer pressure at Florida College is to try to live in a way that presents both academic and spiritual excellence. I’m not sure that that’s a bad thing. It’s a wonderful thing.”

For Huckabee, real success in life just comes down to the Golden Rule and God’s absolute definitions of right and wrong.

“If every person did exactly what they wished others would do, imagine what an incredible culture and society we would have,” he said. “And if we live in the context of those things that are always right and those things that are always wrong, life turns out ok.”

And according to Huckabee, students who arrive at college with a purpose and leave with a mission are bound to be successful.

“I appreciate a campus like Florida College, because it produces students who come to college with a goal to do what they ought to do, not just what they want to do.”