April 17, 2012

Thompson, Dixon plan fall campus appearances

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Two icons of Illinois politics will visit Southern Illinois University Carbondale next fall to mark the anniversaries of WSIU-TV and the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

Former Gov. James R. (Jim) Thompson, a Republican, and former U.S. Sen. Alan J. Dixon, a Democrat, will appear at separate events in October.

WSIU-TV is celebrating its 50th anniversary and the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute is marking its 15th year of service.  To headline these celebrations, Dixon is set to deliver his address on Oct. 4, and Thompson will speak on Oct. 25.

Both presentations will be in the Student Center ballrooms at 7 p.m.  Both presentations are free and open to the public. 

Thompson and Dixon will review their years in Illinois politics, look to the future, and discuss the challenges facing Illinois today.

Thompson is the longest-serving governor in Illinois history.  He served four terms totaling 14 years from 1977 to 1991.

Dixon’s 42-year career in politics included serving in both the Illinois House and Senate.  He was state treasurer from 1971 to 1977, secretary of state from 1977 to 1981, and a U.S. senator from 1981 to 1993.

“WSIU has a rich tradition of connecting the region to its elected officials and helping foster constructive dialogue,” said Greg Petrowich, executive director of WSIU.  “What better way to look back on 50 years of political coverage than to have these two distinguished leaders return to the SIU Carbondale campus and reflect on their years of service.”

David Yepsen, Institute director, said, “We are grateful both of these leaders have agreed to these appearances.  While they come from different political parties, each has a long record of successful public service to the people of Illinois.  Their presentations will be of value to those interested in politics, Illinois history, and the options our state faces in solving today’s problems.”

Additional event details for both visits will be announced soon.