EGCC serving as sponsor for April 27 visit by Hayden

SPEAKER DISCUSSION — Jimmie Bruce, president of Eastern Gateway Community College, left, and Ross Gallabrese, executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times, talk about the April 27 appearance by Michael Hayden as part of the Trinity Health System Presents the Herald-Star Speaker Series. EGCC is an inaugural sponsor of the series. -- Jody Wisbith

STEUBENVILLE –As a lifelong educator, Jimmie Bruce recognizes when something is good for his students as well as members of the community.

That’s why he’s been a big supporter of the Trinity Health System Presents the Herald-Star Speaker Series since he came to town as president of Eastern Gateway Community College in 2015.

“I think the series is great for the community,” Bruce said last week. “We’re honored to be able to help sponsor the event — to be able to bring the caliber of speakers that we have to the community is a great thing. We’re happy to be able to make that happen.”

Eastern Gateway is an inaugural sponsor of the series, which will continue April 27 when retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, the former head of the National Security and Central Intelligence agencies, speaks in Lanman Hall at Catholic Central High School.

Hayden was appointed as director of the NSA by President Bill Clinton, a post he held from March 1999 through April 21, 2005, when he became principal deputy director of national intelligence. President George W. Bush then selected Hayden to lead the CIA, a position he held from May 30, 2006, through Feb. 12, 2009, when he was replaced by Leon Panetta, who was named by President Barack Obama.

He’ll talk about his 40-plus year career in intelligence and will be able to offer insights into current events from a unique view.

“It’s great for our students to be able to have exposure to national speakers who talk about events that are relevant today and to be able to hear their perspectives on them,” Bruce said. “I think the more we can have students experience these out-of-classroom events, the better the learning experience is for them.”

A Pittsburgh native, Hayden details his career in his book “Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror.” In that book, he offers a look into how American intelligence has responded to terrorism and rapid changes in technology.

“The world is not getting any safer,” Hayden writes in the forward to his book. “And espionage remains our first line of defense.

“The growing difficulty of that challenge helped prompt the title … ‘Playing to the Edge.’ The reference is to using all the tools and all the authorities available, much like how a good athlete takes advantage of the entire playing field right up to the sideline markers and endlines.”

He has stayed busy in retirement and is a principal in the Chertoff Group, a security consultancy founded by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. He also is a distinguished visiting professor at the George Mason University School of Policy, Government and International Affairs and is co-chair of the electronic grid cybersecurity initiative of the Bipartisan Policy Center. He’s a frequent commentator on television and radio news and discussion shows, and is not afraid to offer his thoughts on current events and the intelligence community.

“I think, given the climate we are in now in our nation and the world, when we’re hearing talk about banning immigrants and issues surrounding the Muslim community and those types of things, from a security standpoint, I think it is going to be very interesting to hear his perspective on what those things mean for our nation and how we’re perceived in the world,” Bruce said.

Joining Eastern Gateway, Trinity and the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times as series sponsors are the Franciscan University of Steubenville, EZtoUse.com, Cattrell Cos. Inc., the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and WTRF-TV.

“The series demonstrates a partnership we want to have with the community, certainly with the Herald-Star and the other sponsors to raise the level of cultural events in our community. We’re happy to do that,” Bruce said.

This spring’s presentation will be the eighth in the series, which began in November 2012 when former Secret Service agent Clint Hill and his co-author Lisa McCubbin spoke. Other speakers have been Antonio and Jonna Mendez, Capt. Richard Phillips, retired Air Force Col. Mark Tillman, Rebekah Gregory, Mark “Oz” Geist and Jeanine Pirro.

“I think it’s exciting,” Bruce added. “I’ve enjoyed the previous speakers who I have been involved with since I came to town. I think it’s a great thing, and I hope we can keep it going.”

Reserved seat tickets for Hayden’s 7:30 p.m. presentation cost $20 and are available by visiting heraldstaronline.com; at the Herald-Star office, 401 Herald Square; or by contacting Diana Brown by phone at (740) 283-4711 during regular business hours. All tickets will cost $25 if purchased at the auditorium the night of the presentation.

Copies of “Playing to the Edge” are available for purchase for $25 at the Herald-Star. Attendees who have books will have the opportunity to have them signed after the presentation.

A limited number of VIP ticket packages remains available at a cost of $150 for two tickets and $100 for a single ticket. The package includes admission to a private reception with Hayden that will run from 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at Catholic Central High School; hors d’oeuvres and beverages; the opportunity to meet Hayden and have a photograph taken with him; a copy of “Playing to the Edge;” a pass for reserved parking at the high school; and special seating for the presentation. Contact Cindy Kotsch at (740) 283-4711 for information.

New for this presentation is a preferred seating option. Priced at $50 per ticket, the package includes a paperback copy of “Playing to the Edge,” special seating and the opportunity to be among the first people to meet Hayden after the presentation. Contact Kotsch for details.

Local college and high school students will have the opportunity to get a free ticket to the presentation through the sponsorship of Cattrell Cos. Inc. Officials from area schools can contact Brown at the paper for details.

Providing support for the presentation are the Best Western Plus University Inn at Franciscan Square, Piergallini Catering, Catholic Central High School, Newbrough Photo and Hertz-Thrifty Car Rental.


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