Margaret Thatcher to Speak at Baylor

Jan. 18, 1999

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher will deliver a University Lecture on "Challenges Facing the 21st Century" Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Ferrell Special Events Center on the Baylor University campus.

Tickets for students, faculty and staff will be on sale beginning Jan. 20 at the Bill Daniel Student Center ticket office and at Floyd Casey Stadium. Tickets are free of charge for Baylor students with a current I.D. card. Tickets for faculty and staff are $5, also with an I.D. All seats are reserved. Tickets for the general public will go on sale Jan. 25 for $10 (arena) and $15 (floor).

Students, faculty and staff who purchased or picked up a ticket for the lecture prior to the decision to move the lecture to the Ferrell Center will have a seat at the new location. These individuals should exchange their ticket for a Ferrell Center seating ticket at the BDSC or Floyd Casey Stadium ticket office. Floor seating upgrades for these tickets will also be available for $10.

The daughter of a grocer who was active in local politics, Lady Thatcher served as Britain's first female prime minister from 1979-1990, becoming the country's first leader this century to guide the Conservative Party to three consecutive general election victories. After stepping down as prime minister, she continued as the member of Parliament for Finchley until the general election in 1992. In June 1992, she was appointed Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven and plays an active role in the House of Lords and in politics.

Lady Thatcher received a degree in natural science (chemistry) from Somerville College, Oxford, and a master of arts from Oxford University. While an undergraduate, she was president of the Oxford University Conservative Association. Upon leaving Oxford, she worked for four years as a research chemist for an industrial firm, reading to become a lawyer in her spare time. In 1954, she was called to the Bar by Lincoln's Inn and began practicing as a barrister, specializing in taxation law.

Lady Thatcher's career in politics began in 1950 and 1951 when she contested two parliamentary elections of the Conservative Party. In 1959 she was elected to the House of Commons as Member for Finchley. Her first ministerial appointment came in 1961, when she became parliamentary secretary to the then-Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance until 1964. From 1964-1979, she was a front-bench spokesman for her party, and from 1967-1970, a member of the Shadow Cabinet. When the conservatives returned to power in 1970, Lady Thatcher was appointed Secretary of State for Education and Science and was made Privy Counsellor. After the general election in 1974, she was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet and became Opposition front-bench spokesman, first on the environment and later on treasury matters. She was elected Leader of the Conservative Party and thus Leader of the Opposition in February 1975. Lady Thatcher was appointed Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service on May 4, 1979, serving until Nov. 28, 1990.

Currently Lady Thatcher is chancellor at Buckingham University, England, and chancellor of William and Mary College in Virginia. She has received many awards and honorary degrees, including the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award in October 1998. She has written three books - The Downing Street Years (1993, Harper-Collins), which covers her years as prime minister; The Path to Power (1995); and Margaret Thatcher - The Collected Speeches (1998). She is married to Sir Denis Thatcher, who was made a baronet in 1990. They have a twin son and daughter, Mark and Carol.

For more information, about Lady Thatcher's visit to Baylor, contact the Office of Public Relations at (254) 710-1961.

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