On Monday, February 9, Student Government and the junior class officers hosted the presidents and vice-presidents of various campus organizations for Presidents' Round Table. This year's banquet featured keynote speaker Jane Hampton Cook, a Baylor alumna and former webmaster for President George W. Bush.
Cook, well-known for her books on American political history and her frequent guest appearances on Fox News, challenged the student leaders to live lives of service and passion. Throughout her remarks, she used powerful examples from America's history to illustrate her points.
Christopher Paxton, a junior from Houston, Texas, said he gained some practical leadership insights that he plans to implement into his student organization.
"Jane Cook offered a profound insight into the trials and tribulations that faced the founders of our great nation," said Paxton. "I left inspired to lead my organization by drawing wisdom and strength from their stories."
One of Cook's illustrations involved the portrayal of infamous American traitor Benedict Arnold. According to Cook, Arnold's behavior related to her own experience as a Sing chair for Zeta Tau Alpha.
"Jane's stories of her Baylor experience are still relevant today," said Paxton. "Student leaders still face some of the same issues and challenges, which are great opportunities to gain valuable leadership experience."
Student leaders were also presented with the opportunity to purchase a number of Cook's books, including her critically praised work, Stories of Faith and Courage from the Revolutionary War. In her most recent work, The Faith of America's First Ladies, Cook describes how faith worked to strengthen the lives of many first ladies.
Junior Class President Jordan Hannah, who planned the evening's festivities and is currently reading one of Cook's books, said her knowledge of American history and familiarity with Baylor's student experience made for both an engaging and relevant keynote address.
But Hannah added that president's roundtable is--most importantly--about relationships.
"It was our hope that students were able to develop long-lasting relationships with peer leaders across our campus," said Hannah. "With all of our programs in Student Government we seek to build a better Baylor, and one of the best ways to accomplish that objective is through relationships."
No formal details have been set for next year's round table, but Hannah was confident that future round tables would only build upon the recent success.
"We felt the event was a great success and that everyone in attendance took something valuable with them to their organizations," said Hannah.
For more information on Jane Hampton Cook, visit: http://www.janecook.com.