posted on April 01, 2014 15:17
A man described by President Ronald Reagan as “an American hero” said he sees hope for the future in the “spirit-empowered leaders” being educated at the University of Mobile.
Lt. Col. Oliver North praised the university as the keynote speaker at the 9th annual University of Mobile Leadership Banquet, held March 27 at the Mobile Convention Center. An audience of more than 800 gathered for the university’s annual fundraising event, which included performances by students in the school’s Center for Performing Arts.
North served 22 years as a Marine officer. His awards for service in combat include the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for valor and two Purple Hearts for wounds in action.
He has authored 13 books, all of them New York Times best sellers. His latest book is “American Heroes on the Homefront.”
Assigned to the National Security Council staff in the Reagan administration, North was the United States government’s counter-terrorism coordinator from 1983-1986. He was involved in planning the rescue of 804 medical students on the island of Grenada and played a major role in the daring capture of the terrorists who hijacked the cruise ship Achille Lauro.
After helping plan the U.S. raid on Muammar Qaddafi’s terror bases in Libya, North was targeted for assassination by Abu Nidal, the infamous terrorist killed in Baghdad in August 2002.
Since 2001, he has been the host of “War Stories” – the award-winning military documentary series on Fox News Channel. He is the founder of a small business, an inventor with three U.S. patents and a syndicated columnist.
During the banquet, North emphasized the importance of preparing the next generation for leadership, such as those students he met when he visited the UMobile campus prior to the banquet. He said he was grateful to spend time with students who are using their God-given talents to carry on their own challenging missions.
“The purpose, dedication and commitment I see in those young students gives me hope for the future,” North said. “Every student that I met here today has been intent on gathering the skills and tools that they need to help change the world. That effort is important not just to the city of Mobile, not just to the state of Alabama, but it’s important to this country.”
North said it was clear to him that the UMobile faculty, staff and administration are role models who “are focused on preparing what I would call spirit-empowered leaders. I like to see that.”
He spoke about the importance of role models, noting that it was a senior military officer who served as his role model and, ultimately, paved the way for his own conversion and relationship with Jesus Christ.
“We all live in challenging times. Our nation is, in my humble opinion, in deep, deep trouble. We need godly leaders in every walk of life in this country,” North said.
Voices of Mobile performs for guests during dinner.
Lt. Col. Oliver North speaks to guests at the 9th annual University of Mobile Leadership Banquet.
Lt. Col. Oliver North autographs books after University of Mobile Leadership Banquet.