Campus News

George Mitchell '54 Earns Standing Ovation With Speech at Morrell Gym; Says He Will Not Work at Whit

Story posted September 15, 1998


Sept. 10, 1998, BRUNSWICK, Maine -- George Mitchell, the former U.S. Senate majority leader, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and 1954 Bowdoin graduate, brought a packed audience at Morrell Gymnasium to its feet Thursday night with a speech about American ideals, conflict resolution and public service. None of the approximately 1,700 people in attendance asked him about President Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky or Ken Starr. But reporters did afterwards.

Mitchell came to Bowdoin, sponsored by the John C. Donovan Lecture Fund, just two days after arriving back in the United States from Europe.

At a press conference following the speech, he dispelled nationwide rumors, which he learned of only after arriving home, that he was considering a job as either White House Chief of Staff or personal advisor to President Clinton.

Mitchell said he simply had offered to help the president in any way he could. But he did not want, nor would he accept, a job at the White House. He said he gave up "work" when he left the Senate three years ago in order to spend more time with his family. But he ended up spending 22 months brokering the monumental peace agreement between northern and southern Ireland. It was that peace process, and its ramifications worldwide, that dominated the hour-long speech and question-and-answer period that followed.

Online resources:

The George Mitchell Papers at Bowdoin College:http://www.bowdoin.edu/dept/library/arch/mitchell/index.html

Time Magazine report (4/10/98) on the Northern Ireland peace process:

http://cgi.pathfinder.com/time/daily/special/look/peace/index.html

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