Carville, Matalin to speak at MSU tonight

September 29, 2009 9:46:00 AM

Tim Pratt -


STARKVILLE -- Political commentators James Carville and Mary Matalin, the husband-and-wife duo known for sitting on opposite sides of the political aisle, are set to speak today at Mississippi State University as part of the College of Business''s third annual Leadership Summit.  


The talk is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in Bettersworth Auditorium in Lee Hall. A limited number of free tickets are available for students, faculty and staff, while tickets also are on sale to the public for $20. 


The Leadership Summit, which began this morning, also will feature Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry''s Homemade Inc.; Kenneth "Hap" Klopp, founder of The North Face; Ali Velshi, CNN''s senior business correspondent; and Roy Ruby, who has worked at Mississippi State University for more than 40 years and served as interim president until Mark Keenum was hired to fill the spot last fall. 


"We are really excited because of the diversity of the backgrounds of the people coming in to speak," MSU Dean of Business Lynne Richardson said Monday. "We think it will provide some thought-provoking messages to the folks in the audience." 


Summit events began today at 10 a.m. with a bicycle tour of the Mississippi State University campus to show off its "green efforts."  A golf tournament then was held at 11 a.m. at the MSU golf course.  


The university celebrates the grand opening of the Entrepreneur Center in the McCool Hall atrium at 2 p.m., followed at 6 p.m. by Carville and Matalin''s talk, dubbed "All''s Fair: Love, War and Politics," at 6 p.m. Carville traditionally has aligned himself with the Democratic Party while Matalin has been a traditional, conservative voice.   


Dinner will take place at 7:15 p.m. in the Hunter Henry Center, with Ruby giving a talk titled, "You think this is bad! A humorous look at where we''ve been and where we''re going." 


The summit will conclude Wednesday afternoon. Highlights Wednesday include a 9:30 a.m. panel discussion, moderated by Velshi, in Foster Ballroom at the Colvard Student Union. Eight business executives will take part in the discussion.  


Klopp is scheduled to speak Wednesday at 10:45 a.m. and make a presentation titled "Leadership and the New Economy," followed by an 11:45 a.m. lunch, where Velshi will present "Perspectives from a CNN Correspondent." 


Work sessions will take place throughout the afternoon until 2:30 p.m., when Greenfield will speak at the "Peace, Love and Leadership" event at The Junction. Those in attendance will be greeted by free ice cream, vendor booths, live music and other activities.  


Richardson says the College of Business tries to alter the Leadership Summit slightly every year to keep it "fresh and exciting." Colin Powell spoke there in 2008.  


"We think it''s a showcase event, not only for our College of Business, but for the entire university," Richardson said.