The Herald-Times

Carville, Matalin, Dreyfuss to highlight O’Bannon Institute at Ivy Tech

By Mike Leonard

331-4368 |

February 9, 2011

Husband and wife political strategists James Carville and Mary Matalin will headline Ivy Tech’s eighth annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service fundraising dinner on April 7.

Actor and civics education proponent Richard Dreyfuss will also speak and participate in panel discussions with students during the eighth annual O’Bannon Institute, April 6-8.

This year’s theme for the Institute is “Getting Back to Basics: Jobs, Education and Community Service.”

“Carville and Matalin come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, and they will share their views and commentary on events that are currently shaping our nation,” Ivy Tech Bloomington Chancellor John Whikehart said in a statement announcing the event. “Institute attendees will have the opportunity to hear political discussions that are focused upon a civil discourse.”

Matalin served as an adviser to former President George W. Bush and Carville was a key strategist in the election of former President Bill Clinton. Today they are best-selling authors, radio program hosts and frequent guests on television news-related programs. They also will serve as the host committee co-chairs for the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans.

The O’Bannon Institute was launched eight years ago by Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus and is an annual opportunity for the community to come together to discuss topics related to nonprofits, education and political and civic service. Previous speakers at the institute have included former U.S. Senators, Pulitzer prize-winning authors, governors, political advisers and columnists, and former First Lady of the United States, Laura W. Bush.

Whikehart said putting the O’Bannon program together is always a challenge because members of the Bloomington community typically like to point out that any given speaker is right-leaning or left-leaning, a Democrat or a Republican. “There should not be anyone who is upset with me this year. Everyone can come and they are bound to hear something they agree with,” he said with a chuckle.

“I said to my wife, here’s James Carville and Mary Matalin, who actually make a living arguing in front of other people,” he added. “We certainly don’t get paid for it.”

While Dreyfuss is known to many for film roles in movies such as “American Graffiti, “Jaws” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” the 63-year-old New York native has become increasingly involved in the dynamics of civic discourse. A former board member of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, he founded The Dreyfuss Initiative to reintroduce civics education in schools and promote democratic ideals.

The organization’s website describes the initiative’s fundamental mission as: “To teach our kids how to run our country with common sense and realism, before it’s time for them to run the country.”

Those interested in attending the O’Bannon Institute event featuring Carville and Matalin should contact Tina Phelps, assistant to the chancellor, at (812) 330-6001 or to reserve Tickets are $100 per person for the Institute’s fundraising dinner.

Dreyfuss will participate in several student-focused panels at Ivy Tech on April 8. A “Conversation with Richard Dreyfuss,” moderated by Herald-Times editor Bob Zaltsberg, will take place at 2:30 p.m. at Ivy Tech that day.

More information can be found at .

Richard Dreyfuss (Oscar Winner and lifelong historian) lay a wreath at the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, D.C. in this 2009 file photo. (PRNewsFoto/Civil War Preservation Trust, Kaye Evans-Lutterodt/PR Newswire)

Political strategists Mary Matalin and James Carville will headline the eighth annual O'Bannon Institute for Community Service fundraising dinner April 7 at the Bloomington Monroe County Convention Center. Courtesy photo.

Copyright: 2011