By Faye Gaston
Former United States Representative of South Carolina's 4th Congressional District, Trey Gowdy, was the featured speaker at the annual fundraiser dinner for Faulkner University in Montgomery.
It was held on October 1, 2020, at the Renaissance Hotel. The annual benefit dinner raised critical funds to provide scholarships to students who have returned to campus to complete the fall 2020 semester in person during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several big screens projected the names of donors to the scholarship fund. These were in addition to those who purchased tickets to the event.
The screens showed close-ups of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey speaking compliments to the university and also the University's president Mike Williams giving an overview of the event.
There were close-ups of those who provided the singing of the National Anthem and other songs, and those who offered prayer.
Nearly 120 individuals marched to the front to be acknowledged and thanked for risking their own health to keep our communities running and to keep our loved ones safe.
These workers did not let the COVID-19 shutdown stop their service as healthcare professionals, food service personnel, maintenance workers, grocers, postal workers, truck drivers, veterinarians, waiters, janitors and others.
The climax of the program was the motivational speech by Trey Gowdy followed by a period of his answers to questions from the University president.
Gowdy spoke about the challenges facing our nation, calling this year a season of conflict in a diverse and pluralistic country. "We are living in a 50/50 country, a deadlocked country."
He said that rights have responsibilities, and to know what you believe, why you believe that, and how to persuade others to your viewpoint.
He said, "Let us together embrace this art of persuasion. If we do that we can continue to be the greatest experiment the world has ever known."
His out-spoken conservative views on national television have gained him many fans who would like to see him be U.S. President some day. At the Faulkner event, he spoke with gracious humor about difficult issues.
After four terms in Congress, he did not seek re-election. His career ended with an exemplary record in the courtroom and undefeated in political races.
In January 2019, he returned to South Carolina to practice law, teach classes with his close friend Senator Tim Scott, and speak on legal issues he considers important to our country.
COVID-19 safety guidelines were followed at the fundraiser dinner, including wearing a mask, temperatures checked, and sitting six people to a table instead of ten. There was more space between the elegant tables and individual containers of meal accessories were used.
The television, radio and newspaper media met with the Faulkner president prior to the program for a filmed interview. Faye Gaston represented the Union Springs Herald at this event that is always highly anticipated by this region.
Rebecca Burylo, Public Relations and Social Media Manager for the University, was host to the media, providing them Press badges, packaged snacks, a private room, and a close view of the stage from the balcony.
Faulkner is a private Christian liberal arts university and home to six colleges.