Former White House Chief of Staff Speaks at Excellence Dinner

By GABI BOURN

Femi Aborisade

Femi Aborisade

The Center for Christianity in Business at the University hosted its first Excellence in Leadership Dinner on March 6 with Andrew Card, acting dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M and White House chief of staff under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2006, serving as keynote speaker.

The dinner helped raise support for the CCB by increasing community awareness about its mission.

Dr. Ernest Liang, director of the CCB, explained the goal of the organization as building Christian business leaders.

“The CCB aims to challenge, encourage and equip Christian men and women in the marketplace to stand up for this identity, so that the world will believe in our integrity which would indeed be our strength,” Liang said.

As a part of the dinner, President Robert B. Sloan Jr. presented Archie Dunham, University supporter and former President and CEO of Conoco Inc., the Lifetime Achievement Award in Christian Business Leadership.  He was given this award because of his achievements in business and his strong Christian beliefs.

“He demonstrates his faith consistently in his professional life, using the Scripture as a guide in decision making and in shaping him as a well-respected servant leader,” Liang said.

During Card’s speech he spoke on the importance of faith in everyday life. He pulled from his experience in the White House to provide examples of people who let their Christian walk govern their decisions. Card explained what faith looks like by looking at important people in his life such as his grandmother.

“I really embrace the words trust and obey,” Card said. “Those words are words of faith because we have to trust to have our faith and too few of us have the confidence to obey.”

Card then spoke of his family and his childhood years by saying that his family was grounded in their faith and that his grandmother believed everyone needed to know both the Bible and the U.S. Constitution.  He said she believed that the first word in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, “we,” applied to everyone and encouraged her family to get involved. Card said this was both an invitation and an obligation.

Card then spoke of his time in the White House serving under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush and how he worked his way up from Special Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs for President Ronald Reagan to serving as White House Chief of Staff for President George H.W. Bush from 2000-2006.

Card shared personal stories about seeing George H.W. Bush enter the Oval Office as president for the first time and how he studied the Bible daily before beginning his daily work as president.

Throughout the speech, Card told stories that reflected the importance of having faith and seeking God when making decisions. He maintained the CCB’s goal of spreading the importance of Christian business leaders.

Card told the audience the same thing he told the White House employees who served under him as Chief of Staff.

“Your ethics are more important than your job,” he said.

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