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September 28, 2001

United States Senator Arlen Specter to Speak at a Town Meeting On the Campus of Lincoln University on Monday, October 1, 2001

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY -- Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania's senior United States Senator, will visit Lincoln University on Monday, October 1, 2001, to hold a Town Meeting at 1 p.m. The 45-minute session, which will be held in Dickey Hall Auditorium on the historic campus in southern Chester County, will provide a forum for Senator Specter to discuss a range of topics and answer questions from Lincoln students, faculty, staff and campus visitors.

"We are pleased and honored that Senator Specter will be holding a town meeting and speaking at the University," University President Ivory V. Nelson said.

"Senator Specter is providing our students with an invaluable opportunity to supplement their classroom education with this vital experience of interacting with a major political figure. The Senator has served his constituents and country for many years; he has firsthand knowledge of significant national and world events; and he also has played a key role in creating or strengthening many of our current laws and programs."

Senator Specter, a Republican from Philadelphia, is the ranking member on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, and is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and the Government Affairs Committee.

In the 104th Congress, he chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee. He is a legislative leader on education, health care, crime, drugs and terrorism.

On, September 19, Senator Specter introduced legislation to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to the passengers and crew of hijacked United Airlines flight 93 that crashed on September 11 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

As chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, Senator Specter led the fight to increase National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding in the last four years by more than $8 billion (currently at $20.3 billion) and to provide $1.45 billion in fiscal year 2001 for programs geared toward reducing the incidence of youth violence under an action plan administered by the Surgeon General.

In 1991, Senator Specter helped to create a separate Women's Health Unit at NIH. He also has co-sponsored key domestic violence legislation, and chairs the newly created Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight of the Department of Justice, FBI and other federal agencies review of Chinese espionage, campaign finance and Waco.

Senator Specter's Armed Career Criminal Act, signed into law in 1984 and expanded in 1986, carries a mandatory 15-year prison sentence for a career criminal found carrying a firearm, and has proven especially effective against major drug traffickers. His death penalty legislation streamlines the once-endless federal appeals process.

A former prosecutor and investigator, Senator Specter led the Veterans Affairs Committee investigation in 1999 of Gulf War Illness (from possible exposure to chemical weapons) and in 1995 led the investigation of the killings at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, which prompted changes in FBI and ATF policy.

In the only tangible legislative reform to come from the Iran-Contra scandal, he was responsible in 1989 for creating Inspectors General of the CIA, which in turn exposed Soviet mole Aldrich Ames, assassinations in Guatemala, and tainted Soviet materials passed to the President.

A fiscal conservative, Senator Specter has pressed for the Balanced Budget Amendment and line-item veto, and was the first to introduce a flat-tax bill to lower federal taxes and simplify filing. He has also fought for assistance to farmers and for relief efforts in the wake of droughts, floods and the Avian Flu.

Arlen Specter began his public service career as an assistant Philadelphia District Attorney. He was appointed to the Warren Commission staff where he played a leading role in investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. During two terms as District Attorney, he helped restore death penalty statutes in Pennsylvania, fought against consumer fraud, cracked down on rape and other crimes of violence, and relentlessly prosecuted corrupt public officials.

He was born to immigrant parents in Wichita, Kansas, and grew up in the small town of Russell, Kansas. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania, then served stateside in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations for two years. He graduated from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the law journal.

He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Joan, a former four-term Philadelphia City Councilwoman. They have two sons and four grandchildren.

Founded in 1854 as America's first Historically Black University, Lincoln University has been cited for its high achievements. Lincoln University ranks:

  • second in the nation in graduating African Americans with baccalaureate degrees in the physical sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics).
  • 12th in the nation among colleges and universities in graduating all minorities with baccalaureate degrees in the physical sciences.
  • in the top 2 percent in the nation in graduating African Americans with baccalaureate degrees in computer and information sciences, and also in biological and life sciences.
  • in the top 3 percent in the nation in graduating African Americans in all academic disciplines.

For more information, contact:
Samuel W. Pressley, Director
Lincoln University's Office of Marketing & Communications,
610-932-1094; e-mail: spressley@lu.lincoln.edu; home: 856-582-9574.

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