Former Sen. David Pryor to speak at Northark

Monday, August 13, 2012

HARRISON -- Former United States Senator, Congressman and Arkansas Governor David H. Pryor will be the 25th presenter in the John Paul Hammerschmidt Lecture Series.

Pryor will speak in Harrison on Monday, Aug. 27, at 6:30 p.m. in the L.E. "Gene" Durand Center on North Arkansas College's Center Campus. His lecture will feature the Barbara and David Pryor Center for Oral and Visual History at the University of Arkansas. The presentation is open to the public free of charge.

"David Pryor and I went to Congress together in 1967," says Congressman Hammerschmidt. "Since then David has had a long and prominent career in state and national service to his constituents and to our country. I am proud and honored to know him as a long time dear friend."

Pryor was born in Camden. He received his B.A. from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and his LL.B. from the University of Arkansas School of Law.

In 1960 he was elected to the Arkansas State House of Representatives where he served three terms. In November of 1966 he was elected to fill the unexpired term of Congressman Oren Harris and served three full terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1974 he was elected Governor of Arkansas, a position he held for four years. In 1979 Governor Pryor was elected to the United States Senate and served until he retired from the Senate in 1996.

Since retiring from the Senate, he became a Fulbright Distinguished Fellow of Law and Public Affairs, a lecturer in public policy at the Blair Center of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in Politics at Lyon College.

Pryor was a Fellow and subsequent Director at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has served on the Board of Winrock International and Board of Directors of the First Commercial Corporation. In 1999 he volunteered with the International Rescue Committee and assisted in refugee camps in Albania for a three-week period during the Kosovo war.

Pryor has received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Arkansas and Honorary Doctorates from Lyon College, Henderson State University, and Hendrix College. He is past Trustee of the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation and served for two years as the first Dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.

As a Senator he chaired the Senate Special Committee on Aging, was a member of the Senate Agricultural Committee, and a member of the Senate Finance Committee, chairing the IRS Oversight Committee.

In 1988 he sponsored and passed into law the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights legislation. For over 10 years he was a member of the Senate Ethics Committee. He was elected Secretary of the Democratic Conference and, in 2008, served as Interim Chair of the Democratic Party of Arkansas.

In 1999, the David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History was created at the University of Arkansas at the urging of Senator Pryor and his wife, Barbara, who have long had an interest in Arkansas history. The center has the mission to document the cultural heritage of Arkansans by collecting oral and moving image resources, and to share those resources with scholars, students and the public.

In September 2008, his autobiography, A Pryor Commitment, was published. The book chronicles his four decades of dedication to politics, government, and public service.

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