On Wednesday, Oct. 20, South Carolina candidate for Governor, Nikki Haley, will be a guest speaker at Converse College. Haley plans to talk with students about her passion for public service and the challenges and opportunities that are unique to women in the political arena. Haley is slated to speak at 7p.m. in Twichell Auditorium.
A student-moderated question and answer forum immediately following Haley’s speech will allow audience members the opportunity to direct questions to Haley. The event is free and open to the public. For more information please contact Jennifer Baker, associate director of communications at Converse College, at 864.596.9705 or Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org.
“As a women’s college dedicated to developing engaged, politically involved citizens who use their voice––and their vote––to effect positive change, it’s exciting to see our students creating opportunities to promote political awareness,” said Converse President Betsy Fleming.
Converse senior and politics major Karlen Senn, who serves as chair of the South Carolina College Republican Federation, led the initiative to bring Haley to the Converse campus. “Young women interested in politics have few female role models in South Carolina,” said Senn. “Therefore, I believe it is important for us to learn all we can from the women who are paving the way.”
Born in Bamberg, S.C., the daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley’s first job was keeping the books for her family’s clothing store – at the age of 13. She went on to graduate from Clemson University with a B.S. degree in accounting and following her graduation worked as Accounting Supervisor for the Charlotte, N.C. based corporation FCR, Inc. and five of its subsidiaries. Haley then went back to the family business where she helped oversee its growth into a multi-million dollar operation.
In 2004, Haley was elected to represent the 87th District in Lexington County when as a virtual unknown she beat the longest serving state legislator in a Republican primary. In 2008 Representative Haley was sent back to the statehouse with 83 percent of the vote – the highest percentage earned by any lawmaker facing a contested South Carolina election that year. She won the Republican Party nomination for governor of South Carolina on Tuesday, June 22, 2010.
For her efforts to cut taxes and slow the growth of government spending, Haley was named “Friend of the Taxpayer” (2009) by the S.C. Association of Taxpayers and a “Taxpayer Hero” (2005) by Gov. Mark Sanford. She has lifetime “A” ratings from the South Carolina Club for Growth, the Palmetto Family Council and the National Rifle Association. Haley also received the Palmetto Leadership Award from the S.C. Policy Council for her expertise on policy matters and the Strom Thurmond Excellence in Public Service and Government Award from the S.C. Federation of Republican Women for the outstanding constituent service she provides to her district.