Howard University has announced that former FBI Director James Comey will be the university’s Opening Convocation keynote speaker to start off the 2017–2018 school year on Sept. 22 and will be leading a lecture series.
Fired in the spring by Trump, Comey, formerly a registered Republican, played a controversial though purportedly inadvertent role in last year’s presidential election by declaring in a letter to Congress that the FBI had learned of the existence of e-mails that might be pertinent to its investigation of Hilary Clinton’s use of an e-mail server while she was Secretary of State.
Clinton led in the polls until that fateful decision by Comey.
Here is an excerpt from the Howard announcement:
Howard University appoints James Comey as this year’s Opening Convocation keynote speaker and the 2017–2018 Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy. Mr. Comey will kick off the school year with an address to the University and engage the Howard community through a lecture series designed to foster fruitful discussion and spur meaningful interaction.
Scheduled for Sept. 22, 2017, Opening Convocation officially signals the beginning of the academic year. Mr. Comey will formally welcome the Class of 2021 to the 2017–2018 school year and recognize the university for its accomplishments and its commitment to excellence in truth and service. As the holder of the King Chair, Mr. Comey will lead and conduct five lectures featuring speakers that will touch on several topics.
“I am pleased to welcome Mr. Comey to Howard,” said Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick. “His expertise and understanding of the challenges we continue to face today will go a long way in sparking rich discussion and advancing meaningful debates across campus.”
The King Chair was established to provide students access to experienced, senior public service executives who developed and advanced public policy initiatives. Mr. Comey will announce the topic of the lectures after consulting with student leaders and other campus stakeholders on topics relevant to the Howard community. Mr. Comey will be donating his entire King Chair compensation of $100,000 to a Howard University scholarship fund. The fund will support students coming from a foster home environment. [Comey is reportedly a foster parent.]
James Comey is an attorney with a breadth of experience in private practice and the federal government. Mr. Comey served as the seventh Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation appointed by President Barack Obama. During his tenure at the FBI, Mr. Comey supported several programs across the organization that focused on diversity initiatives. In February 2017, President Wayne A.I. Frederick was invited by Mr. Comey to address the FBI on the issue of “Success Through Education,” emphasizing the critical role of HBCUs.
“I am honored to hold the King Chair this school year. Howard has a longstanding history of being a vibrant academic community and the perfect place to have rich dialogue on many of the most pressing issues we face today,” said Comey. “I look forward to contributing to this remarkable institution and engaging students and faculty alike.”
Read the full Howard announcement here.