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Former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius launches 2015-2016 Sebelius Lecture Series
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The lecture series named for one of Fort Hays State University’s most notable alumni, former U.S. Rep. Keith Sebelius, will feature an October appearance by his daughter-in-law, Kathleen Sebelius, former U.S. secretary of health and human services to President Barack Obama.
She will discuss her accomplishments and legacy during “An Evening with Kathleen Sebelius” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12, in the Sheridan Hall’s Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center on the FHSU campus. This is the first lecture of the 2015-2016 academic year.
“We’re honored to have Secretary Sebelius at Fort Hays State University,” said Vincent Bowhay, chair of the Special Events Committee and assistant director of the Memorial Union. “Sebelius was at the center of every major health issue or event facing the nation and the world during her tenure in the Obama administration. It is only fitting to welcome her back to Kansas to celebrate her accomplishments and legacy.” As the country’s former highest ranking health official, she led the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the historic health care law signed by President Obama in 2010. She also served as a leader during public health crises, coordinating the government response to the 2009 H1N1 virus and the devastating earthquake in Haiti.
Sebelius was the second female governor of Kansas, serving from 2003 to 2009, and was the first daughter of a governor to be elected governor in American history. In 2005, Time Magazine recognized her achievements by naming her one of “Americas Top Five Governors,” praising her for eliminating a $1.1 billion debt she inherited, ferreting out waste in state government and strongly supporting public education -- all without raising taxes.
She was the first Democrat to be elected Kansas Insurance Commissioner, serving from 1995 to 2003. Governing Magazine selected her as its Public Official of the Year for 2000. Prior to her service as insurance commissioner, she was a member of the Kansas House of Representatives from 1987 to 1995.
Sebelius holds a master of public administration degree from the University of Kansas and a bachelor of arts degree from Trinity Washington University.
Tickets are now available for purchase online at Tickets for the general public are $10 per person; for FHSU students they are $5 per person.
Approximately 200 patrons help sponsor the Sebelius Lecture Series each year. Patrons donate $150 per person. These donations are tax deductible, less benefits received. Patrons will receive an exclusive invitation to a reception with the speaker on the day of the lecture, exclusive tickets to sit in rows A-C in the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center for the lecture, and their names will be prominently placed in the event program. To become a Patron, visit and complete a ticket order form as a Patron.
For more information about the Sebelius Lecture Series, call Bowhay at 785-628-4664 or send email to
About former U.S. Rep. Keith Sebelius
Sebelius graduated from FHSU in 1941. While at FHSU, he was one of the original Lewis Field Pioneers -- young men who lived on campus while working a variety of jobs to pay their tuition, room and board.
Sebelius was born in Norton. He earned a law degree and returned to Norton to practice law. He served on the city council and as mayor. He also served in the Kansas Senate. He became active in the Republican Party and ran for the U.S. House seat previously held by Bob Dole in 1968.
He served for 12 years and didn’t seek re-election in 1980. He died at age 66 and is buried in Norton. His son, Gary Sebelius, is a federal magistrate judge and the husband of Kathleen Sebelius. His son, R. Douglas Sebelius, is the Norton County attorney.