Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sarbanes, Maryland's Longest-Serving U.S. Senator, to Visit Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Retired U.S. Senator Paul S. Sarbanes, the longest-serving senator in Maryland history, will discuss "The Importance of Ethics to Our Society" at Washington College's Casey Academic Center Forum on Tuesday, October 7, at 4:30 p.m.

The lecture is presented by the Richard Holstein '68 Ethics Program.

Among his other senatorial accomplishments, Sarbanes co-authored the bipartisan Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, enacted in response to major corporate and accounting scandals that cost investors billions of dollars. "The New York Times called the Sarbanes-Oxley Act 'the most far-reaching reforms of American business practices since the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt'," said Washington College President Baird Tipson. "As our nation embarks upon the largest corporate bailout in history, it is especially timely that the former ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will visit our campus to speak with our students about the importance of ethics in our society."

Sarbanes, who for decades served as Maryland's Democratic senior senator, had the principles of fairness and opportunity instilled in him by his parents from a very early age. Born in Salisbury, Maryland, in 1933, he was the son of Greek immigrants who owned the Mayflower Restaurant on Salisbury's Main Street. Sarbanes' parents understood the importance of hard work and the value of education. They instilled these values in their children along with an appreciation of the benefits of living in a democratic society.

Sarbanes attended Princeton University on an academic and athletic scholarship. A Rhodes Scholarship then took him to Oxford University. He returned to the United States and graduated from Harvard Law School.

Sarbanes was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, then a three-term Congressman from the Third Congressional District. In 1977, he began his record-length career as United States Senator from Maryland.

Throughout his years of public service, Senator Sarbanes worked hard to provide the citizens of Maryland with dedicated, independent representation. When he retired in 2007, the Democratic National Committee declared, "Be it ... resolved, that the DNC offers Senator Sarbanes its best wishes as he leaves the Senate and its hopes that his retirement from the Senate will not mean his retirement from opportunities to continue his efforts in behalf of the great causes for which he has already labored long and hard."

The Richard Holstein '68 Ethics Program is named in honor of a Washington College graduate who, two years ago, launched a new program to bring about a deeper appreciation for the value of ethics in American life. In addition to sponsoring the Holstein Prize in Ethics, awarded annually to a graduating senior, the Holstein Program brings distinguished individuals of national significance to campus to lecture and meet with students in an informal setting for discussion. The Holstein Program also supports a summer stipend for a faculty member who adds significant ethical content to a course.

Admission to "The Importance of Ethics to Our Society" is free and open to the public.

September 24, 2008

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