First lady to speak at Betts Theatre

First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton will speak at the Betts Theatre Thursday at the Eighth Annual Jo Oberstar Memorial Lecture.

The Oberstar Lecture, founded in 1991 by U.S. Rep. James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.), is an annual event held to promote public awareness of breast cancer, now the leading cause of death for American women ages 35 to 50.

“Each October is Breast Care Awareness Month and at that point the initial invitation was extended to (Mrs. Clinton),” said Ray MacDougall, public relations spokesman for the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

In the past, other high-profile guests such as Tipper Gore, wife of Vice President Al Gore, and ABC News correspondent Cokie Roberts have lectured as part of the series.

This year, the program involved extra planning because of the extensive security detail that accompanies the First Lady.

“There are two tiers of preparation once we had our program planned,” MacDougall said. “The first is that a representative from an advance team comes to identify the routes that (Clinton) will take throughout the course of events and identify the departments that will be responsible for the event.”

MacDougall said the second tier of preparation involved a visit by a Secret Service representative to plan for Clinton’s arrival and to determine what cooperation the White House needs from the University.

“No one will be admitted in the theater for a period of about two hours but it won’t impact very many people,” MacDougall said.

The Oberstar Lecture Series commemorates Jo Oberstar, who died in 1991 after an eight-year fight against breast cancer. Oberstar received treatment at GW Medical Center under the care of Jean Lynn, program director of the Breast Care Center.

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