Southern Arkansas University welcomed New York Times best-selling author, Fox News contributor and top-rated podcast host Dan Bongino to the Reynolds Center on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, as the presenter in the 15th annual Farmers Bank & Trust Distinguished Speaker Series.
Proceeds fund an endowment that provides scholarships to deserving SAU students. Following Bongino’s presentation, Dr. Trey Berry, SAU president, announced that Kimber Birdsong, a sophomore Game, Animation and Simulation Design major from Prescott, Arkansas, and Seth Horn, a freshman Agricultural Education major from Farmington, Arkansas, are the recipients of the 2019-2020 Farmers Bank and Trust Distinguished Speaker Series scholarships.
Berry called the partnership between Farmers Bank and SAU “unique in the nation” and praised Farmers’ involvement in transforming the lives of SAU students. “You see Farmers Bank’s fingerprints all over this campus, and they help us in so many other ways that you don’t see,” Berry said.
Bongino, a former NYPD officer and U.S. Secret Service agent, delivered the keynote. He outlined his career in law enforcement and in the federal government and his decision to leave the Secret Service for a career in politics. Bongino worked under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. His assignments included the coordination of Obama’s visits to Prague and Jakarta – amongst multiple terror threats – and serving as the lead agent responsible for Obama’s visit to an active war zone in Afghanistan.
Bongino addressed current political events, including the ongoing impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, and took questions from the large and enthusiastic audience. Bongino closed by urging everyone to get out and vote in 2020. “It is so important,” he said.
Lines formed outside the SAU Bookstore for autographed copies of Bongino’s latest book Exonerated: The Failed Takedown of President Donald Trump by the Swamp. A private reception with Bongino was held at the Farmers Bank and Trust main bank in Magnolia prior to the lecture.