Sam Houston State University students were given the opportunity to meet Alberto Gonzales, former Attorney General and White House Counsel for President George W. Bush, thanks to Col. David Yebra, who brings in Gonzales each year as part of a leadership program.
The program began with a video providing an overview of Gonzales’s life and career, which Gonzales then elaborated on in person.
Several themes struck a chord, including Gonzales’s background–his parents, for example, had almost no formal education, a point that resonated with several of our students. Judge Gonzales also passionately described the need for capable people to fill public service jobs. He noted that as a law-school dean, he not only looked for students who would be successful for private firms, but also emerge as leaders in the public sector.
Interestingly, we paused our discussion with Judge Gonzales for him to do an interview with a Canadian broadcasting company; Gonzales was in high demand: former President Trump had just been indicted, and people wanted the former AG’s opinion.
Students asked several questions, ranging from what he took from his upbringing (Michelle C.) to whether Laura Bush was as a sweet as she seemed to be (Sarah-Hope C.).
Judge Gonzales gave Pre-Law students also offered advice to students hoping to go to law school, from what to include on personal statements, the best application strategies, and a bit of information about Belmont Law, where Gonzales serves as Dean.
As thanks for joining us, Professor Yawn gave a copy of High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic. Interestingly, the movie, High Noon, has been screened more times than any other film in the White House.
Judge Gonzales was also so kind as to sign a copy of his book True Faith and Allegiance for Samantha Whittaker, a freshman and aspiring attorney.
The event was inspirational and educational, and we offer many thanks to both Col. Yebra and Judge Gonzales for spending time with us.