GENERAL WESLEY CLARK VISITS BETHANY SEPTEMBER 11
BETHANY, W.Va. – Retired General Wesley K. Clark paid a visit to the Bethany campus on Monday, September 11, 2006. During his visit, General Clark spoke in historic Commencement Hall. Located in Old Main, Commencement Hall has served as host to numerous other prominent world figures including four U.S. Presidents. A reception will follow in the Old Main Corridor.
General Clark spoke on the successes and failures of the United States in recent international conflicts, the world terror scope, and U.S. security in the new millennium. He also gave an in-depth look into the history of the U.S. Governemnt's relationship with Osama bin Laden during the 1980s and how he then became one of the country's greatest threats by the 1990s.
"We need to make more friends than enemies in the world," said Clark. "When it comes to conflicts, military action should always be the last resort."
After graduating first in his class from West Point, in 1966, Clark was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he earned a Masters Degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. During his thirty-four years of service in the United States Army, Clark rose to the rank of four-star general and served as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.
In his final military command, General Clark commanded Operation Allied Force, NATO’s first major combat action, and he was responsible for the peacekeeping operation in Bosnia. After his retirement in 2000, he became an investment banker, author, commentator, and businessman.
In September 2003 he answered the call to stand as a Democratic candidate for President of the United States, where his campaign won the state of Oklahoma and launched him to national prominence before he returned to the private sector in February 2004.
President Bill Clinton awarded General Clark the Presidential Medal of Freedom in August of 2000, which along with the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, is the highest civilian award in the United States. He has been awarded the Silver Star, five Defense Distinguished Service Medals, four Legion of Merit Awards, two Army Distinguished Service Medals, two Bronze Star Medals and the Purple Heart. In addition to numerous civilian honors, General Clark has received more than 20 major international awards including honorary Knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments and was made a Commander of the French Legion of Honor.