Tribal Colleges Honor U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle

May 15th, 2002 | By | Category: 13-4: The Many Faces of Leadership, Tribal College News

U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson joined with the tribal college presidents at a ceremony honoring U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle. Pictured are Johnson, Dr. Elden Lawrence, Dr. Gerald Gipp, Tom Shortbull, Daschle, Dr. Karen Swisher, Ron McNeil, J.D., and Liz Yellowbird Demarais. Photo courtesy of Daschle’s office.

Tribal college presidents gathered at the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 12 to honor an old friend, U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle. From South Dakota, Daschle represents five of the tribal colleges and universities. Now in his third term in the Senate, he previously served four terms in the House of Representatives. In 1995, he became the Senate minority leader and in the spring of 2001, he became the majority leader.

“Thank you for what you have done despite the arrows that have unfairly been shot at you,” Oglala Lakota College President Tom Shortbull told Daschle. The senator turned the honoring ceremony around, saying, “I applaud you for being the leaders you are. You are making a difference for young people with such limited resources.”  The tribal colleges presented the senator with a satin star quilt with the words “Majority Leader” on it, as well as several other gifts. “I have always felt blessed to have the friendship of the tribal colleges,” Daschle said as he accepted the gifts.

“Over the years, he has been a champion of the tribal college movement and a true believer in our mission,” said Meg Goetz, director of Congressional relations at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC).  “He has worked from his position as a national leader to help the colleges fulfill their goals of bringing quality higher education to chronically underserved American Indian communities,” she said.

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