2012 BOP Dinner

Bryan College held its fifth Bryan Opportunity Program fundraising dinner on April 12, 2012, at the Chattanooga Convention Center, with 310 in attendance. Dr. and Mrs. Bob Coddington were co-chairs for the event.
 
Michael Reagan (center): 2012 speaker
Michael Reagan, eldest son of President Ronald Reagan was the featured guest.  Mr. Reagan is one of the most dynamic and sought-after public speakers in the public arena today.  His commitments to public service and the conservative vision his father championed are second to none, making him the natural heir to the Reagan conservative legacy.

Michael spent nearly two decades as a conservative radio talk show host, heard across the country daily on a show syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks.  He left this position to travel the country to champion President Reagan’s values and principles in the public policy forum and through candidates who embody his father’s legacy.

In implementing this vision, Michael now serves as spokesperson for Reagan PAC, an organization dedicated to finding and supporting Republican candidates who realize the timeless conservative principles of his father.  He also works with The Reagan Nation, a political non-profit created to modernize the public policy priorities and approaches of Ronald Reagan and insert those values squarely in the center of our national debate over the path ahead for the 21st Century America.

In his work to further the inspirational legacy of his father, Michael also serves as chairman and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation, which seeks to advance the causes President Reagan held dear and to memorialize the accomplishments of his presidency.  Among the charitable activities the Foundation supports are offering scholarships for the sailors, marines and airmen serving aboard aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and their family members; supporting programs for children in need of adoption and those in the foster care system; and educating Americans about Alzheimer’s disease and searching for a cure.

Michael has also appeared for years on network television as a commentator and guest on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and Nightline, and has been a frequent Fox News contributor.

On the philanthropic side, Michael is actively involved in charities and public service entities across the United States, including The John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation, The Young America’s Foundation. The Santa Barbara Navy League/USS Ronald Reagan Crew Enhancement Program, The Arrow Project for Neglected and Abused Children, and the Olive New-UCLA Medical Center Foundation’s Advisory board.  In addition, Michael was elected in 2006 to the board of trustees of Eureka College, President Reagan’s Alma Mater.

Michael has always been a pioneer; he is a man who has done everything from debating Mikhail Gorbachev to setting world records in powerboat racing.  His racing raised more than $1.5 million for charities like the United States Olympic Team, Cystic Fibrosis, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the Statue of Liberty Restoration Fund, as a result of which he was given the “Victory Award” for outstanding sports and humanitarian achievement.

Besides his weekly column, read nationwide in more than 300 newspapers, Michael has authored many successful books including On the Outside Looking In; The Common Sense of An Uncommon Man:  The Wit, Wisdom and Eternal Optimism of Ronald Reagan; Twice Adopted; and Michael’s latest, The New Reagan Revolution:  How Ronald Reagan’s Principles Can Restore America’s Greatness.

Michael and his wife, Colleen, have two children and reside in Toluca Lake, California.

Student Alex Brown shared at the dinner that she had dreamed of coming to Bryan College for years.  Alex’s mom, Lori, is a single parent.  They were going to lose their house.  Many nights they ate spaghetti noodles with no sauce for dinner because that was all they had.  Even through these circumstances, Alex never quit dreaming of coming to Bryan.  She prayed while her mom called the college.  When Alex found out about the Bryan Opportunity Program and that she qualified for the grant, she knew God was answering her prayer with a resounding ‘yes’.

Alex is a Junior Corporate Communications major and History minor at Bryan College. God has laid upon her a passion for writing.  She has been published both in hardback as well as ranking #1 on a national journalism website. She served as editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press Valley Voices section, editor of the Eagles Nest News, competitor in America's Junior Miss Pageant, debate club officer and student council member before attending Bryan. Alex plans to pursue a graduate degree in criminal intelligence analysis from the American Military University, and a career in the federal intelligence field. 

Student Kelly Miller provided music for the event.  Kelly is a senior at Bryan College where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocal Performance. Involved in the Bryan Opera Theater program, the soprano has performed scenes from Carmen and Cosi fan tutte. In the past three years, she has played the role of Miss Silverpeal in the one-act opera, The Impresario, Laetitia in Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief, and in February played the role of Rose in Kurt Weill's Street Scene. Miss Miller has had the privilege of performing in the White House; Beijing, China; Rome, Italy; and various venues in England, France, northern Italy, and Switzerland.   She hopes to pursue a career in opera.

Just under $197,000 was raised to provide tuition for academically qualified Tennessee residents with a household income of $35,000 or less.