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November 21, 2001

Calvin To Host O'Neill
Calvin president Dr. Gaylen Byker is looking forward to an April 2002 visit to Grand Rapids by Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill.

When Calvin College introduced its New Millennium/West Michigan luncheon in 1998 the intent was to annually bring in someone who could focus on important issues that affect both the West Michigan region and the United States.

Mission accomplished for 2002.

Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill will be the speaker for the April 15, 2002 event (the talk is annually held on Tax Day as Calvin's attempt to prove that "some good things do happen on Tax Day.").

O'Neill will address an expected audience of 800 invited guests in an event sponsored by Calvin, the Economics Club of Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

Calvin officials are excited about the talk.

"We're very pleased that Secretary O'Neill accepted our offer to be the 2002 speaker," said Calvin president Gaylen Byker. "We've always seen this annual luncheon as an opportunity for West Michigan business leaders and opinion makers to hear from someone with a global perspective on the important issues of the day. (Paul) O'Neill is such a person. I'm looking forward to hearing him speak."

O'Neill's speaking has drawn widespread media interest since his appointment 11 months ago. He is often blunt and plain in his pronouncements and that approach has earned him some criticism.

An October 2 profile in the New York Times was headlined "Ad-Libbing His Way Into Trouble" and took a closer look at O'Neill's predilection for speaking his mind as Secretary.

The profile also noted that, despite the criticisms, many supporters in Congress and the Bush administration argue that his no-nonsense approach is invaluable.

See ABC News on-line for a profile of Paul O'Neill.

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Contact Phil de Haan
616-957-6475 (v)
616-957-7069 (f)