CAB expects good turnout for lecture by world-renowned doctor, activist

Jerry Manter

The world famous doctor, clown and social activist, Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams, who inspired a successful blockbuster movie, will be speaking to students, faculty and members of the community.

“We’re so excited that he will be here,” said Julie Blackford, director of student activities.

The Campus Activities Board is spending $12,000 to have Adams speak at 7 p.m. Monday at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. Finding quality talent with tight funding was a challenge for Blackford.

“It’s hard to get a high-caliber speaker with our budget,” Blackford said. “We do the best we can.”

Last fall when suggestions were thrown into a pool, members of CAB threw out names such as Antwone Fisher and Jim Morris, one of the oldest rookies in Major League Baseball history. The lectures would have cost CAB around $25,000.

“It was just too expensive,” Blackford said.

Although she wasn’t able to book those individuals, she said she was still pleased CAB was able to sign with Adams.

Normal booking fees range between $15,000-$18,000. She said she was happy with the deal she was able to land.

“We got a really good deal,” she said.

Daniel Horner, junior health promotion and wellness major, said it’s exciting to hear about all of the attention the lecture has been receiving.

“I think it’s going to be really good,” Horner said. “We’ve had a lot of calls.”

Horner helped CAB by hanging up dozens of promotional posters around the campus.

He said he hopes students take advantage of the lecture.

“It’s a good place to go and get involved,” he said.

Blackford has spent the past couple of weeks promoting the lecture. She’s hoping people in Joplin, Webb City and the surrounding communities come to the free lecture.

“The community has really grabbed this lecture,” she said.

Blackford said she’s hoping at least 600 people attend the event.

“I can’t justify spending $12,000 if only 200 people show,” she said.

Over the past couple of years, CAB usually tries to get one nationally-known speaker for the University. Most have been successful while others have not. The most recent flop was Malik Cooper, a cast member of the MTV’s reality-television show “The Real World: Back to New York.” Just over a dozen people attended his lecture on the hit series.

“Your not always on your mark,” she said. “I thought it was a sure bet.”

Blackford said she hopes people take advantage of the lecture.

“I think it’s going to be a big thing,” she said. “We hope students take advantage of this opportunity.”