Support UW, It's OursWritten by Dennis Sun
Published: 15 October 2009
A week or so ago our former Vice-President and his wife Lynne visited Laramie as guests of the University. They were in town to be recognized by UW for their donation of $3.5 million over the eight years he was Vice President of the United States. The University chose the eve of the important date of 9/11 for the ceremony to open and dedicate the Cheney International Center and Cheney Plaza. While 9/11 did occur on his watch, no other terrorist attacks took place on American soil while he and President Bush were in office. That in and of itself says a lot and not everyone recognizes the importance of that fact.
Cheney has not faded quietly into the background since leaving office. He has been very vocal about the current administration’s role in protecting us from terrorists. As usual, he has attracted protestors at every stop. Laramie, and the dedication ceremony, were no different. Some thought placing the Cheney name on the building was wrong. They are mistaken — it was the right thing for President Buchanan to do. I am proud to see the Cheney name on the building. Both of the Cheneys are great Americans, and both have served our nation well in the public and private sectors. They’ve also donated around $3.5 million of their own money to the University for the Center and Plaza.
The majority of the funds will enter an endowment to provide scholarships for students to study abroad. The State and the University matched this money, bringing the total endowment fund to $10 million. Their $3.5 million will accomplish a lot of good for the state and students at the University.
As with any vice president, or president for that matter, only history can tell how successful they really were on their watch. But Dick Cheney didn’t need the vice presidency to hold the label of a good person. He served both Wyoming and our nation well before he became vice president. I’m proud they both call Wyoming home.
Besides helping recognize this year’s College of Ag honorees —Keith Geis of Wheatland, Steve Tharp of Worland, former UW Professor Leroy Make and Cody-based livestock products business Y-Tex, Corp. — there are other reasons to visit Laramie later this month. One is to help welcome the new head of the Ag College’s Renewable Resource Department, John Tanaka. What a great move by Dean Galey to hire John. He not only has a lot of expertise in range and ag economics, but with his time as President and Executive VP of the Society for Range Management, he understands the political climate. He will be a great spokesman for Wyoming.
See you there.