FOX 25 RAW NEWS
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates Speaks at OSU
A world leader makes his way to the Sooner State. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stopped in Stillwater to speak with students at Oklahoma State University about several hot topics in the U.S. and around the world.
It's been 46 years since Dr. Gates first arrived in Washington. During that time, he's served under eight Presidents and has earned numerous awards. Now that he's retired, he's passing on his knowledge in hopes of inspiring future world leaders. "We try to inspire and engage the students, and I think bringing Robert Gates to campus accomplishes both of those objectives," says Larry Crosby, Dean of the Spears School of Business at OSU.
The former Secretary of Defense started off by addressing the number of threats to the U.S. "China's rise, North Korea, Iran, the whole Middle East, Syria. The list just keeps going; it's cyber, piracy, you name it," Dr. Gates tells Fox 25's Kisha Henry.
"He's speaking about so much, it can be a little overwhelming, but he did a really good job of making sure it was in terms we understood, and things that we care about," says Charlie Gibson, a Freshman at OSU.
When addressing the Nation's future defense-needs, Dr. Gates says, "You cannot have a strong International position or a strong military without a strong economy here at home."
A popular question among the students: What should I look for before voting for the next President? "I've worked for eight Presidents and there is nothing that can prepare you for being President of the United States," says Dr. Gates. He says, at the end of the day, it all comes down to two qualities: temperament and character. "Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., in the early 1930's, said of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, he has a second-rate intellect, but a first-rate temperament. I think that's just right for American Presidents," says Dr. Gates.
"A lot of times, we focus on the policies that the candidates are running on, and those tend to flip-flop," says Ryan Inselman, a Senior at OSU.
When asked about the importance of defense in the upcoming Presidential election, Dr. Glaze says, "I think, frankly, National Security issues are very much a secondary issue in this election. It's quite evident that the biggest concern to most Americans is domestic economy."
"I think the thing that stuck out to me the most was when he was talking about his own personal life and his personal career," says Gibson.
How did Dr. Gates get to where he is now? He says there's good news and bad news. "The bad news is, you have to do all the hard work. You have to do all the preparation."
"He said it was all about the hard work he put in, but it was also just about luck and opportunity, and taking advantage of those opportunities when they come along," says Gibson.
"As the saying goes, when opportunity knocks, it doesn't beat the door down," says Dr. Gates.
He went on to add, "A lot of young people want to plan out their careers-- 'I'm gonna do this for this many years, and then I'm gonna do that, and that.' And, the reality is, you're going to miss a lot of good opportunities if you're too wedded to a plan. You just have to understand that timing and luck play a part in it."
Students say, one of those opportunities occurred when Dr. Gates walked on stage to address them. "These are opportunities for students to get a closer look at someone who has had so much influence around the world."
"You never know.. the next world leader could have been in that audience today, and this could be the start that lights that fire," says Larry Crosby, OSU's Dean of the Spears School of Business.
Posted: Wednesday, October 24 2012, 09:37 PM CDT
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