COLUMBIA (AP) - Former U.S. Senator Kit Bond continues to help steer big money to the University of Missouri system.
Bond, who retired from politics last year after 24 years in the Senate and a stint as Missouri governor, was on campus Monday to help university leaders unveil their latest tribute to the 72-year-old Republican: the Christopher S. "Kit" Bond Distinguished Lecture Series.
The $1.3 million endowed lecture series will bring nationally known speakers to the campuses in Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla and St. Louis as well as other cities in the state. A group of four university administrators will select the speakers.
The lecture series will focus on economics, science, politics and national security.
"The world is flat," Bond said at a news conference Monday. "We are living in a global society."
Former U.S. Sen. John Danforth, a fellow Republican, introduced Bond at the unveiling.
The gift wasn't donated by Bond, but officials said having his name attached to the project made for a relatively easy fundraising pitch.
Columbia campus chancellor Brady Deaton said that Bond was responsible for steering more than $500 million in federal research money to the university system during his time in Washington.
That includes $33 million toward the Bond Life Sciences Center in Columbia, which is named for the former senator, and numerous other earmarks for agricultural research, the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital, cancer and autism research centers, the university's nuclear reactor and more.