Former Governor, Secretary Tom Ridge to talk Nov. 18; live stream video available

GETTYSBURG, Pa. - Former Pennsylvania Governor and Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security Tom Ridge will deliver the Henry M. Scharf Memorial Lecture Nov. 18 at Gettysburg College.

The 7:30 p.m. lecture will take place in the College Union Building Ballroom.

Ridge will speak about his recent book, "The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege...And How We Can Be Safe Again." The lecture is free and open to the public.

Live streaming coverage will be available.

Ridge was sworn in as the first director of the Office of Homeland Security in October 2001 and was charged with developing and coordinating a comprehensive national strategy to strengthen protections against terrorist threats or attacks in the United States. Ridge served as Pennsylvania's 43rd governor from 1995 to 2001.

Born in Pittsburgh's Steel Valley, Ridge was raised in a working class family in veterans' public housing in Erie. He earned a scholarship to Harvard, graduating with honors in 1967. After his first year at Dickinson School of Law, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as an infantry staff sergeant in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star for Valor. After returning to Pennsylvania, he earned his law degree and was in private practice before becoming assistant district attorney in Erie County. He was elected to Congress in 1982. He was the first enlisted Vietnam combat veteran elected to the U.S. House, and was reelected six times.

The Henry M. Scharf Memorial Lecture on Current Affairs is an annual lecture established by Dr. F. William Sunderman in 1977 to honor his long-time friend Henry Scharf, a member of Gettysburg College's class of 1925 and original builder of the Majestic Theater in downtown Gettysburg.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences. With a student body of approximately 2,600, it is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Kendra Martin, director of media relations

Posted: Fri, 13 Nov 2009

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