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Public Papers - 1992 - May

Remarks at a Benefit for the United Negro College Fund in Houston, Texas

1992-05-15

Thank you all, and please be seated. Bill, thank you very much. Bill Gray, as you may know, was in the leadership in the House of Representatives, one of the most popular and one of the most important and one of the most effective Members of Congress. He left that to head the United Negro College Fund. We have great respect for him, and I am delighted to have been introduced by him. And I just wanted all my fellow Houstonians to know how highly we regard him and what he is doing for this commitment to the UNCF.

I want to thank, too, Sandy McCormick, an old friend, and Warren Moon, an admired friend who everyone in Houston respects for their leadership on this drive. I want to single out, of course, Lee Trevino and Arnold Palmer. I had the pleasure of flying down here today from Pittsburgh with Winnie Palmer, and she said, ``Well, I'm glad Arnold is not with us. He'd be trying to fly Air Force One.'' [Laughter] But it is really a pleasure to be here. And, of course, Doug Sanders is an old friend; he and Scotty do so much for others. And I'm just proud once again to be at his side, and grateful to him.

I won't keep you, but let me just add a little to what Bill said about the United Negro College Fund. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. This organization is doing an outstanding job for higher education in this country, offering kids opportunity that might not have had another shot at the American dream.

Bill didn't give you the details, but let me just say that I think it was in 1947, maybe '8, that a man named Bill Trent came to New Haven when I was in school there. He got me interested in the United Negro College Fund, and I have remained interested in that. My brother John is now, what, chairman of the board nationally. And we know that it is worthwhile. And so we are very grateful to all of you who have pitched in and made this great expansion of their program possible. It's an outstanding outfit.

Now in conclusion, let me just say to Doug, I'm glad to be back at his side, proud to have seen a little bit of the activities here this evening, and only sorry that I didn't get a chance to tee it up and show the new Mr. Smooth form. I'm back. [Laughter] They can criticize me for hitting a golf ball, but I'm not going to stop, believe me. I love it.

So, good luck to each and every one of you participants.

Note: The President spoke at 7:35 p.m. at the Doug Sanders Celebrity Dinner, a benefit for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) at the Greenspoint Club. In his remarks, he referred to William H. Gray, UNCF president; Sandy McCormick, cochair of the UNCF campaign in Houston; Warren Moon, quarterback for the Houston Oilers; golfers Doug Sanders, Lee Trevino, and Arnold Palmer; Mr. Sanders' wife, Scotty, and Mr. Palmer's wife, Winnie.

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