Fundraising dinner in honor of late professor to bring in former President Clinton

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Cameron Koch

The Debbie Kreitzer Memorial Study Abroad Fund is in full swing with the announcement of the “Our World, Our Future” fundraising dinner, and the department of Geography and Geology may nab one of the biggest speakers in the school’s history to make it a success – former President Bill Clinton. 

Kreitzer, an instructor in the Geology and Geography department, died on May 4 after a sudden heart attack immediately after enjoying a Kentucky Derby party with her friends and colleagues. David Keeling, Geology and Geography department head, announced the creation of the scholarship shortly after Kreitzer’s death.

Kreitzer’s daughter, Laura, said if this dinner generates more money for the scholarship, that would be great, because her mom changed many lives by introducing them to other cultures and countries.

“She was well-traveled, so it’s poetic that this will be her legacy, besides her amazing children,” she said. “And to possibly have President Clinton be the keynote speaker? I’m absolutely flabbergasted and ecstatic, as is the rest of the family.”

Laura said she hopes Clinton attends the dinner.

“My mom was a fan of the president, as am I,” she said. “She would have been absolutely tickled if she was still with us.”

In an email to WKU faculty and staff, Erin Greunke, of the Geology and Georaphy department, extended an invitation to attend the event first to the university community, though the event will be open to the public. Tickets to the dinner will cost $1,000, with 580 seats available on a first-come, first-served basis. Included in the cost of a seat is a three course dinner with two drink tickets, chance at door prizes and an opportunity to hear the president’s speech.

For every representative an academic department at WKU purchases a seat at the dinner for, one student from that department will be allowed to attend the event for free, for a maximum of 50 students. These students will have the added opportunity to meet Clinton during a reception prior to his speech.

The event is tentatively scheduled for October or November at the Knicely Center, though the exact date will ultimately be up to Clinton.

Greunke has begun accepting reservations for the dinner, which must include a deposit of 50 percent of the cost of seats asking to be reserved. When the date of the event is confirmed, attendees will be required to pay the remaining 50 percent of the price tag within three to four weeks of the event. 

If Clinton is unable to attend, all reservations will be refunded, Greunke said in an email.