Allen West is a retired lieutenant colonel, former member of the U.S. Congress and author of the book Guardian of the Republic. The conference is sponsored by students and alumni of FPU—the Sunbird Conservatives Student Club, and the Sunbird Conservatives Alumni Association—and is open to the public. (Conference details and registration at sunbirdconservatives.org)
An Atlanta native, West served 22 years in the U.S. Army and one term in the House of Representative from Florida's 22nd District. Today he is a Fox News contributor, a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and popular speaker and writer.
West was chosen due to his reputation, his knowledge of history and his common-sense approach to government, according to Preston Little, chairman and CEO of the Sunbird Conservatives Alumni Association. "He can put America's political climate in a historical context," said Little, who earned his B.A. from FPU in 2009.
Among West's topics will be ways to empower people to act and serve locally, rather than being governed from the top down. "That comes out of American individualism," Little said. (More about West at allenbwest.com)
The hope is that people of varying political philosophies will attend the conference and debate ideas. "It's not a rally, we want discussion," said Little, who is among the speakers. Other presenters and panelists will include author Victor Davis Hanson, business leader Michael Der Manouel Jr., pastor Jim Franklin, radio personalities Ray Appleton and John Broeske, California Assemblywoman Connie Conway and Fresno City Councilman Steve Brandau.
The conference begins with a VIP breakfast at 8:00 a.m., "Coffee with the Candidates" at 9:00 a.m. and the main presentations—including West's—from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. All events will be in the FPU Special Event Center, 1717 S. Winery at the east end of the main campus.