President Clinton Campaigns on Barton’s Campus

President Bill ClintonWILSON, N.C. — Former U.S. President Bill Clinton appeared before a crowd of students, faculty, staff, and Wilson community members Saturday, April 12, on center campus at Barton College to encourage voters to support his wife Senator Hillary Clinton in North Carolina’s primary in her race for the Democratic nomination and for the presidency.

Speaking for just over 45 minutes, Clinton talked about Sen. Clinton’s plans for a long list of issues including the budget, foreign relations, healthcare, college assistance, and veterans’ care.

“She wants us to build a country of shared prosperity based on shared opportunities and shared responsibilities and to build a world in which America is once again the leading force for peace and freedom and security, because we cooperate with other countries whenever we can and act alone only when we have to and not the other way around,” said the former president.

Contrasting his wife with Democratic opponent Senator Barack Obama, President Clinton said, “The most important thing about these two impressive candidates is their innate abilities. One is an inspirational speaker, a riveting charismatic speaker; and one is a change maker. I think it’s more important, having been president, to be a change maker.”

Having a former United States president on campus directs the eyes of the world once again to Barton College. Just over a year ago, Barton was in the media’s lens as our Bulldogs triumphed on the basketball court with a jaw-dropping finish at the NCAA Division II championship.

Recalling this victory in his opening remarks at the Clinton campus event, Barton College president Norval Kneten said: “At that time, I was asked more than once, ‘What are you going to do next year?’ I said, ‘Well, maybe bring a president of the United States on campus!'”

President Clinton himself mentioned the championship in his introductory remarks saying, “Let me say I am glad to be here because I am a sports fanatic; and I watched ESPN, I bet a hundred times, show that guy make 10 points in 39 seconds last year.”

Barton College’s pride is not just focused on athletics. Barton also takes pride in having notable, contemporary figures visit campus. In addition to President Clinton, Walter B. Jones, Barton alumnus and North Carolina’s congressman in the United States House of Representatives, delivered a lecture on the American economy in March.

“Hosting campaign events on campus provides our students the opportunity to directly participate and experience this great American experiment in democracy. We are proud to give our students that opportunity,” said Kneten.

Victoria Gonzalez, president of Barton’s Student Government Association, also acknowledged the event’s significance:

“Though we are a small private college, Barton never ceases to provide us with unforgettable opportunities and experiences that we will take with us as graduates, that become milestones for what we can do for the rest of our lives. Today we add this significant event to the history books of our school and our lives.”


Questions? Please contact Ken Dozier, web services manager at Barton College, at 252.399.6596 or by email at