Gov. McDonnell speaks to Boys State at RU

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell visited Radford University on Thursday, June 20, to address attendees of the 71st session of American Legion Boys State of Virginia. This is the first year that RU has hosted Boys State.

McDonnell, who as governor and attorney general addressed seven previous sessions of Virginia Boys State, lauded this year's 800-strong cohort of Boys State participants for their interest in American civic principles and participation in the annual simulation of Virginia local and state government.

"It's an amazing honor to speak to the most outstanding young men in Virginia every year," he said. "I hope you leave here with a new love for your own state and your country."

McDonnell speaks to Boys State delegates

Gov. McDonnell encourages Boys State delegates to consider careers in public service.

McDonnell with Boys State delegate

A Boys State delegate shares a cellphone photo with the governor.

In his speech the governor noted Virginia's rich history of producing public servants and patriots, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and James Monroe. He stressed the utmost need to continue this dedication to service and the importance of an engaged, civic-minded youth.

"I hope some of you will consider going into public service, because there is no greater feeling than using your talents to serve other people," McDonnell said. "Rise above whatever limits or expectations somebody might put on you."

The state's other top administrators who have addressed this year’s session of Boys State include Speaker of the House of Delegates William Howell on Monday, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on Tuesday and Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling on Wednesday.

In addition to hearing from holders of Virginia's high offices, Boys State attendees participate in a variety of activities that reflect the rights, privileges, duties and responsibilities of a citizen. The training is designed as an objective, nonpartisan examination of the U.S. system of government. Activities include mock legislative sessions, court proceedings, law enforcement presentations, assemblies as well as music and recreational programs.

The 71st American Legion Boys State of Virginia will conclude on Saturday, June 22, with a final ceremony to include awards and recognitions, an address by Director of Virginia Boys State Mike Harris and a grand finale performed by the Boys State Band and Chorus.

Learn more about Boys State at Radford University.

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Jun 21, 2013
Dan Waidelich
(540) 831-7749