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President Clinton at Tri-C fundraiser

6:58 PM, Oct 17, 2013   |    comments
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Video: What other famous people have spoken at TriC?

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CLEVELAND -- Hundreds stood on their feet to welcome former President Bill Clinton.

For 40 minutes, Clinton talked about the government shutdown and the importance of community colleges. He even reminisced about his most memorable moments in a Cleveland church.

"It was about 85 degrees outside and 105 degrees in the church. Do you remember?" asked Clinton.

President Clinton is the latest distinguished guest to stand behind the infamous podium that has greeted legends from all walks of life.

It started with poets like Maya Angelou and then moved to sports figures like Hank Aaron.

A few years later, news personalities, like Sam Donaldson, Ed Bradley and Oprah, took the stage. As time went on, political figures spoke, including Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Tony Blair and Madeline Albright.

But what would attract so many big names to a college in Cleveland?

The secret lies with each previous speaker.

"Each one has helped us get the next one. We would never be able to access these speakers but each one says what a great time they had, how efficient we were, how responsive we were to their needs," said President Emeritus Jerry Sue Thornton.

And that goes a long way when trying to attract such influential people.

Question is - who will be next year's speaker?

"We're gonna ask President Clinton, how can you help us? That's the question before he leaves the city of Cleveland. Who can you help us get? Think of all the people he knows," said Thornton.

We can only try to guess who next year's speaker could be. Could he or she top President Clinton?

He brought in an undisclosed yet record amount of money for scholarships. Each ticket went for a $1,000. Each table topped out at $25,000.

WKYC-TV

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