Faulkner University announced former Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, as the speaker for this year’s Faulkner Annual Benefit Dinner during a press conference held on Tuesday. President Mike Williams revealed the news on Montgomery’s campus.
“Congressman Gowdy was entertained as a potential member of the President’s legal team for the impeachment proceedings, so he’ll have a lot to say that is relevant to what Montgomerians are talking about and thinking about as we think about the future of our nation,” Williams said.
Since it began more than 40 years ago, Faulkner University’s Annual Benefit Dinner continues to be a longstanding tradition and a red-letter event on the social calendar for Montgomery and the River Region, selling out to nearly 2,000 guests. This year’s Benefit Dinner will be hosted at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center on October 1.
Over the years, Faulkner has brought renowned politicians, journalists, athletes, coaches, comedians and astronauts to speak in Montgomery. Gowdy will bring his political experience as a member of Congress while also serving on the Judiciary Committee, Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Intelligence Committee, Education and the Workforce Committee and Ethics Committee on current issues from Capitol Hill to the River Region for what will be an exciting night.
“We have hosted the Annual Benefit Dinner for years and have attracted renowned thought-leaders to speak in Montgomery to address timely and relevant topics,” Williams said. “Faulkner strives to bring provocative speakers who would not ordinarily be introduced to our citizens here to talk about these topics.”
Born in Greenville, South Carolina and growing up in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Gowdy graduated Spartanburg High School in 1982, Baylor University in 1986, with a degree in history, and the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1989.
After law school he clerked for a judge on the South Carolina Court of Appeals and then for a United States District Court trial judge. From 1994-2000, as a federal prosecutor, Trey prosecuted the full range of federal crimes including narcotics trafficking, bank robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, child pornography cases, and the murder of a federal witness. He was awarded the Postal Inspector’s Award for the successful prosecution of J. Mark Allen, one of “America’s Most Wanted” suspects. He also received the highest performance rating a federal prosecutor can receive – two years in a row.
In 2000, he left the U.S. Attorney’s office to run for 7th Circuit Solicitor (District Attorney) in Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties. As 7th Circuit Solicitor, Trey led an office of 25 attorneys and 65 total employees. He started a Violence Against Women Task Force, a Worthless Check Program, enhanced and expanded Drug Court, and implemented a Drug Mother Protocol designed to assist expectant mothers break the cycle of addiction. He has been recognized statewide for his commitment to victim’s rights and drunken driving enforcement and nationally for excellence in death penalty prosecutions.
In 2010, he ran for congress to represent the 4th Congressional District (Greenville and Spartanburg Counties). While in congress he was also chosen to chair a Select Committee on the events occurring in Libya on September 11-12, 2012.
While in congress he actively participated in numerous congressional investigations, sponsored bills signed into law, and had deep and meaningful relationships with scores of colleagues on both sides of the aisle. After four terms in congress, he announced he would not seek re-election in 2018 and would leave public service for good; thus ending his career with an exemplary record in the courtroom and undefeated in political races. In January of 2019, he returned to his beloved South Carolina to practice law, teach classes with his close friend Senator Tim Scott, and speak on legal issues he considers important to our country.
Trey is married to Terri Dillard Gowdy, a first grade school teacher in Spartanburg, South Carolina. They have two children: Watson, who graduated Clemson University (2015) and Washington and Lee School of Law (2018) and Abigail, who graduated the University of South Carolina (2018) and will be attending law school.
Tickets to hear Gowdy speak are on sale now at https://www.faulkner.edu/gowdy. Proceeds from the dinner go to support the university, and student scholarships in particular.
“Our annual Benefit Dinner is really the signature event of the university. It’s an opportunity for us to showcase our outstanding academic programs and our distinctive Christian mission and the investment we are trying to make into this community,” Williams said. “The most important outcome of the dinner is that we raise money for students to give them more scholarships in order to provide them with a transformative experience and to prepare the new emerging generation to make a tremendous difference in our world.”
For tickets call 334-386-7257, or visit https://www.faulkner.edu/gowdy.