Former New York State Gov. David A. Paterson Visits Campus

The lunchtime talk focused on the issue of student loan debt.

Nearly 100 students gathered in the Alumni Room of O’Malley Library on Oct. 16 to listen to former New York State Gov. David A. Paterson address the issue of student loans to the College community.

The talk, which was sponsored by the School of Business, allowed students to hear about an issue they can relate to from someone who made sweeping reforms in New York while in office during the 2008 financial crisis.

Paterson praised America for its academic opportunity but expressed his concern about the country’s growing obsession with spending and the resulting massive debt.

“While there is great academic pursuit and great intellectual opportunity, it will certainly lead to unfortunate disappointment and despair and confusion among many of you if you’re not keeping up with the obligations that you will have after you leave school,” he said.

To combat America's current $1.21 trillion in student loan debt, Paterson has spoken to investors about creating a Jobs Channel Network that would offer advice to young people on employment, how to get it, and the best fields to work in to create revenue.

Paterson’s career in politics began in 1985, when he was elected to represent Harlem in the New York State Senate, and became the youngest senator in the state at the time. In 2003, he was elevated to Minority Leader of the Senate as the first non-white legislative leader in New York. In addition, in 2004 he was the first visually impaired person to address the Democratic National Convention, and in 2007, he made political history when he was elected New York’s first African-American Lieutenant Governor.

View photos from Paterson's visit: