UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, IEiJv3 BUREAU, GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
Allen Skaggs, Editcr Distribution: Florida Dailies
GAINESVILLE, Oct. -- General James A. Van Fleet will be the speaker
for the annual Florida Blue Key Homecoming Banquet, student Pres-
ident Bill Basford announced today.
Basford, simultaneously, announced the toastmaster for the
important gathering as Speaker of the House Doyle Conner, Starke.
The Banquet, which annually attracts top Florida statesmen,
jurists, and business leaders, is scheduled for 'riday evening,
Nov. 2, in the Florida Gymnasium.
This year's affair marks Van Fleet's second appearance as the
principal speaker. He was invited to speak in 1950, immediately
following his return to the United States after serving as director
of the Joint U.S. Military Aid Group to Greece. General Van Fleet,
who retired in March, 1953, after serving as commander of all
United Nations forces in Korea, now lives in Auburndale and serves
on the board of directors of several American corporations.
Conner, an alumnus of the University, is one of Florida's
most distinguished young men. He was elected to the legislature
when only 21 years old and while still a student at the University..
He will serve as Speaker of the House during the Legislature sessions
Last year's speaker and toastmaster were Governor LeRoy Collins
and S. T. Dell, Gainesville, respectively.
A graduate of the U. S. Military Academy in 1915, Gen. Van Fleet
was promoted steadily throughout his Army career, serving
as commander of United Nations forces in Korea from 1951-53. He
retired as a full general.
Earlier, he had attended the Summerlin Institute at Bartow,
one of the five institutions which formed the University of Florida
under the Buckman Act of 1905. He has always been closely associated
with the University, having served as professor of military science
and tactics here in 1921-24 and as head football coach.
The former soldier, who was selected as the Blue Key Banquet
speaker in 1950, holds a number of decorations, including the
van fleet/add 1
Distinguished Service Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters; Silver Star
with two Oak Leaf Clust rs; Distinguished Service Medal with two
Oak Leaf Clusters; and many other decorations, both American and
He is presently serving as a member of the Board of Directors of
National Phoenix Industries, Cantrell and Cochrane Corporation, and
the 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. He is chairman of the
American Korean Foundation.
In 1946 the University honored Van Fleet with a "Van Fleet
Day" during which the celebrated soldier received an honorary
Conner as a senior at the University of Florida served as
president of both Alpha Gamma Rho social fraternity and the
He was an outstanding member of the Future Farmers of America
and was elected national president of the organization which embraces
6,000 chapters with 260,000 members in 47 states, Hawaii, and
Puerto Rico. He also holds the highest FFA award that can be made --
The American Farmer Degree.
He was chosen by the Florida Junior Chamber of Commerce in
1949 as one of the five outstanding young men of Florida.