Oct 212010
Authors: Allison Sylte

In 1993, when former U.S. congressman and ambassador Tony P. Hall spent 22 days starving himself, all he meant to do was send Congress a message about the abolishment of the Committee on Hunger.

“I was angry,” said Hall, who was serving as the representative for the third district in Ohio at the time. “I didn’t feel that congress had a conscience on the issue. They were so entrenched in getting reelected that they didn’t want to lead.”

Over the course of his fast, Hall raised $100 million from the World Bank to send to third world countries and inspired a movement in thousands of high schools and universities across the country to protest world hunger.

“Over the course of the fast, I often found myself in way over my head,” Hall said. “I didn’t really do anything other than not eat. But, ironically enough, it’s the most powerful thing that I’ve ever done.”

The College of Business hosted Hall Thursday, where he gave a lecture to a large group of students and community members regarding socially ethical business practices. He also addressed the roles and responsibilities of business managers in considering issues beyond traditional profit motives.

But his greatest emphasis was his own personal crusade against world hunger.

“Hunger matters because 25,000 people died today,” Hall said. “And 25,000 people died yesterday. It’s a security issue. Hungry people are easier to manipulate, and hungry people become full of hate. Somebody needs to care about them.”

Hall served 24 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, primarily focusing on creating legislation supporting food aid, child survival and development assistance in the world’s poorest countries.

In addition, Hall served as President George W. Bush’s ambassador to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and is currently devoting himself to fostering peace in the Middle East. He is also the Director for the Alliance to End World Hunger.

“[Ambassador Hall] has a message which is consistent with the message that we’re trying to instill with our business students,” said John Hoxmeier, an associate dean in the College of Business. “Business is about more than simply that profit margin or that bottom line. It can be used to help people.”

Outdoor Life Beat Reporter Allison Sylte can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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