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Sept. 29: Truman and Reta Wood Scholarship Dinner

John Bessler to give keynote speech at 18th annual scholarship dinner.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office, 9-28-2012

John Bessler, an associate professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, will discuss the death penalty in the 21st century during the 18th Annual Truman and Reta Wood Scholarship Dinner on Saturday, Sept. 29 in Minnesota State University, Mankato's Centennial Student Union, Room 284.

The dinner will honor Minnesota State Mankato's 2012-13 Wood Scholarship winners, Abdullahi Mohamed Abdullahi and Ifedi Obidiegwu.

The 5 p.m. reception and 5:45 p.m. dinner are open to the public. A silent auction will be conducted during the reception, with proceeds going to the Wood Scholarship Fund.

Cost of the event is $60 per person ($40 of which is a tax-deductible gift) or $20 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. Registration information for this event is available here.

Bessler's address is titled "150 Years After the U.S. - Dakota War: The Death Penalty in the 21st Century."

Bessler is the author of five award-winning books, including four titles on the subject of capital punishment. He grew up in Mankato, Minn., where is father teaches biological sciences at Minnesota State Mankato. Bessler has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Minnesota, a law degree from the Indiana School of Law -- Bloomington, a master in fine arts degree from Hamline University in St. Paul, and a master's degree in International Human Rights Law from Oxford University.

The Wood scholarship dinner is an annual fundraising event for the Truman and Reta Wood Community Leadership Scholarship at Minnesota State Mankato.

Wood scholarships, the largest scholarships granted by Minnesota State Mankato's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, are awarded to students who show exceptional community leadership and service, who have a high academic record, whose first major is political science and who completed 90 semester hours by spring 2012. The first Wood Scholarship was awarded in 1992.

The late Dr. Truman David Wood, professor emeritus, taught political science for 30 years at Minnesota State Mankato and encouraged students to get involved in their communities. Reta Wood did the same as a local elementary teacher for 25 years. They started their endowment to help students pay for school while working less and volunteering more.

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