Former Bolivian President to Speak at Mercer as a Guest of the BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism


MACON – Mercer University's BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism will host former president of Bolivia Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada on April 22.

Sánchez de Lozada will give a 5 p.m. presentation, titled “The Relationship Between Political and Economic Freedom,” in Science and Engineering Building Room 110 on the Macon campus. The event is free and open to the public. However, seating is limited, and registration is required.

“The Center for Undergraduate Research on Public Policy and Capitalism has offered our students an impressive array of speakers this year, from academics to global policymakers,” said Dr. Susan P. Gilbert, dean of Mercer's Stetson School of Business and Economics. “Our thanks go out to BB&T for making events such as these possible for our undergraduates.”

Born in 1930 in La Paz, Bolivia, the son of a diplomat, professor and political exile, Sánchez de Lozada grew up primarily in the United States, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Chicago.

Upon returning to Bolivia, he founded a documentary and commercial film production company and later a petroleum services company. In 1962, he started the predecessor company to Minera S.A., a multinational mining company in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. He served as chairman and CEO until he entered public service.

In 1979, Sánchez de Lozada served his first of two terms in the Chamber of Deputies. He went on to be elected a senator and later president of the Senate. Under Bolivian President Victor Paz Estenssoro, Sánchez de Lozada was named Minister of Planning and Coordination and gained international recognition as author of a 1985 economic program to control hyperinflation and lay the foundation for future economic stability and growth in the country.

Sánchez de Lozada first ran for the presidency in 1989 as a candidate of the MNR (National Revolutionary Movement) party. In 1993, he ran again and won the general election by a landslide to become Bolivia's 61st president, serving until August 1997. He would run once more and be elected for a second term in 2002, but he was forced to resign in August 2003, and he now resides in Washington, D.C., where he is an advocate for democracy and its return to Bolivia.

Sánchez de Lozada currently serves as non-executive chairman of a company with mining investments in the Americas and Europe. He is a member of international associations and serves on the boards of organizations that promote peace, democracy and international economic development. He has received many distinctions and awards, including honorary degrees from universities in the U.S., Japan and Ecuador.

“We are honored to host President Sánchez de Lozada on our campus. We believe that his leadership and vision in Bolivia greatly contributed to the process of building both democratic and macroeconomic institutions that constitute the foundations of economic growth and prosperity in the country,” said Dr. Antonio V. Saravia, assistant professor of economics and director of the BB&T Center. “His remarks will clearly illustrate the importance of the academic mission and research agenda of the BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism.”

The BB&T Center was established within the Stetson School of Business and Economics in 2009 through a generous grant from the BB&T Charitable Foundation.

The mission of the Center is to encourage a thorough discussion of the moral foundations of capitalism through scholarly activities involving undergraduate students. These activities include the provision of annual research grants, funding for students to attend and present papers at national and international academic conferences, a guest speaker series supplemented by funding from the Koch Foundation, support of course developments in areas related to capitalism and public policy, and the distribution of book copies to students majoring in economics.

For more information on the BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism, or on this event, contact Dr. Saravia at or (478) 301-5541.

About the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

Established in 1984, Mercer University's Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics is named for Eugene W. Stetson, a 1901 Mercer graduate and business pioneer who leveraged the first major buyout in corporate history. Over the past 80 years, Mercer has granted over 12,000 business degrees, and many of its graduates hold senior leadership positions in companies around the world. Mercer's business school delivers career-focused business education programs and develops entrepreneurial leaders and responsible global citizens. It holds accreditation from the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which places it among the top five percent of all top business schools worldwide. Mercer's business school has been recognized by the Princeton Review for “Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students” and “Greatest Opportunity for Women” as well as being one of its “Best Business Schools.” In addition, it has been recognized among the “Top 15 Schools in the Nation for Marketing and Accounting.”

The School offers the following programs: Atlanta (Evening BBA, Full-Time (One-Year) MBA, Evening MBA, Executive MBA, Professional MBA, Master of Accountancy, M.S. in Business Analytics), Macon (Traditional BBA and Evening MBA), Douglas County and Henry County (Evening BBA).

Kyle is senior director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he serves as editor of the Mercerian alumni magazine and News@Mercer e-newsletters, and he coordinates hometown and university news releases.