UF Law brings together five former governors

19Florida’s environment, education, economic development and growth management were the primary topics of conversation on Friday, Oct. 12, when five former Florida Governors convened at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts for the Florida Law Review’s Allen L. Poucher Legal Education Series.

The panel discussion, “Florida’s Future: A Conversation with Florida Governors,” featured Govs. Reubin Askew (JD 56), Charlie Crist, Bob Graham, Buddy MacKay (JD 61) and Bob Martinez. The discussion was moderated by UF Law alum Ben Diamond (JD 03).

The two-hour conversation ranged from economic development to the environment and education.

“With a state moving as rapidly as Florida, we need to be thinking not just to the next election or the next decade, but for the next generations,” Graham said, “and the way in which we do that most fundamentally is an investment in education.”

The Allen L. Poucher Legal Education Series was established by Betty K. Poucher in honor of her late husband, Allen L. Poucher Sr. A humanitarian who lived a life dedicated to service, Allen Poucher graduated from UF Law in 1942 and practiced law for more than 60 years. The Poucher Legal Education Series seeks to provide a venue for prominent legal, political and business leaders to discuss important issues facing our nation and world.

The governors agreed that mindfulness of water management and the environment in Florida are among the most crucial issues facing Florida’s future. And Crist, who was governor during the 2010 BP oil spill, pointed out the lessons that can be learned from the incident.

“What did we learn from the spill? Well, I think No. 1, the last thing you ever want to do is drill off the coast of Florida,” Crist said. “I think the greatest wakeup call of all time, in terms of how sensitive Florida is and how dependent we are on tourism as a very important part of our economy, was evidenced by the BP oil spill.”

Go to the UF Law website at www.law.ufl.edu/ for a link to a webcast of this event.