Politicians, pastors, and the presidents of nearly 100 Christian colleges and universities gathered in Washington, D.C., in February to pay tribute to retired U.S. Sen. Mark O. Hatfield (R-Oreg.), an outspoken evangelical Christian.

Hatfield, who left the Senate in January after 30 years, has been named the Herbert Hoover Distinguished Professor at George Fox University, a Quaker institution in Newburg, Oregon. He will also be a guest lecturer at Portland State University and his alma mater, Willamette University, a United Methodist school in Salem.

At a February 4 banquet organized by the Coalition for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), several speakers praised Hatfield as a model for being a Christian and a politician.

George Fox University President Ed Stevens called Hatfield one of a "small circle of Christian statesmen" with great influence.

"You've left your mark … on this Congress and this nation," said U.S. Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), an evangelical who plans to retire in 1999.

Hatfield was known for his political independence. In 1995, he was the only Republican to vote against the Balanced Budget Amendment, which failed in the Senate by one vote.

Praising Hatfield's "character and convictions and indomitable courage," Senate Chaplain Lloyd J. Ogilvie said Hatfield is the "image of the quality of leader" that should be encouraged in the Senate.

"Whatever I have achieved … my desire would be to glorify Jesus Christ, to give him the glory and not take it for myself," said Hatfield, who has been named to the CCCU board.

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