University of Louisiana at Monroe senior Chance Payne finally had the chance to meet a personal hero, Mary Matalin, after she spoke at the Presidential Lyceum Series Thursday, April 3 at 7 p.m. in Brown Auditorium.
Payne, also a ULM football player, spoke about his respect for the visiting luminary. “When I was in the fifth grade, my dad and I would listen to her national radio program. With the help of my dad, I sent her an e-mail talking about how I enjoyed listening to her show and strongly agreed with her conservative beliefs. My brother was a Plebe (freshman) at West Point, and I desired to follow his footsteps and attend West Point. A few weeks later, she sent me an autographed picture saying ‘To Chance Payne Our nation’s future, best hope and leadership. P.S. Go Army!’”
There is a further family association with James Carville, the other Lyceum speaker who appeared at ULM April 3, and Matalin’s spouse. “While my dad [Steve Payne] was attending LSU, James Carville was a law student [there], and my dad would see him around campus. He also knew James’ sister, Patty, through mutual friends.”
More about Chance Payne:
Payne grew up in Jefferson City, Mo., and graduated from Jefferson City High School in 2003. Out of high school, he was recruited to play football for the Army by then-head coach Todd Berry, who left after Payne’s first year to take the offensive coordinator position at ULM.
Payne transferred to ULM from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2005. After playing quarterback in the 2006 season, he moved to play defensive back in the spring of 2007.
Currently, he is a two-year letterman and will be a senior in this upcoming season, majoring in construction management with a projected graduation date of December 2008. Payne will spend this summer interning as a project manager with a construction company in Houston, Texas, called TD Industries.