Carol Swain and Stephen Colbert on Capitol Hill

SALEM, Va - Reporters and photographers from the national media gathered in force to hear Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert speak before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Farm Labor on Sept. 25. But before they could hear from Colbert, they heard testimony from Roanoke College graduate Carol Swain '83. She was the first of four witnesses and the panel's testimony was concluded by Colbert - in his Colbert Report character.

After Colbert's testimony, Swain took several questions from representatives on the judiciary subcommittee. There are several lively exchanges between Swain and Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D - Mich.), who eventually invites Swain to join him on a committee to further work on the immigration issue.

Colbert certainly brought attention to the issue but some news and opinion articles now question the validity of using celebrity speakers such as Colbert, with some even suggesting he was brought in to downplay the testimony of Swain.

Swain included a reference to another Roanoke alumnus in her testimony. Swain and Don Kerr '60 both live in Nashville, Tenn. He owns Kerr Industries and Swain discussed a program Kerr initiated to employ American workers in his sweet potato planting and harvesting operation in Arkansas. 

Swain is a serious scholar and not afraid to tackle difficult issues. She is the author of several books, including her latest, "Debating Immigration." She is a regular guest on national news programs such as Fox News' Hannity.

To view Swain or Colbert's testimony, visit C-Span. Each of the speakers is given five minutes to testify. Swain is introduced at the 34:53 mark and begins her comments at 38 minutes. Swain speaks again during the Q&A section, which is after Colbert speaks.

Roanoke College, a classic liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a beautiful undergraduate setting. Roanoke is one of just 280 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review names Roanoke as one of the "best in the Southeast" and U.S. News & World Report includes Roanoke on its "Up-and-coming National Liberal Arts Colleges" list.

For additional information, call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.

Released: October 1, 2010
Contact Name: Public Relations
Contact Phone: (540) 375-2282
Contact Email: gereaux@roanoke.edu