Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I am pleased and honored to participate in the ceremony.
Before making a comment or two about the newly selected, let me thank and congratulate those who have been in the program for this past year. They haven't quite finished, but they are in about a month or two, I guess, to finish or conclude their contribution to the Federal Government in the many responsibilities that they have had in the various departments including, of course, the White House.
But to the individuals who have just been selected, may I add, we are very proud of you. You went through a very rigorous screening process. As I understand it, there have been some 2,307 applicants. To have it winnowed down to this selected group of 14 indicates that we have an outstanding group of quality individuals coming from a wide variety of activities in nongovernmental life and, of course, some from the Government, the military. But as they start their labor sometime in September, I'm looking forward to the contributions that they can make to the Government--some in the White House, some in various departments.
We can learn from them, and I hope in the process we can reciprocate and help them. In the year that they are here, I trust that they will learn a little bit more about how the Government works--more good than bad, I trust-and I know when they go back to their respective occupations and responsibilities, they can interpret what Government does or seeks to do in a better way for the some 213 million Americans who are a part of our society.
It has been my privilege over the years to know a number of individuals who have been White House Fellows. We have two on my staff right now, Jim Connor and Warren Rustand, and we have also one of the 1974-75 White House Fellows in Roger Porter, who is a very great asset to our economic council.
I could only indicate my personal belief that the ones who have performed have done extremely well, and I am equally confident that the ones who have been selected will do as well, if not better, in the future.
So, I not only congratulate those that have been selected but I express, Mr. Chairman, my appreciation to the individuals on your Commission who have gone through 2,307 applications, which is not an easy job, and to select the 14 finalists.
I thank you and your associates. Good luck to all.