On May 31, 2018, the Honorable John Hager delivered a Banner Lecture, “Best Seat in the House.” Since being struck by polio in 1973, John Hager has enjoyed life as a participatory sport — in the game, not on the sidelines. Life for him has been whole and exciting by doing not observing, and his “up close and personal” involvement with so many individuals, organizations, and groups has been enriching and fulfilling. In this lecture, John Hager talks about his life and how what some see as a handicap has instead been an enabling, not disabling, opportunity to serve others. At times he has found himself and his wheelchair in the front, often in the middle, and sometimes in the back of the room, but they were all the best seat in the house.
The Honorable John H. Hager served as the 37th lieutenant governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002, as an assistant secretary within the United States Department of Education from 2004 to 2007, and as the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia from August 2007 until May 2008. He is the author of Best Seat in The House.