GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn visited Grand Rapids Monday for a lecture and book signing. The 39th President and the former First Lady appeared as part of Grand Rapids Community College's Diversity Lecture Series.
The 89-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner lectured before a question-and-answer session with the sold-out crowd. He discussed his opinions on the gender pay gap, US involvement in the fight against the group calling itself Islamic State, and even called President Gerald R. Ford the finest public servant he's known.
Of IS, Carter said, "We don't really have anybody on the ground in Syria on whom we can depend. The so-called moderate opposition to President Assad in Syria is almost non-existent. Most of the moderate opposition...are in Turkey and London, and not on the battlefield."
This year marks the 20th anniversary of GRCC's Diversity Lecture series and the college's 100th year.
Carter has written 28 books, including "A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power." It was released in March.
With Carter having visited Grand Rapids, WZZM 13 asked a local expert about the legacy of Carter's presidency.
Gleaves Whitney, of Grand Valley State University's Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, said, "I think history will be kind to Jimmy Carter, because of the enormous contribution he's made to human rights [and] disease control and eradication around the world."