Stover Scholars visit U.S. Surpreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Waynesburg University Stover Scholars recently visited U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Swiss Ambassador Manuel Sager in Washington, D.C.
Justice Sotomayor urged the students to pursue their passions while contributing to the broader community. Sotomayor hinted that one person in the room might one day become a member of the Supreme Court. Sotomayor emphasized that the opportunity to serve should be recognized as a privilege and that it is worthwhile to give of oneself to fulfill his or her vocation.
The Stover Scholars, chosen for their interest in the relationship between the U.S. Constitution and Christian Ethics, asked Sotomayor questions about the role of her own experiences, her faith and the personal challenges of being in the public eye.
"When people are presented with the privilege of serving the public, they have an obligation to take it," she said.
"Meeting Justice Sotomayor was more than memorable to me," said Chase Ayers, a pre-law major from Charleroi, Pa. "Hearing her words conveyed a special meaning that I could not have received from a book."
The group then visited Ambassador Sager at the Swiss Embassy. They discussed Switzerland's system of government, strong economic foundation, neutral foreign policy, and Swiss-American relations.
"Hearing about Switzerland from the Swiss perspective was unique," said Jeremy Hinkle, a freshman history major from Washington, Pa.
The students then met several prominent Washington government officials and scholars at the historic City Tavern Club in Georgetown. Thomas R. Johnson, a partner at the Pittsburgh law firm K&L Gates, spoke on the attributes of strong leadership.
“Mr. Johnson reminded us that when we are called to fulfill a duty, it is our civic obligation to do so,” said Daniel Czajkowski, a criminal justice and political science major from Frederick, Md.
Reflecting on the trip, Zander Shashura, a business major from Fredericktown, Pa., said, “On this trip, we were surrounded by people who are carrying out what they and the Stover Program preach.” Shashura continued, “Talking to them and listening to the stories they have to tell of their own lives gives us all examples to follow as we aspire to be leaders and change the world around us.”
Zachary Mason, a secondary education major from Waynesburg, said, "Our trip to D.C. was a truly remarkable experience that I will never forget. Not every person has the privilege to meet a Supreme Court Justice, meet a foreign Ambassador and have dinner with so many distinguished individuals."
Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, director of the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership, said, "I was proud of the Stover Scholars as they conversed with Justice Sotomayor, Ambassador Sager, Attorney Johnson, and the other individuals who are making a difference for civilization. I hope that the Stover Scholars will aspire to follow in their footsteps and that the officials will cherish memories of meeting Waynesburg University students."