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In celebration of Constitution Day, Waynesburg University’s Stover Scholars will present “From Framers to Farmers: The Substantial Effect of Wheat upon the Constitution,” at noon on Thursday, Sept. 14, in the Goodwin Performing Arts Center.

Written by Stover Scholars Tyler McCoy, T.J. DeNofrio, Olivia Schultz-Falandes and Micah Stanko, the play dramatizes the 1942 Supreme Court case Wickard v. Filburn, which examined wheat farmer Roscoe Filburn's prosecution under the New Deal's Agricultural Adjustment Act for growing too much wheat for his family's own use.  

The Court held that the U.S. Constitution's interstate Commerce Clause allowed the government to regulate wheat production that never left a farmer's farm.  Because of the Supreme Court’s sweeping interpretation of the interstate Commerce Clause, Wickard v. Filburn has been described by constitutional historian James Barnes in the latest edition of the Journal of Supreme Court History as the “font of federal power.”  

“The Stover Scholars have been working for months to write this drama, which raises important questions about constitutional interpretation and the role of the federal government in regulating economic affairs,” said Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, Director of the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership and Associate Professor of Ethics and Constitutional Law.  

The play is directed by Waynesburg University Professor of Theater Edward L. Powers.

Admission is free, but tickets must be reserved in advance at Waynesburg.ticketleap.com/constitutionday2017

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Ashley Wise, Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_3-28-Stover-DC-trip.jpgDuring a recent trip to Washington, D.C., on March 23 and 24, Waynesburg University’s Stover Scholars met with several influential legal, political and journalist leaders including: U.S. Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA), United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Judge Kara Stoll, Georgetown University Law Center Professor Randy Barnett, former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Commissioner Jeffrey Merrifield, Fox News talk show host Tucker Carlson, National Archives Historian Jessica Kratz, Economist Stephen Moore, and U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Victor J. Wolski.

The twenty Stover Scholars started their whirlwind tour on the Capitol steps with Representative Tim Murphy who discussed the future of healthcare and the healthcare reform bill. Following their conversation, Sophomore Scholar Christine Dawson noted, “As a nursing major currently taking a health care policy course, I found our conversation with Rep. Tim Murphy about the pending AHCA vote to be a wonderful real-time supplement to what I am learning in the classroom. Hearing from a legislator with a medical background who has sponsored a recently passed mental health bill inspired me to make my passion for quality patient care and adequate healthcare access heard in the public square.”

Next, the scholars visited Georgetown University Law Center and met with author and professor Randy Barnett to review constitutional law and his recent book, “Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People.” Sophomore Tyler McCoy commented, “As an undergraduate student interested in law school, having the opportunity to meet with Professor Barnett at Georgetown Law Center was an invaluable experience. It was especially valuable to see how he, a renowned legal theorist, interprets and analyzes our Constitution."

At the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Judge Kara Stoll discussed the excitement of being appointed to the court by President Obama and her background in engineering and law.  

Jeffrey Merrifield, former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Commissioner met with the students at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.  Reflecting on their meeting, Senior Stover Scholar John Wicker said, “Mr. Merrifield had such a keen insight on solutions to further implement nuclear energy in our nation's energy portfolio. His fascinating nomination by President Bill Clinton as a Republican to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission opened several doors for him to make a significant impact for the future of energy in America."

Ending their first day in D.C., the Stover Scholars visited the Fox News headquarters and watched the live filming of the Tucker Carlson Tonight show.  "It was a very surreal experience to sit no more than 20 feet from Tucker Carlson on his set as he debated on his late night show. Perhaps even more humbling was getting to talk with him briefly to realize the transparency of the individual; showing the same charisma and enthusiasm while interacting with us in person as he displays on live TV,” said junior scholar Vincent Morrow. 

The following day, the scholars had an exclusive tour of the National Archives given by the historian Jessie Kratz. During the private session, the students were able to get an up close encounter with the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution and learn more about the extensive documents that the Archives is responsible for organizing. Addie Pazzynski, a senior Stover Scholar noted about the tour, “By remembering our past, and facing it in the form of documents and artifacts, we experience again and again the words and images that inspired and challenged our predecessors.  This experience pushes me to reimagine, reinterpret, and relive what does and can make America a place of peace and equity.” 

Finally, the group met with Economist Stephen Moore at The Heritage Foundation who detailed his experience working as a senior advisor to President Trump during the 2016 campaign and the current state of the economy.  

Reflecting on the trip, senior scholar Paige Carter said, “The Stover Scholars are privileged to experience a D.C. not exemplified by the news, but one full of civic leaders who are driven by morality, tradition and a greater sense of purpose.” 

Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, Director of the Stover Center and Assistant Professor of Ethics and Constitutional Law, commented, “The Stover Scholars gained profound insights about American legal, economic and energy policy from major political and constitutional players who openly shared their D.C. experiences with the scholars. Moreover, the students viewed the U.S. Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights in their own private viewing session, a truly remarkable moment.”

The Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership is a unique Waynesburg University program dedicated to transforming the political sphere in the context of Christian Ethics and American constitutionalism.

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_11-17-Stover-DC.jpgWaynesburg University’s Stover Scholars met with seven prominent leaders during their recent trip to Washington, D.C., on November 2 and 3.  

The prominent legal, political, and journalist leaders included U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Washington Post columnist George Will, U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), U.S. Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA), POLITICO executive editor Peter Canellos, and lawyer Cleta Mitchell.  

The twenty-one Stover Scholars first met with the executive editor of POLTICO, Peter Canellos, at the global news and information company’s headquarters in Arlington, VA, and discussed the trends and innovation of online journalism.  Next, the scholars visited with Cleta Mitchell, partner and political lawyer at Foley & Lardner LLP, at the Metropolitan Club where Mitchell reviewed accountability and the IRS. 

The next day the group first met with Delaware Senator Tom Carper and then Illinois Senator Mark Kirk, who both described their political careers and their quest bipartisanship within today’s Congress.

The scholars then walked to the U.S. Supreme Court for a meeting with Justice Clarence Thomas. During the nearly two-hour private session, the students were impressed with his kindness and generosity. Freshman Stover Scholar Christine Dawson from Wexford, PA, said, “I will always cherish our amazing encounter with Justice Thomas, who encouraged us to stand up for what is right, to work hard, and to not define ourselves by other people’s opinions.”  

Elizabeth Trump, a freshman Stover Scholar from Uniontown, PA, detailed her experience with the Justice as “indescribable.”  She noted, “This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget, and will reflect upon for the rest of my life.” 

Next, the Stover Scholars visited the City Tavern Club in Georgetown and discussed the 2016 Presidential Election with political analyst George Will and his career as a newspaper columnist and political commentator.  

b2ap3_thumbnail_11-17-Stover-DC-2.jpgFinally, the group met with Pennsylvania U.S. Representative Tim Murphy at the House Office Building. While waiting for a call to vote, Murphy discussed the recent Speaker of the House change and the progress of his mental health legislation.

Freshman Stover Scholar Tyler McCoy from Jamestown, Ohio, appreciated meeting men and women from an array of professions. He stated, “Being able to hear how each of them view the business of our government helped me to better understand how our government works, and how moral leadership is necessary in all careers.”  

Another Stover Scholar, Paige Carter, a junior form Coraopolis, PA, said, “This trip in particular always reaffirms my belief that moral perspective and wise advisement is imperative for aspiring leaders. One day, I hope to be the springboard of political discernment to future leaders as current leaders have been to me.”  

Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, Director of the Stover Center, commented, “The insights the array of leaders provided the Stover Scholars during their whirlwind visit to Washington, D.C., will guide the students for their entire lives.” 

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_David-Skeel.pngThe Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership will host a guest lecturer Thursday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall. University of Pennsylvania Law School Professor David Skeel will lead a lecture titled, “True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of Our Complex World.”

Skeel will also lead a forum in conjunction with Judge Gary Glazer of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas at 3 p.m. on Oct. 22 on the 3rd floor of the Stover Campus Center. Admission to both events is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend.

Skeel’s lecture will explore the idea that Christianity can explain many of the puzzles of human existence, such as humans’ capacity for idea-making and their inability to create a just social order. Compared with other belief systems, Skeel argues, Christianity provides a more comprehensive framework for understanding human life. He supports the notion that, even in the contemporary world, God can make sense of the complexities of human life.

During the afternoon forum, “Thinking about Law School?,” Skeel and Glazer will describe the law school experience, various specialties in law school and what it is like to practice law. Students will find this afternoon forum to be an informative discussion for those considering law school.

“Professor Skeel and Judge Glazer will explore critical issues relating to ethics and law, which will guide Waynesburg University students to become effective civil leaders,” said Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, director of the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership and the assistant professor of ethics and constitutional law. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Judge-Gary-Glazer.pngProfessor David Skeel is the S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Professor Skeel teaches courses on corporate law, bankruptcy, sovereign debt, poetry and the law, and Christianity and the law. He is the author of “The New Financial Deal: Understanding the Dodd-Frank Act and Its (Unintended) Consequences” and “True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of Our Complex World,” as well as numerous articles, books and other publications.  Professor Skeel earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia.

Judge Glazer is a judge of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, where he has served as a trial judge in the Criminal and Civil Divisions. Prior to joining the court in 1991, Judge Glazer served as an Assistant United States Attorney, where he was the chief of the Fraud Section. He also spent time practicing law at private firms in Philadelphia and Chicago. Judge Glazer earned his Bachelor of Arts from The Ohio State University and his juris doctorate from Case Western Reserve University.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_9-15-Pestritto.jpgWaynesburg University’s Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership and Honors Academy will host a lecture presented by Hillsdale College professor Dr. Ronald J. Pestritto Thursday, September 24, 2015, 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall.  Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend.

Dr. Pestritto’s lecture is titled “Rule by Law or by Executive Fiat? How Agencies Govern Without Consent.” 

Dr. Pestritto is the graduate dean and an associate professor of politics at Hillsdale College, where he teaches political philosophy, American political thought and American politics, and holds the Charles and Lucia Shipley Chair in the American Constitution. He is a senior fellow of the College’s Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy and an academic fellow of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Dr. Pestritto earned his Bachelor of Arts from Claremont McKenna College and his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in government from the Claremont Graduate University. He is the author of “Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism,” the editor of “Woodrow Wilson: The Essential Political Writings” and the co-editor of “American Progressivism: A Reader.” 

“Professor Pestritto will show the bipartisan historical precedence which bolstered the administrative state and upset the original constitutional design,” said Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, director of the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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