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Stover-Photo.jpgRepresentative Pam Snyder met with Waynesburg University’s Stover Scholars Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014.  She discussed the importance of protecting the coal industry and responsibly developing natural gas, the challenges facing women in politics and about her commitment to seeking common ground in the political sphere.  

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_STOVER-WEB-LOGO4.jpgThe Waynesburg University Stover Scholars will present “In God we Pray?: Town of Greece, New York v. Galloway et al,” in honor of Constitution Day Wednesday, Sept. 17, at noon in the Goodwin Performing Arts Center. Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend.

Written by Stover Scholars John Wicker, Ryan Schwertfeger and Paige Carter, “In God We Pray?: Town of Greece, New York v. Galloway et al.,” dramatizes the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 case upholding the town of Greece,  New York’s practice of beginning monthly town board meetings with prayer by local clergy.

The play brings to life the legal arguments in favor of and against the practice of legislative prayer resulting from Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens’ ultimately failed lawsuit against the municipality. 

The play examines the spectrum of judicial opinion interpreting the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment Religion Clauses.

“In this critical moment in which America’s founding values are being challenged, the Stover Scholars are to be commended for wrestling with the scope and meaning of the First Amendment’s Religion Clauses which state, ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’” said Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, director of the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership and assistant professor of ethics and constitutional law.

The production is directed by Edward L. Powers, professor of theater at Waynesburg University, and sponsored by the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership.

The cast list includes:

•Linda Stephens: Nika Anschuetz, a junior communication (electronic media) major from Harmony (Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School)

•Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Ashley Beener, a sophomore sociology (political science) major from Rockwood (Rockwood Area Junior-Senior High School)

•Justice Clarence Thomas: Emily Bish, a freshman marketing major from Pittsburgh (North Allegheny Senior High School) 

•Susan Galloway: Paige Carter, a sophomore sociology (pre-law) major from Coraopolis (Abundant Life Academy)

•Rev. Chappell: Nick Cordova, a freshman sociology (political science) major from Youngstown, Ohio (Boardman High School)

•Justice Anthony Kennedy: Jeremy Hinkle, a senior forensic accounting major from Washington (Canon McMillan High School)

•Justice Stephen Breyer: Parker Kantos, a junior sociology (pre-law) major from Waupaca, Wisc. (Waupaca High School)

•News Anchor 2: J.R. Kautz, a junior business management major from Marianna (Bethlehem Center High School)

•News Anchor 1:  Brendan Keany, a sophomore communication (sports broadcasting/information) major from East Aurora, N.Y. (East Aurora High School)

•Thomas Hungar: Matt Kenney, a junior computer science major from Northumberland (Shikellamy High School)

•Cameraman: R.J. Leon, a freshman finance major from Brookfield, Ohio (Brookfield Local Schools)

•Justice Sonia Sotomayor: Kiana Levi, a freshman entrepreneurship major from Venetia (Hillcrest Christian Academy)

•Bailiff: Vincent Morrow, a freshman biology (pre-med) major from Waynesburg (Waynesburg Central High School)

•Justice Samuel Alito : Addie Pazzynski, a sophomore biblical ministry studies (religion and philosophy) major from Waynesburg (Waynesburg Central High School)

•Justice Antonin Scalia: Gina Robinson, a senior English (literature) major from Lower Burrell (Saint Joseph High School) 

•Douglas Laycock: Ryan Schwertfeger, a sophomore communication (electronic media) major from Oakland, N.J. (Indian Hills High School)

•Justice Elena Kagan: Joanna Scott, a freshman nursing major from Greencastle (Greencastle-Antrim High School)

•Andy Stanko: Andy Stanko, a sophomore communication (sports broadcasting/information) major from Lewisburg (Lewisburg Area High School)

•Supervisor Auberger: Brandon VanTine, a sophomore sociology (political science) major from New Kensington (Valley High School)

•Chief Justice John Roberts: John Wicker, a sophomore business management major from Ambridge (Eden Christian Academy) 

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Peduto.jpgWaynesburg University’s Stover Scholars met with Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, Federal District Judge Mark Hornak, Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas Judge Thomas Flaherty, First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh Senior Pastor Tom Hall, and visited the Imani Christian Academy on Friday April 25, 2014.

“This event-filled day provided the Stover Scholars the opportunity to interact with Pittsburgh’s executive, judicial, religious, and educational leaders and witness their innovative and creative attributes,” commented Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, Director of Waynesburg University’s Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership.

Mayor Peduto gave the Stover Scholars a tour of Pittsburgh’s mayoral suite and the city council meeting room and laid out his vision for Pittsburgh’s future. 

“From having 19 years of experience as a councilman, Mayor Bill Peduto impressed me greatly with his aptitude and appreciation of Pittsburgh’s great history, along with his vision to revitalize the city as well,” reflected freshman John Wicker.  Senior Daniel Czajkowski stated, “Regardless of whether one is Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, Mayor Peduto’s enthusiasm for public service in the city of Pittsburgh is undeniable. We are grateful for his willingness to meet with us and appreciate not only his deep understanding of Pittsburgh’s history, but also his passion for charting its future.”

b2ap3_thumbnail_Flaherty.jpgJudges Hornak and Flaherty both provided insights into the operation of American legal system in the quest for justice.

Paige Carter, a freshman scholar noted, “Judges Hornak and Flaherty showed a humanity I wasn’t expecting; they mentioned how their losses have granted them humility that spurred them to become the great men they are today.  Being able to see the different levels and dynamics of government makes law feel much more attainable.”

The students also toured the Imani Christian Academy and heard the school’s principal, Terri L. Ayers, discuss the inner-city school’s determination to help students discern their own divinely inspired purpose. 

Junior Stover Scholar Jeremy Hinkle commented, “The Imani Christian Academy takes in students who are often in unfortunate circumstances and provides the love and care these students need to grow and thrive.  With the presence of loving staff and the love of God in their lives, these students are able to realize their inner potential and discover the purpose that they are being called to in life.”

b2ap3_thumbnail_Hornak.jpgThe Senior Stover Scholars were then honored at a Duquesne Club Dinner, which featured an address by Rev. Hall who reflected upon his pilgrimage of faith from his thirty-year career as an Air Force Colonel before becoming a Presbyterian minister.   The graduating seniors honored at the dinner were: Chase S. Ayers, Daniel G. Buzzard, Daniel V. Czajkowski, Patrick C. Kopas, and Mollie K. Pugh. 

Reflecting upon the trip, freshman Andrew Stanko observed, “The Stover trip was an opportunity to meet really influential, engaging and talented individuals who shape the Pittsburgh area.  It was a chance to place faces with names in local politics and judicial proceedings, and each offered different insights on topics like losing, knowing your history, taking advantage of opportunities, and learning from those talented individuals around you.”  Stover Scholar Gina Robinson remarked, “Going to Pittsburgh was such a privilege for me.  It was immensely interesting to take a day to hear the ideas of leaders within my community.”

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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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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