The twenty Stover Scholars first met Senior Civilian Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force Eric Pierce at the Pentagon. Following an intriguing tour of the building and September 11 monuments, Pierce shared his insights on defense, military strategy and leadership along with his journey on the D.C. political path. Matt Kenney, a junior computer science major from Northumberland, Pa., commented, “Eric Pierce gave an upfront and honest perspective about the current state of defense.”
The group then visited the Supreme Court of the United States and sat in on the 11:00 a.m. oral arguments. “Seeing the oral arguments at the Supreme Court was amazing. It is one thing to read the justices’ opinions in a textbook, but to watch the justices engage in questioning based on their judicial philosophies made the court come alive,” remarked Gina Robinson, a senior English major from Lower Burrell, Pa.
The Scholars then met Judge Janice Rogers Brown at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Judge Brown laid out her constitutional, political and moral insights for the students through her own experiences as a judge in Washington, D.C., and as a justice on the Supreme Court for the state of California. She inspired and encouraged the Scholars to learn from their failures by failing better the next time.
At The Washington Post, the Stover Scholars met with reporter Chris Cillizza who described the evolution and impact of his daily online column and blog, The Fix. Nika Anschuetz, a junior communication major from Zelienople, Pa., said, “As an aspiring journalist, meeting with Chris Cillizza was both beneficial and inspiring. His views about journalism and politics were refreshing.”
The Stover Scholars ended their D.C. trip by meeting Stifel, Nicolaus and Incorporated investment banker Jim Rowan. Rowan, although living on the edge of Washington, D.C., for many years, provided a detailed discussion of an outsider’s view of the political scene within the city. He described the challenges facing businesses from government regulation.
Commenting on the D.C. trip, sophomore pre-law major Paige Carter from Coraopolis, Pa., said, “The dynamics that we experienced today amazed me. This trip fostered in-depth conversation and deep informed thought regarding foreign, domestic and legal policy.” Freshman entrepreneurship major Kiana Levi from Venetia, Pa., commented, "This trip opened my eyes, challenged my political thought and strengthened my confidence to express my opinion.”
Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership Director Dr. Lawrence Stratton said, "The in-depth interactions between Stover Scholars and prominent leaders in law, military policy, journalism and business, and with each other, was commendable.”
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, Senior Writer/Editor
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