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b2ap3_thumbnail_constitution-day-2014.jpgThe Waynesburg University’s Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership celebrated Constitution Day Wednesday, Sept. 17, with a student written production, “In God We Pray?: Town of Greece, New York v. Galloway et al.”

The play examined the spectrum of judicial opinion interpreting the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment religion clauses, which state, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”  The celebration was attended by members of the Rotary Club of Waynesburg, the Central Greene School District gifted program, The Linsly School and many local homeschoolers.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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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_kathleen_abernathy_corp.gifGeorgetownb2ap3_thumbnail_abernathy-charles_2.png University law professor Charles F. Abernathy and former federal communications commissioner Kathleen Quinn Abernathy will lead a lecture titled, “Washington, D.C. Behind the Veil: Reflections on both the Constitution and Federal Communications Law,” as part of Waynesburg University’s Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership Lecture Series, Wednesday, April 9. 

The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Goodwin Performing Arts Center on the campus of Waynesburg University. Admission is free, and the public is invited to attend. 

According to Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, director of Waynesburg University’s Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership and assistant professor of ethics and constitutional law, the Stover Center is privileged to welcome the Abernathys to Waynesburg University as “stellar” examples of American political, intellectual and professional leadership.

“Professor Charles Abernathy is one of America’s premier constitutional scholars and teachers who has an international following as an interpreter of American jurisprudence,” Stratton said. “Former FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy used her analytic skills to update communications law for the digital age and is a widely respected corporate executive.”  

Kathleen Quinn Abernathy was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2001 and confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate.  She shaped American communications law regarding broadband communications, broadcast, cable, satellite and wireless both on the FCC and as a Washington, D.C., lawyer.  She is currently executive vice president of external affairs at Frontier Communications Corporation.  She earned a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University and a Juris doctorate degree from the Catholic University, Columbus School of Law.

Charles F. Abernathy, professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, is the author of several books and articles including the first modern case book on federal civil rights law, “Civil Rights and Constitutional Litigation,” and the premier introduction to the American legal system for international lawyers, “Law in the United States.”  He is the co-author of “The Law of Equal Employment Opportunity.”  He was a Fulbright Professor of Law in Egypt from 1983 to 1984 and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Juris doctorate and a master of law degree from Harvard University. 

Waynesburg University’s Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership is committed to creatively transforming the ethical state of the polis, bringing insights from the U.S. Constitution’s Founding Era and Christianity to bear in the contemporary public square.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_11-5stover2.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_Monogram Small.jpgWaynesburg University’s Stover Scholars had a whirlwind tour of Washington, D.C., visiting major political and legal leaders on Thursday, Oct. 31 and Friday, Nov. 1, 2013.  The 21 undergraduates had sessions with U.S. Senator Robert Casey; Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; National Public Radio Correspondent Mara Liasson; Georgetown University Law Center Professor Charles F. Abernathy; Institute for Justice constitutional litigator Scott Bullock; former Congressman David McIntosh; and political activist Wesley Goodman.

Just after voting on the Senate floor on two cloture votes, Senator Casey stressed his ongoing quest to overcome partisanship and encouraged the students to pursue lives of public service.  Justice Scalia told the students that America is free because of the U.S. Constitution’s structural protections of checks and balances and the Separation of Powers even more so than the Bill of Rights.  He urged the students to continually re-read the Federalist Papers, which should be “dog-eared on your desk.”  At the new headquarters of National Public Radio, Mara Liasson described her career path in radio journalism and emphasized nurturing the skill of writing succinctly and clearly, which she mastered by providing five minute news summaries on NPR for over a decade.  She also assessed America’s current state of political polarization and the need for leaders to bring America together. 

The students also participated in a Civil Procedure class at Georgetown University Law Center taught by constitutional scholar Charles F. Abernathy, who later provided insights to the students about pursuing legal careers. Former Congressman, White House lawyer and Mayer Brown Partner David McIntosh, a co-Founder of the Federalist Society, urged the students to take up the mantle of leadership to preserve the U.S. Constitution’s values, which he views as the best hope for freedom in the world. Scott Bullock, the lead constitutional litigator in the 2005 U.S. Supreme Court case, Kelo v. New London, described his public interest legal practice of strategically enhancing property rights protections. Wesley Goodman, leader of the Conservative Action Project, encouraged the Stover Scholars to “talk about the American dream again” as they pursue public leadership. The students also visited the U.S. Senate Gallery and toured both the Library of Congress and U.S. Supreme Court.

“The Stover Scholars met with major players in the Washington, D.C., political scene and critically engaged with them in meaningful and substantive constitutional discussions,” said Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, Director of the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral b2ap3_thumbnail_11-5stover1.jpgLeadership and Assistant Professor of Ethics and Constitutional Law. “The political and legal leaders we visited thoroughly appreciated the Stover Scholars’ positive spirit,” Stratton continued.

“Meeting with several political and judicial leaders on this trip and hearing their insights on the future of this country, through various ups and downs, gave me hope for what is yet to come,” said Patrick Kopas, senior pre-law major from Fairchance, Pa. 

“The D.C. trip was a great experience because we were able to meet those in the Nation’s Capital who you hear and read about. Meeting Senator Casey, Justice Scalia, NPR’s Mara Liasson, constitutional lawyer Scott Bullock, and many more political leaders put faces to names. It was fascinating to pick their brains,” said Andrew Stanko, freshman sports broadcasting major from Lewisburg, Pa.

“Justice Scalia was both down to earth and extraordinarily wise simultaneously, exactly the way a Supreme Court Justice should be,” said Matthew Kenney, sophomore computer science major from Northumberland, Pa.

Nika Anschuetz, sophomore electronic media major from Zelionople, Pa., said, “Scott Bullock renewed my faith in legal activism on behalf of property rights which is what the Institute for Justice is doing.”

b2ap3_thumbnail_11-5stover3.jpg“Justice Scalia’s assessment of the current state of the polis could not have been more accurate. His acute understanding of the role of the Constitution in society, what is going on, and what is to be done was most thought provoking and formative,” said Daniel Czajkowski, senior criminal justice and political science major from Frederick, Md. 

Chase Ayers, senior pre-law major from Charleroi, Pa., commented, “This trip has inspired me to pursue the causes I hold most dear despite opposition.”

Waynesburg University’s Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership explores national and international issues in the context of constitutional law and Christian ethics with the objective of creatively transforming the polis.

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

Tagged in: stover scholar news
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