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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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b2ap3_thumbnail_Stover-resized.jpgWaynesburg University’s Stover Scholars recently met with Greene County Senior Court of Common Pleas Judge Terry Grimes to discuss the importance of a broad education and a solid faith in pursuing one’s dream for the betterment of society.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Kesler.jpgWaynesburg University’s Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership will host a lecture series led by two prominent political theorists, exploring the status of Presidency of Barack Obama in the context of the stream of American history and political philosophy.

On Thursday, Oct. 24, Dr. Charles R. Kesler, senior fellow of the Claremont Institute, editor of the “Claremont Review of Books” and professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, will speak on “Barack Obama and the Future of Liberalism” as a Visiting Stover Constitutional Fellow at 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall on the campus of Waynesburg University.

On Thursday, Nov. 7, Dr. Theda Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University, will present her lecture, “President Barack Obama, the Tea Party and the Future of American Politics” as a Visiting Stover Constitutional Fellow at 7:30 p.m., also in Alumni Hall.  Admission to both lectures is free and open to the public.

“At this critical juncture in American history, having two prominent political scientists discuss the basic ethical question, ‘What is going on?’ in relation to President Barack Obama’s tenure in office will enhance public discourse,” said 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.

Dr. Kesler is the author of “I am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism,” the editor of “Saving the Revolution: The Federalist Papers and the American Founding,” and co-editor, with William F. Buckley, Jr., of “Keeping the Tablets: Modern American Conservative Thought.” He has written extensively on American constitutionalism and political thought, and his edition of “The Federalist Papers” is the best-selling edition in the country.

In addition, Dr. Kesler contributes regularly to the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. His articles on contemporary politics have also appeared in The Washington Times, Policy Review, National Review and The Weekly Standard, among other journals.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Skocpol.jpgTheda Skocpol is the author of “Obama and America’s Political Future” and “Social Policy in the United States,” and is the co-author of “Reaching for a New Deal.”  Skocpol has been elected to membership in all three major U.S. interdisciplinary honor societies: the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Skocpol has served as the President of the Social Science History Association, the President of the American Political Science Association and was awarded the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science 2007.  She is the co-founder of the Scholars Strategy Network, an organization that encourages public engagement by university-based scholars.

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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Students are taking their education outside of the Greene County limits and sharing their academic achievements in other parts of the country. Waynesburg University students not only receive a sound education on campus, but many opportunities to excel beyond these grounds. Anthony Cooper, a senior pre-law major and Stover Scholar, has taken full advantage of the opportunities before him. Cooper will attend a national conference at the University of Wisconsin, La-Crosse, to present a paper he wrote. The conference is a national program to encourage intensive academic research by undergraduates.


The title of the paper is "An Invisible Theorist: Revitalizing the Philosophy of Adam Smith," and looks at the moral and economic philosophy of Smith. Smith wrote two books, one on morality, Theory of Moral Sentiments, and one on capitalism, Wealth of Nations.


“His book on morality tends to be written off or forgotten,” Cooper said. The main goal of the paper is to reintroduce his moral philosophy and prove that there can be an ethical model of capitalism.”


Cooper has worked closely alongside Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, assistant professor of ethics and constitutional law and director of the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership.


“Mr. Cooper's profound paper strengthens public discourse by elaborating upon capitalism's basis in morality and ethics,” Stratton said. “His research assessed Smith's position in juxtaposition with social theorists Karl Marx, John Rawls and Robert Nozick, among others.”


Through the Stover Scholars Program, students have an outstanding chance to understand the U.S. Constitution, to witness the workings of government, to prepare for the responsibilities of leadership and to benefit from a generous scholarship. Although the program focuses on issues related to history, government, politics, and policy, it is open to students in every major and can provide a strong preparation for virtually any professional calling.


“Mr. Cooper is an intellectual leader of the Waynesburg University community among his peers and especially in the Stover Scholar program,” Stratton said.


Cooper defines being a Stover Scholar as being paramount to his development both as a scholar and an individual.


“It has provided me with countless opportunities to grow mentally and spiritually, and I cannot thank everyone involved with the program enough.”


Upon graduation, Cooper plans to attend graduate school and achieve a master's degree in philosophy. He hopes to one day teach at the collegiate level as well as earn a Ph.D.


“Because Anthony Cooper's paper is a thoroughgoing model of public discourse which critically examines capitalism from across the ideological spectrum, it was no surprise that his research stood out,” Stratton said.

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Waynesburg University's Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership develops leaders to positively impact America's political and social institutions. The Stover Scholars traveled to Washington, D.C. in November 2012 and met six leaders who have had an impact on American society.


Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, former U.S. Attorney General and Pennsylvania Governor Richard L. Thornburgh, Roman Catholic Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Supreme Court litigators Michael Carvin and Gregory Katsas, and economist Richard Rahn provided insights about leadership, law, economics and ethics to the scholars.


Commenting on the D.C. trip, Stover Scholar J.R. Kautz said, "I can honestly say this trip has been one of the most influential and notable experiences of my life. I am proud to be a Stover Scholar."


During their meeting with former U.S. Justice Department Officials Gregory Katsas and Michael Carvin at the Washington, D.C. office of the Jones Day Law Firm, the largest law firm in the world, both attorneys described their experience and strategy litigating the National Federation of Independent Business's constitutional challenge to Obamacare.


The group then visited Cardinal Donald Wuerl at St. Matthew's Cathedral, where Wuerl expressed hope that the Stover Scholars would be leaders of change in the future and urged them to stay connected to America's traditional values and moral foundations.


Later, the Scholars met retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor at the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice O'Connor told the Stover Scholars that she "worked hard to set a good precedent as the first woman Justice, not a bad one."


The Stover Scholars then visited former Chamber of Commerce economist Dr. Richard Rahn, Chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth, at the Cato Institute, where he listed the requirements for a prosperous economy.


At the National Archives, the Stover Scholars viewed the original Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.


The Stover Scholars ended their D.C. trip by meeting former U.S. Attorney General and Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh at the Metropolitan Club. Thornburgh's remarks about ethics and law drew upon Micah 6:8: "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God."

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