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.
Finally, 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
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