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Congress to Campus

Thousands of students on college campuses throughout the country are getting a rare opportunity to interact with former Members of Congress through a program designed to attract young people to public service leadership. Concerns about the lack of civic literacy among America's young people and declining participation in politics and voting even among college-educated young adults are being addressed by the Congress to Campus program, which brings students into contact with former Members who share their insights and experiences. Students are challenged to become involved in the legislative process and learn about the value of public service from men and women who have served in Congress.

The U. S. Association of Former Members of Congress created the Congress to Campus Program in an effort to improve college students' understanding of Congress and American government and to encourage them to consider careers in public service. Beginning in 1996, the Stennis Center partnered with the Association to assist in managing the program. Participating campuses also contribute to the program by arranging interactive sessions with students, paying a fee on a sliding scale, and absorbing all on-campus expenses related to the program.

The program sends bipartisan pairs of former Members of Congress - one Democrat and one Republican - to visit college, university and community college campuses around the country. Over the course of two days, the former Members conduct classes, hold forums, meet informally with students and faculty, and do interviews and talk show appearances with local press and media.

The Congress to Campus program provides a distinctive, powerful and personal means to educate the next generation about American government, politics and public affairs. The former Members provide students with insights into the realities of American democracy through sharing their real-life experiences as candidates and office holders. The former Members also deliver an important message about bipartisan cooperation.

Former Members share their real life experiences of both achievement and occasional frustration, bringing to life for their young audiences the theory and the practice of democracy, and explaining the often misunderstood ways of Congress and Washington. They present a living, bipartisan demonstration of what ought to typify our representative democracy: decent people with different points of view, who are able to discuss constructive ways to work through differences to solve public problems.

"This is a story of government and politics - positive but not unblemished - told in the compelling voice of those who have lived out democracy's promise and met its challenges in the tough world of national politics," according to David Skaggs, executive director of CDC and a former Congressman from Colorado.

Since 1996, the Stennis Center has helped plan more than 170 visits to campuses throughout the United States.

Upcoming Visits

Park University
(Parkville, MO)
September 16-18, 2014

Jack Buechner (R-MO, 1987-1991)
Nick Lampson (D-TX, 1997-2009)

University of Central Florida
(Orlando, FL)
September 16-18, 2014

Peter Torkildsen (R-MA, 1993-97)
William J. Hughes (D-NJ, 1975-1995)

Roger Williams University
(Bristol, RI)
September 21-23, 2014

Sam Coppersmith (D-AZ, 1993-1995)
Jim Kolbe (R-AZ, 1989-2007)

Tufts University, Tisch College
(Medford, MA)
September 28-30, 2014

Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY, 2011-2013)
Bob Carr (D-MI, 1975-81, 1983-95)

Appalachian State University
(Boone, NC)
October 5-7, 2014

Beverly Byron (D-MD, 1979-1993)
Dan Miller (R-FL, 1993-2003)

Boston  University
(Boston, MA)
October 5-7, 2014

Larry LaRocco (D-ID, 1991-1995)
Connie Morella (R-MD, 1987-2003)

University of Maine
(Orono, ME)
October 6-8, 2014

Gil Gutknecht (R-MN, 1995-2007)
Mike Kopetski (D-OR, 1991-1995)

Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
(Galloway, NJ)
October 12-14, 2014

Louis Frey, Jr. (R-FL, 1969-1979)
Bob Clement (D-TN, 1987-2003)

Millersville University
(Millersville, PA)
October 19-21, 2014

James K. Coyne (R-PA, 1981-1983)
Martin Lancaster (D-NC, 1987-1995)

Arizona State University
(Tempe, AZ)
October 19-21, 2014 

Les AuCoin (D-OR, 1975-1993)
Tom Ewing (R-IL, 1991-2001)

Stone Hill College
(Easton, MA)
October 22-24, 2014

John Joseph Hall (D-NY, 2007-2011)
Steve Kuykendall (R-CA, 1999-2001)

Past Visits
Ten Things I Wish Science Professors Would Teach by Former U.S. Congressman Lee Hamilton
Guidelines for a Congressional Visit
Sample Schedule of Activities
Read Coverage from a Recent Campus Visit

SUNY Albany

See Video Footage from a Spring Campus Visit

Hinds Community College Raymond, Mississippi