For immediate release
March 27, 2003
Abilene Christian University students will hear about the importance of public service and get an inside look at American government and politics next week when two former Congress members visit campus.
George Wortley, retired Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and David Minge, retired Democrat member of the U.S. House of Representatives, will speak to various classes, on-campus groups and students March 31 - April 2.
The Congress to Campus program is sponsored by the United States Association of Former Members of Congress and is designed to address the civic learning and engagement deficit among American college students, according to its brochure. The program sends bipartisan pairs of former Congress members – one Democrat and one Republican – to colleges and universities across the country to conduct classes, community forums, individual student meetings, and other activities.
"The American public opinion of Congress is very low right now. There’s very little trust in Congress, and it’s important to educate citizens that Congress is central to our representative system and democracy," said Dr. David Dillman, professor of political science. "By being able to interact with former member of Congress, we can learn more about what Congress really does, the nature of compromise, and that compromise is central to the democratic process. Hopefully that will encourage a more realistic view of what Congress is all about."
Wortley served four terms in the House of Representatives on the Banking, Finance and Urban Affaris Committee, the Ethics Committee, and select Aging committees. He is now a principal in Dierman, Wortley & Zola, Inc., federal government affairs consultants, and president of Sunrise Holdings Inc., a joint investor in the Pacific Rim. Prior to his government service, he was president of the Manlius Publishing Corporation, the publisher of seven weekly newspapers in upstate New York. He holds a bachelor of science degree from Syracuse University and served in the merchant Marine Reserve and the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II. He and his wife, Barbara, reside in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Minge is a judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals. He was alsoa scholar at the wooodrow Wilson center in 2002 and a lecturer at the University of Minnesota-Morris in 2001-02. While in Congress, Minge served on the Budges, Agriculture and Science committees. He has served as a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Helsinki in 1976 and a consultant in democracy building projects supported by the National endowment for Democracy in Russia, Kosovo and Bulgaria. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from St. Olaf College and a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School.
If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Wendy Kilmer, university news coordinator.