LEXINGTON, Ky.—Fifty-one college students, from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, are in Lexington this week to attend the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship’s fourth annual Student Congress at Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky, June 18-25.
The rising seniors are recommended by the senior U.S. senator from their state and colleges and universities throughout the country and, while at the Student Congress, are exposed to a curriculum in diplomacy, dialogue, listening skills, negotiation and mediation.
Earlier today, Transylvania president and historian R. Owen Williams shared with the Student Congress details of the close relationship statesman Henry Clay had with the 231-year-old university.
The “Great Compromiser” served as a professor in Transylvania’s law school beginning in 1805 and oversaw the construction of Old Morrison (1833), which is now home to the university’s administrative offices, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is featured on the city seal of Lexington. Clay remained a trustee and friend of the university until his death in 1852.
In recognition of the 200th anniversary of Clay becoming Speaker of the House, a special program will be held at Transylvania’s Haggin Auditorium on Friday, June 24, at 7:30 p.m. The sold-out event, “A Tribute to Henry Clay,” will feature a moderated discussion on how Henry Clay influenced the role of the Speaker of the House by current Speaker John Boehner, former Speaker and current House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and former Speakers Dennis Hastert and Jim Wright. The Speakers will also answer questions submitted by members of the Student Congress.
The curriculum for the Student Congress, devised by Transylvania, the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at UK and Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate, focuses not only on theory, but also on the practices of statesmanship, including Henry Clay’s ideals of debate, diplomacy, communication and beneficial compromise.
Transylvania, founded in 1780, is the nation’s sixteenth oldest institution of higher learning and is consistently ranked in national publications as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country.