This October, the Faculty of Arts at Memorial University is hosting two retired U.S. congressman as part of the Congress to Campus Program, a 30-year-old initiative of the United States Association of Former Members of Congress. Reaching a wide audience of students, faculty and college communities, this is the first time the program has been extended north to Canada.
The two retired U.S. congressmen, Dennis Hertel (Democratic – Michigan) and Orval Hansen (Republican – Idaho) will be in St. John’s Oct. 9 and Oct.10, following their first Canadian stop at Carleton University. Over their two-day stay in Newfoundland, the two congressmen will conduct classes, hold community forums, and meet informally with students and faculty. The theme of their visit will be the upcoming U.S. presidential elections and the role of Congress. They will also discuss the implications for either candidate’s election four years and the resulting global impact.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for members of the university community to engage with bipartisan representatives who can explain how the U.S. government and Congress really work,” said Dr. Reeta Tremblay, dean of arts. “Considering the huge interest many Canadians have in the U.S. election, this is perfect timing for their visit.”
According to Tracy Fine, program officer with the USAFMC (United States Association of Former Members of Congress), the program is now being extended to Canada and to other countries such as the U.K., Japan and Korea, in order to give university students an inside perspective on the U.S. election and what the outcome of the election will mean for the international community.
Dennis Mark Hertel was elected as a Democrat to the 97th and to five succeeding Congresses (Jan. 3, 1981, to Jan. 3, 1993). He was admitted to the Michigan bar in 1975 after graduating from J.D. Wayne State University Law School in 1974. He served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1975 to 1980, prior to being elected to Congress. Among his notable achievements as a member of Congress were authoring the National Marine Sanctuaries Reauthorization and Improvement Act and the Great Lakes Protection Act. Mr. Hertel also directed the administration of several political campaigns over the course of his career in public service.
Orval Hansen’s political career began in the Idaho House of Representative where he served four terms, beginning in 1956. He was elected to Congress as a Republican in 1968, serving three terms. Following his service in Congress he returned to private law practice and founded the Columbia Institute for Political Research in 1977. He holds a PhD in political science from George Washington University and served in the United States Navy from 1944 to 1946.