Hiram College

Congressional gridlock, government finance and the Civil War are just few of the subjects Hiram students, faculty, alumni and friends will be addressing during the Garfield Institute for Public Leadership’s yearly trip to Washington, D.C., Oct. 14,-16.

The schedule includes a dinner and speech Friday, October 14, on the effects of the current partisan divide in Congress, by James Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and coauthor of “The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track.”

On Saturday, a full day of activities include a luncheon and panel discussion on the Congressional appropriation process and how it is supposed to work, with Alice Rivlin, senior fellow at Brookings Institution; Susan Irving, Director for Federal Budget Analysis within Strategic Issues of the  Government Accounting Office; and James Longley, former Congressman from Maine.

Saturday evening, Hiram President Thomas V. Chema will host a celebration at the National City Christian Church in Washington in observance of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War. The presentation will feature a keynote address by Allan Peskin, retired professor of history at Cleveland State University and author of the authoritative biography of James A. Garfield, Hiram’s most famous alumnus, faculty member, and president, who had a significant military career in the Civil War before becoming President of the United States.

Peskin’s address will focus on whether Garfield could have been a good president, had he not been assassinated 400 days into his first term.

The newly-founded Hiram College Western Reserve Women’s Chorus, led by assistant professor of music Dawn Sonntag, will also be performing Civil War era songs for the audience. The choir will perform six pieces together, and their performance will also feature a trio of soloists and two solos. The choir, which has been in existence for five weeks, has been rehearsing three hours a day, three days a week, since the start of the academic year, in preparation.

A reception for invited guests including alumni, friends of the Garfield Institute, and members of the Church’s congregation will follow the event.

On Sunday, October 16, President Chema will make remarks, and the Hiram Chamber choir will also perform at the National City Christian Church at noon. Interspersed between events each day, tours of the White House and George Washington’s Mt. Vernon home are also scheduled.