From the Manchester College Archives

News Release


Two former U.S. Representatives

to take the “mystery” out of Congress

in visit to MC campus, community


Two former U.S. Representatives will visit Manchester College next week to help students and the Wabash County residents better understand Congress. In addition to conducting classes and discussions, former Congressmen Peter Torkildsen (R-Massachusetts) and Jerry Patterson (D-California) will hold a public forum.

The community is invited to meet the former congressmen at the public forum, from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15 in the great room of Oakwood Hall on campus.  The topic of the forum is "The 2004 Elections: Implications for Government and Politics."

During their visit, the two former congressmen have a full schedule of classes, said political science Professor Leonard A. Williams, who is coordinating their visit.

The Congress to Campus program sends bipartisan pairs of former members of Congress – one Republican and one Democrat – to visit colleges around the United States. They seek to encourage students to consider careers in public service and to provide firsthand knowledge about the work of Congress.

Former U.S. Rep. David Skaggs of Colorado, who heads Congress to Campus, notes Congress can be confusing. “We’re concerned about the anti-politician feeling that seems to prevail in the country today,” he said.  “You seldom hear about the honest day-to-day work of our elected officials.” 

The bipartisan pairing of former members of Congress “demonstrates the reality that we actually get along,” he said, adding, “Both parties care a lot about the same things.”

            Patterson, who represented Orange County in Congress from 1975 to 1985, now serves on the faculty of the University of California, Irvine, and is president of a public affairs consulting firm.

Torkildsen served Massachusetts’ Sixth District from 1993 to 1996. He now is director of federal, state and local workforce relations for the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development.

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