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Business, government students meet with members of Congress at Washington Symposium

Liberty and Hampton students listened to various speakers at the Washington Symposium. (Photos by Titus Pettman)


Members of Liberty University’s School of Business and Helms School of Government participated in the Washington (D.C.) Symposium on April 20 in a partnership with Hampton University.

This was the first Washington Symposium the universities have hosted since the COVID-19 pandemic and included 45 Liberty students and 30 Hampton students.

The trip was headed by School of Business Dean Dave Brat, former congressman for Virginia’s 7th District, and included an opportunity for students to hear from several congressmen, including Reps. Scott Perry (Pa.), Bobby Scott (Va.), Gary Palmer (Ala.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Bob Good (Va.), and Morgan Griffith (Va.).

During the trip, Liberty and Hampton held a joint Q&A panel with Dr. Jarris Taylor Jr., director of the William E. Harvey Leadership Institute at Hampton, and Dr. Kahlib Fischer, professor of government at Liberty, before Brat led the students on a guided tour of the Capitol and the Library of Congress.

“It’s one thing to visit Washington, D.C., but going with Dean Brat is an entirely different experience,” sophomore economics and supply chain management student Gian Rafael Castillo said. “His vibrant, energetic, and passionate personality was highly revered during his tenure in Congress, and it’s no surprise that he continues to be cheerfully welcomed in the halls of Congress as an integral, yet unwavering, voice for America.”

While in the nation’s capital, students also witnessed the House of Representatives conclude hearings on the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, which may play a significant role in the future of transgender athlete competition in sports.

Helms School of Government Dean Robert Hurt, who previously served as the U.S. representative for Virginia’s 5th District, emphasized the importance of preparing students for the workforce.

“The Helms School was proud to partner with the School of Business to continue the Washington Symposium at the Library of Congress with our friends from Hampton University,” Hurt said. “At Liberty, we put a premium on offering our students the opportunity to engage with national leaders so that they will be best prepared to serve in such leadership roles in the future. We are especially grateful to Dean Brat for assembling an outstanding group of influential members of Congress to address the joint assembly of students throughout the afternoon.”

“We have a great team at LU, and it was an honor to work with Dean Hurt and his team to support their vision of the Washington Symposium with Hampton University,” Brat added.

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