WAYNESBURG – Waynesburg University’s Stover Scholars met with Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, Federal District Judge Mark Hornak, Court of Common Pleas Judge Thomas Flaherty, First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh Senior Pastor Tom Hall, and visited the Imani Christian Academy April 25.
“This event-filled day provided the Stover Scholars the opportunity to interact with Pittsburgh’s executive, judicial, religious and educational leaders and witness their innovative and creative attributes,” said Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, director of Waynesburg University’s Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership.
Peduto gave the students a tour of Pittsburgh’s mayoral suite and the city council meeting room and laid out his vision for Pittsburgh’s future.
“From having 19 years of experience as a councilman, Mayor Bill Peduto impressed me greatly with his aptitude and appreciation of Pittsburgh’s great history, along with his vision to revitalize the city as well,” reflected freshman John Wicker. Senior Daniel Czajkowski stated, “Regardless of whether one is Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, Mayor Peduto’s enthusiasm for public service in the city of Pittsburgh is undeniable. We are grateful for his willingness to meet with us and appreciate not only his deep understanding of Pittsburgh’s history, but also his passion for charting its future.”
Judges Hornak and Flaherty both provided insights into the operation of the American legal system in the quest for justice.
Paige Carter, a freshman scholar said, “Judges Hornak and Flaherty showed a humanity I wasn’t expecting; they mentioned how their losses have granted them humility that spurred them to become the great men they are today. Being able to see the different levels and dynamics of government makes law feel much more attainable.”
The students also toured Imani Christian Academy and heard the school’s principal, Terri L. Ayers, discuss the inner-city school’s determination to help students discern their own divinely inspired purpose.
The senior Stover Scholars were then honored at a Duquesne Club dinner, which featured an address by the Rev. Hall who reflected on his pilgrimage of faith from his 30-year career as an Air Force colonel before becoming a Presbyterian minister. The graduating seniors honored at the dinner were Chase S. Ayers, Daniel G. Buzzard, Daniel V. Czajkowski, Patrick C. Kopas and Mollie K. Pugh.
Reflecting on the trip, freshman Andrew Stanko said, “The Stover trip was an opportunity to meet really influential, engaging and talented individuals who shape the Pittsburgh area. It was a chance to place faces with names in local politics and judicial proceedings, and each offered different insights on topics like losing, knowing your history, taking advantage of opportunities, and learning from those talented individuals around you.”