Wilkes University


Wilkes University and Congress to Campus Present “The Great Divide: People, Congress and the Presidential Election”

Wilkes University and Congress to Campus present “The Great Divide: People, Congress and the Presidential Election,” a discussion with former congressmen Sam Coppersmith, D-Ariz., and Dan Miller, R-Fla., at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, in the Henry Student Center Ballroom, 84 W. South St. The event is free and open to the public.

Sam Coppersmith is an attorney with three decades of experience in business and real estate transactional issues work, with emphasis on guiding nonprofit organizations in strategic initiatives, operations, transactions, and public affairs, including international relations and elections issues. Community experience includes elected office (U.S. House of Representatives), political party office (chair of the Arizona Democratic Party, chair of the Arizona delegation to the 1996 Democratic National Convention), boards and commissions on the state and local level (city of Phoenix Board of Adjustment and Governor’s Regulatory Review Commission), nonprofit board leadership (current chair of the Devereux Foundation Board of Trustees, and former board chair of Planned Parenthood of Arizona), and international experience (a former foreign service officer as well as election monitoring and political observation and consulting in Egypt, Ukraine, Georgia, and Albania). He has work experience in executive, legislative and judicial branches at the federal, state and local levels of government. Since 1995, Coppersmith has practiced with the law firm now called Coppersmith Schermer & Brockelman PLC, which has grown from two to 14 lawyers.

Dan Miller was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives in 1992, and represented the 13th Congressional District of Florida. A former college professor and businessman, Miller had never held public office before his election to Congress, and in keeping with his promise of a self-imposed 10-year term limit, he retired from Congress in 2003. During his 10 years in the House, he served on the House Appropriations Committee and the Budget Committee. He served as chairman of the census subcommittee with oversight of the U.S. Census Bureau during the controversial and successful 2000 census. As a staunch fiscal conservative, he was committed to both reducing the size and scope of the federal government and fighting corporate welfare. After leaving Congress, Miller returned to academia, and was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He teaches in the Lifelong Learning program at the University of South Florida and also at university campuses in the Congress to Campus program. He has taught at over 20 universities, including the Naval Academy, University of Toronto, University of Massachusetts, University of Guadalajara, University of Kansas and Oxford University in England.

Congress to Campus brings together former members of Congress and today’s youth to increase civic literacy and participation. A bipartisan pair of former members are sent to college, university and community college campuses  for two-day visits. During the visit, former members conduct classes, hold community forums, meet informally with students and faculty, visit high schools and civic organizations, and do interviews and talk show appearances with local press and media. This setting allows students to discover, on a more personal basis, what participation in a democracy entails. Congress to Campus is run by the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress in partnership with the Stennis Center for Public Service.