Student Group Visits Pentagon, Capitol

Lee Owen
Students in the Quinn-Ferguson Honors Seminar spent two days in Washington, D.C., at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol last week. They met with U.S. Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and watched former presidential candidate (and longstanding Senator) John Kerry of Massachusetts and fellow Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma debate treaty specifics on the floor of the Senate. The group also viewed debate in the House chamber on the topics of DNA testing, the AIDS epidemic in Africa, and funding for Afghanistan.
On the second day, the group journeyed across the Potomac River to the Pentagon, where Rear Admiral Joseph Mulloy, who is deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for budget (and father of Tyler ’10 and Connor ’13) briefed students and faculty members Philip Kantaros and David Bell on naval operations and budgetary topics. Lt. Commander Edward Lin, a congressional liaison officer for appropriations matters, and Chief James Barnes, flag writer to Admiral Mulloy, hosted the group, which was also briefed on naval operations by Captain Frank Michael.

After discussion with Pentagon staff Ms. Rachel Ellehuus (Europe/NATO) and Mr. Oliver Palmer (China), the group received a tour of the Pentagon press room and offices from Commander Wendy Snyder before departing for dinner at the home of Alice Albright and Gregory Bowes (parents of David Bowes ’12). The group also dined with Ms. Albright’s mother and Bowes’s grandmother, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

The Quinn-Ferguson Honors Seminar, now in its third year, is supported by the gifts of alumni Robert Lehrman ’69 and Arno Niemand '52. It honors the late Mercersburg faculty members Jay Quinn and John Ferguson, and is a select group of 15 upperclass students who have demonstrated a significant ability to work independently and contribute meaningfully to a seminar-style class. In the course, taught by Kantaros, students analyze major political, economic, social, and cultural developments that have shaped the past two decades.

"This is an example of what makes Mercersburg such a vibrant community," Kantaros said. "We have parents in Alice Albright and Admiral Mulloy who go well out of their way to provide incredibly enriching and special opportunities. We have alums who were so influenced by teachers Jay Quinn and John Ferguson that they endow an honors seminar. And we have students who stay engaged through a long day, and who readily realize and truly appreciate the tranformative nature of such an experience. It was a great trip."
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Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center.
Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
100 Academy Drive, Mercersburg, PA 17236
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717-328-6173