Dr. David Marion and Dr. Ryan Pemberton took students in their INDS 385: Leadership and Public Policy at the National Level class to Washington for spring break. Students networked with alumni and friends and enjoyed the unique culture of Washington during a whirlwind excursion to our nation’s capital.
It is hard to fathom that this trip ended up marking the last Wilson Center events of the 2020 academic year. We did, however, go out with a bang and had a wonderful time. We are deeply grateful to those alumni and friends who served on a panel or supported the trip. You made this experience special—thank you.
Here is a rundown of the trip:
Saturday: Students arrived and enjoyed dinner downtown before enjoying a fantastic performance by the Capitol Steps.
Sunday: We toured the National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as Little Lights Urban Ministries located in Potomac Gardens in Southeast Washington. We were also treated to an amazing dinner at Matchbox, a Thompson Hospitality Company. Thank you to Rodney Ruffin ’82!
Monday: The group was given a red carpet tour of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Students were especially impressed by the museum and the Hall of Fame—note that our center’s namesake, Lt. General Samuel V. Wilson, was a member of the inaugural class. We then met with folks at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. ACTA is policy group committed to liberal education, freedom of speech, and the connection of liberal arts education to democratic ideals. ACTA has named the Wilson Center an Oasis of Excellence. We then spent the afternoon hearing from a panel of alumni who serve as leaders in the financial sector at the beautiful offices of Fannie Mae. Thank you to Jeffrey Ketron ’92, Toby Albright ’99, and Adam LaVier ’97. Martha and Ivan Schlager (parents of Will ’21) hosted our group at their lovely home for a wonderful reception that night.
Tuesday: The class was hosted by David Brown ’87 at his offices at Exelon on Capitol Hill. David Sanders ’01, Paul Pisano ’89, and Tuck Shumack ’95 gave us a fantastic overview of the current state of our politics. David Brown ’87 and Tom Craig ’99 then discussed energy and environmental policy. Kevin Turner ’03 and Marc Brown ’92 discussed serving in legal careers and the role of the general counsel. Trey Lackey ‘85, our incoming Wilson Center Board of Advisors Chair, put together a fantastic and inspiring panel of intelligence officials. We then went to the Capitol Hill Club where Dr. Paul Carter, parent of George ’20, offered insights into life at the State Department. Dakota Wood, a retired Marine and noted national security analyst at the Heritage Foundation, gave outstanding remarks to our group about the current challenges facing our national security infrastructure.
It was an action-packed and meaningful week for our students. Thanks to all who made this trip possible! Here are just a few pictures.