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Former members of Congress to address impeachment during Congress to Campus visit to St. Bonaventure

Oct 17, 2019 The House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump will be the subject of a public forum when two former members of Congress visit St. Bonaventure University next month as part of the Congress to Campus program.

Former Democratic Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez of California and former Republican Congressman J. Phillip Gingrey of Georgia will be on campus Nov. 10-12. In addition to visiting classes and engaging with campus media representatives, they will hold an evening forum, which is free and open to the public.

The forum, to be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, in the William F. Walsh Science Center amphitheater on campus, will address the topic: “Are We Facing a Constitutional Crisis? The House Impeachment Investigation and President Trump.”

The Congress to Campus program, established in 1988, gives college students an opportunity to interact with former members of Congress. Bipartisan pairs of former legislators travel to campuses across the country and around the world to share their insights and experiences in an effort to improve students’ understanding of the American political system and to encourage them to consider careers in public service.

The Monday evening public forum will be sandwiched between a host of daytime engagements on campus with students Monday and Tuesday, said Dr. Josiah Lambert, associate professor of political science, department chair, and coordinator of the Congress to Campus program at SBU.

“Former Representatives Sanchez and Gingrey will visit classes, including my Congress class, where we are running a Model Senate. They will appear as expert witnesses on the issue of election security,” said Lambert. “In addition, I will be setting up interviews with some of our student media outlets — SBU-TV, the Bona Venture student newspaper, and TAPinto Greater Olean — and with student leaders. There will also be an informal lunch with students on Monday.”

St. Bonaventure is an annual participant in the Congress to Campus program, which serves as an important reminder of how government should work, said Lambert. “In an era of increasing partisan polarization, Congress to Campus brings two former members of Congress, one Republican and one Democrat, to show our students that members of opposing parties can work together and can propose how current members can work together,” he said.

Sanchez served in Congress from 1997 to 2017, representing Orange County, California. She held senior positions on the Armed Forces and Homeland Security committees, was a ranking member of the Subcommittee for Air Tactical and Land Forces, served the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, and served as vice chair of the Border and Maritime Security Committee.

Sanchez led efforts in policy on education attainment for all, small business regulatory reform, healthcare initiatives, cannabis regulation and banking, and technology innovation. She led the fight to expand preschool for all children in America.

Today, Sanchez is a partner in a data management and analytics firm specializing in political and commercial applications. In 2018, she served as an Advanced Leadership Initiative fellow-in-residence at Harvard University. She is presently working through the ALI structure on a project to address the housing crisis in California.

Gingrey served Georgia’s 11th Congressional District, just north of Atlanta, from 2003 to 2015. He served on numerous influential committees including the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the Committee on Armed Services. He was a ranking member of the Science Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation.

Gingrey authored, sponsored and won passage of several major initiatives, including the bipartisan Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now (GAIN) Act, the Green Chemistry Research and Development Act, and the bipartisan Runaway, Homeless, and Missing Children Protection Act. A medical doctor who delivered more than 5,000 babies in his obstetrics/gynecology practice of more than 27 years, Rep. Gingrey founded the GOP Doctors Caucus in 2009. The caucus brings together medical professionals in Congress to discuss and introduce legislation concerning the most pressing health care matters.

Gingrey now serves as a senior adviser for the national law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, providing public policy and government relations counsel to clients on issues related to health care, energy and environment, education, communications, and life sciences. He is active in his community and serves on a number of boards including the Georgia Regents Health System Board of Directors.


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. In 2019, St. Bonaventure was named the #1 regional university value in New York and #2 in the North by U.S. News and World Report.