Seated: Matt Maciorkoski and Rick Mirabito. Standing: Stanley Berard, Glenn Thompson, Michael Fiorentino and Charley Hall.
Legislators gather at LHU to discuss public higher education
Stress the need for access and affordability
April 13, 2012
Members of the Lock Haven University community welcomed elected officials to campus on Friday, April 13 for the 21st Annual Alfred E. Hoberman Legislators Day. Members of the U.S. House and Senate and of the Pennsylvania House and Senate were invited to speak on issues of providing quality education to all Pennsylvania citizens and to discuss issues related to public higher education as it relates to PASSHE and, more specifically, to Lock Haven University.
The event is named for the LHU faculty member who started the tradition 21 yrs ago. Master of Ceremonies Dr. Steven Granich welcomed U.S. Representative Glenn Thompson, Senator Jake Corman, Matt Maciorkoski representing Representative Camille “Bud” George, Representative Michael Hanna, Representative Rick Mirabito, and Charley Hall representing Representative Garth Everett. LHU President Michael Fiorentino Jr. also welcomed the legislators, describing them as “strong champions of higher education in the Commonwealth and good friends of Lock Haven University.”
Each legislator was invited to speak for 5 minutes. The common theme that ran through the legislators’ brief remarks was the value of public higher education. Access and affordability were the key issues they addressed. U.S. Senator Glenn Thompson observed, “Education is key. That’s how America remains competitive in the global economy.” The legislators also expressed deep concern over the proposed cuts in state funding for public higher education. Mike Hanna stated, “The impact of cuts is tremendous.” Matt Maciorkoski, speaking for Representative Camille “Bud” George, said, “Education does not subtract from the economy. An investment is not an expense.”
After all had spoken, the audience was welcome to address comments and questions to any or all of the legislators.
Dignitaries present included Dr. Stanley Berard, LHU APSCUF President; Lauren Gutshall, State APSCUF Director of Communications; and Dr. Tracey Cummings, CAP Chair. Dr. Granich also recognized distinguished members of the audience including Mrs. Joann Hoberman, Lock Haven City Mayor Richard Vilello, Lock Haven City Planner Lenora Hannagan, Lock Haven City Council Member Richard Conklin, Clinton County Commissioner Chairman Robert Smeltz, Clinton County Commissioner Vice Chairman Jeffrey Snyder, Clinton County Commissioner Joel Long and KCSD Superintendent Kelly Hastings. Many faculty, staff, and students were present in the audience.
As Legislators Day drew to a close, several of the legislators had to leave for other meetings or obligations. Those who could remain for a short time gathered for a photo with Dr. Berard and President Fiorentino.
Co-sponsors for the event were Dr. Stanley Berard, APSCUF and Dr. Michael Fiorentino Jr., LHU President.
Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degrees and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.