LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Lock Haven University played host to over 240 area high school students who attended Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson’s Government Outreach 2009. The event, held in the Price Performance Center on Tuesday, September 29, included participants from high schools in the 5th Congressional district. Participating high schools were Bald Eagle Area, Bellefonte, Central Mountain, Cowanesque, Jersey Shore, Montgomery, South Williamsport and Wellsboro.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 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
The purpose of Congressman Thompson’s Government Outreach is to give students insight into the role of government in their daily lives and to provide them an opportunity to become familiar with the operations of government by interacting with individuals who make the decisions, influence the decisions, and report those decisions. The Government Outreach program was begun by Congressman Thompson’s predecessor, Congressman John Peterson. Congressman Thompson stated, “I am proud to continue the tradition that Congressman Peterson started.” The program is now in its thirteenth year.
The day’s activities included a panel on energy issues and a forum on the challenges facing small businesses. Congressman Thompson spoke on current issues before the U.S. Congress and answered students’ questions. The featured speaker was Robb Armstrong, whose syndicated comic strip “Jump Start” runs in more than 450 newspapers in 8 countries. Armstrong is a popular public speaker, and has been recognized for his community outreach by the Governor of Pennsylvania, the Senate, the House of Representatives and the Department of Justice. Students also heard about “The Lock Haven Experience” and enjoyed lunch on campus.
Congressman Thompson shared his pleasure at being on the Lock Haven University campus. “I am so excited to be here today,” he said. “Lock Haven University is a part of my family. My son Parker went to LHU and received a great education.”
Marchal Rote, LHU facilities coordinator, said “We at LHU have been truly honored to have been asked to host Government Outreach every year since 1997. This annual event is a wonderful opportunity to not only hear about the latest topics in Washington and how they affect us in Central Pennsylvania, but we can showcase our wonderful campus. The high school participants are able to hear about the LHU experience from our admissions personnel and have their lunch with the LHU students.”
A life-long resident of Howard Township, Centre County, Congressman Thompson was elected to represent Pennsylvania’s Fifth District in the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2008 and sworn as a Member of the 111th Congress on January 6, 2009.
Prior to being elected to Pennsylvania’s most rural district, Congressman Thompson spent 28 years as a healthcare professional. He has served on the Juniata Valley Boy Scout Council for 30 years and continues to actively participate in scouting as the council’s president. He is a former member of the Bald Eagle Area School Board and is past vice-chair of the Private Industry Council of the Central Corridor. He is a member of the House Agriculture, Education and Labor, and Small Business Committees.
Congressman Thompson is a graduate of Penn State University and Temple University, where he earned a Masters of Education. He and his wife, Penny Ammerman Thompson, have three adult sons, Parker, Logan, and Kale. They reside in Howard Township with their dog, Truman.
Speaking of his Government Outreach program, Thompson said, “This is a wonderful opportunity for students to be on a college campus and to learn about the issues of the day and the process of democracy.” He added, “The students ask the best questions – tough questions, too.”