Congratulations to the 2011 Summer Institutes!

Surrounded by internship supervisors, professors, mentors, friends and family, the participants of the Summer 2011 Institutes graduated today after spending the last two months living, learning, and interning in Washington, D.C.

The 385 undergraduate students hail from 43 states and 25 countries around the world. While interning 30 hours a week at various internships throughout the city, participants also took courses for credit at Georgetown University.  The 43 law students from 21 different states interned 40+ hours a week at firms and clerkships throughout DC, and took a Constitutional Law course.

Keynote remarks were delivered by Lewis Lehrman, Chairman of the Lehrman Institute, a public policy research and grant-making foundation.  Author of the book Lincoln at Peoria, as well as numerous other publications and books, Mr. Lehrman spoke to the graduates about President Abraham Lincoln through the lens of American political history and today’s leadership.

The ceremony also featured student remarks delivered by a selected representative from each institute.  Below are quotes from the student speakers reflecting on their time in DC:

“I’ve been honored to meet such thoughtful and passionate people of our generation from all over the world this summer. With some of us in charge in the future, I think we will continue to make positive impacts in our communities, small and great.”- Katie Gordon, Alma College, Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service

“When I was wracking my brain trying to summarize all of our experiences this summer, I was reminded to simply look around, take a deep breath and really let it soak in. We can eat lunch at a fancy Senate buffet or pop over to the National Press Club for a happy hour. We can tour the White House, watch the fireworks over the Washington Monument or stand where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. Instead of watching it on the news tomorrow, we can hop on the Metro and in seconds be a part of a protest on the Hill today. Here we can do all of this, and the best part is, we have.”- Kelsey Guyette, University of Denver, Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems

“Because of TFAS I can look back and say that I am not the same person that I was eight weeks ago. For me, TFAS has been an incredible opportunity that has changed the course of my life and ignited my passion for the political world.”- Lauren Zdanowitz, University of Northern Colorado, Institute on Business and Government Affairs

“What has impacted me even more than my internship experience itself, are the thought-provoking conversations I’ve had with you folks and the lasting friendships I have made. I’ve witnessed and engaged in vigorous debates on political issues between libertarians and liberals, secularists and people of faith, just to name a few. I think this is part of the purpose of this program: to open your mind up to other perspectives so that we learn from one another.”- Lolla Mohammed Nur, University of Minnesota, Institute on Political Journalism

“As attorneys and dedicated constitutional scholars, we are equipped with the essential tools to face our country’s problems and change them for the better. Never stop learning and never stop fighting for the principles we learned this summer. If we do that, instead of being just another cliché, we will become leaders.”- Sean O’Neill, Whittier School of Law, Legal Studies Institute

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