University at Albany
Contact: Mary Hunt (518) 442-5264

Congress Comes to Campus: Former U.S. Representatives Meet with Students

Former U.S. Representatives George Hochbrueckner (D-NY) and Sue Kelly (R-NY) visited the University at Albany campus April 8-9 as part of Congress to Campus, an initiative of the United States Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC) and the Stennis Center for Public Service.  

Associate Dean Anne Hildreth introduces
Representatives Hochbrueckner and Kelly

The Congress to Campus program sends a bipartisan pair of former U.S. representatives to college campuses for two-day visits during which the duo addresses classes, holds forums, and meets informally with students. It is hoped that through these personal interactions with former elected officials students will gain a better understanding of participatory democracy and be inspired to become more involved in the democratic process as elected officials, public servants and engaged citizens. 

While at UAlbany, Hochbrueckner and Kelly visited a number of Rockefeller classes, met with more than 400 undergraduate and graduate students, and dined with members of the Rockefeller College Dean's Leadership Council.  During their interactions with students, both former representatives stressed the importance of the involvement of the individual in American democracy and encouraged students to consider running for elected office in the future.

Sue Kelly, a Republican who served as representative from New York's 19th Congressional District from 1995-2007, shared her personal story as someone who had never run for political office until her first bid for the House of Representatives in 1994.  George Hochbrueckner, a former New York State Assemblyman from 1975-1984 and U.S. Congressman representing New York's 1st Congressional District from 1987-1995, was leaving office as Kelly was headed to Capitol Hill.  He explained that he lost his first run at elected office and urged students to follow their dreams even though they would encounter set-backs along the way.

View a gallery of photos from former Representatives Hockbrueckner and Kelly's visit