Former U.S. Senate Majority Leaders Trent Lott and Tom Daschle will serve as honorary co-chairmen of the nonprofit Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship, which is dedicated to educating a new generation of leaders in the skills of negotiation, dialogue and compromise in the spirit and legacy of the Kentucky statesman and politician.
Daschle, a Democrat from South Dakota, and Lott, a Republican from Mississippi, served their home states for nearly six combined decades in Congress.
For most of the past decade, the center has held summer national student congresses at Transylvania University. Participants have learned from Supreme Court justices, speakers of the House of Representatives, senators, governors and other officials and academics.
The student congress program is free (travel and lodging are included) to those selected. The center plans to include a week in Washington in 2017, which will culminate in the Bourbon Barrel of Compromise Event, a reception for students and graduates attended by elected officials, staffers, government relations professionals and center supporters. The inspiration for the event comes from Clay, who would famously ship a barrel of Kentucky Bourbon to Washington for use in his diplomatic efforts.
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Alumni of the center number more than 500 and serve as state and local office holders, staffers in the senate and house, as well as corporate and legal professionals in the private sector.