One of the unique programs that the Weinberg Memorial Library offers is the Schemel Forum, a series of lectures and courses that are open to members of the Scranton community. The idea is that people from all different generations can continue their educations by discussing new ideas together.
There are several different courses being offered this Fall (see the full offerings on the Schemel Forum website) – the one I’m participating in is The American Presidency, taught by Morey Myers. We just had the first of five sessions this evening on the third floor of the Library, and the room was PACKED – Morey’s reputation preceded him!
Our focus tonight was on the role of the President of the United States, as defined in the Constitution in Article II and Amendments XII and XXV. A lot of good questions came up — what exactly is executive power and how far does it extend? Can a legal case be made that John McCain, who was born in the Canal Zone, is not eligible to be President? Could (and should) the Electoral College system be eliminated in favor of direct election by the people? I also learned a few new tidbits of American history: I never knew that Benjamin Franklin was actually the President of Pennsylvania, or that George Washington has been called the father of the modern expense account. I had never even heard of Peyton Randolph before tonight!
The best part of the evening, though, was just being in a room with so many interesting people from the community. The participants included 11 doctors, 6 lawyers, and the CFO of the new Scranton medical school – and I also spotted interim CAS Dean Paul Fahey. I’m looking forward to meeting more of my fellow students in the next sessions.
Next Wednesday, we’ll be discussing the Federalist Papers. Care to read along?