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Eastern to Host American Legion Boys State

Written by Dwight Bachman


boys state - file shot 2009.JPG Willimantic, CT--Eastern Connecticut State University will host nearly 250 Connecticut high school juniors as well as state legislators, lawyers, police officers and government officials during the 69th American Legion Boys State, being held June 20-25. This will be the 23rd year in a row that Boys State has been at Eastern.

            Boys State officially begins with formal opening ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. on June 20, with the keynote address delivered by Connecticut State University System Chancellor David G. Carter.  David Greenleaf, chairman of the American Legion Boys State Commission and American Legion Department Commander Charlie Morrissey will also speak.

            The weeklong program is formatted to educate students on how state and municipal governments operate.  Participants will set up and run mock town, city and state elections.  Students will engage in role-playing where towns are represented, mayors will lobby, and representatives and senators will debate and enact legislation. The election of a governor and signing and vetoing of legislation passed by the legislature will take place on Friday.

Greenleaf praised Eastern for hosting Boys State over the years.  "Eastern makes the summer program a very positive experience for young people who cannot help but return to their communities with a desire to make a positive contribution," said Greenleaf. 

"Eastern Connecticut State University is proud of our longstanding relationship with Boys State, which provides a model of exemplary programming highlighting good citizenship," said Shelly Gimenez, dean of the School of Continuing Education.  "We are delighted to be part of an initiative that grooms future leaders on a local, state and national level. Once again we look forward to hosting Boys State on our campus."

This year's guests include Connecticut Comptroller Nancy Wyman who is scheduled to speak at 9:15 a.m. on June 21; Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz who is scheduled to speak at 1 p.m. on June 21; and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal will speak on 2 p.m. on June 24.  On June 22, Boys State participants will hear from Rep. Ted Graziani (D-57th District), Windham District Judge Dennis O'Brien Bristol Mayor Art Ward and Essex First Selectman Phil Miller. On June 23, Hartford Superior Court Judge Susan Peck will moderate the Law and Order Panel. Mathew Crocket, assistant state's attorney, also will participate.


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