Area high school students learn the value of statesmanship at RIT

Center for Statesmanship, Law and Liberty prepares students for Advance Placement test

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Joseph Fornieri, director of RIT’s Center for Statesmanship, Law and Liberty

Images of our greatest leaders are easy to find, on memorials, in paintings and even on currency. But what makes a great statesman?

One hundred high school students who are interested in political science will find out today at RIT’s Center for Statesmanship, Law and Liberty’s “AP Friday: American Statesmanship & Political Greatness.”

“We want to give them a college experience and help them prepare for their Advance Placement tests at the same time,” said Joseph Fornieri, the center’s director. The event may also help recruit motivated students to pursue a bachelor’s degree in political science at RIT.

Luminaries such as Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton will be discussed by experts from RIT, The College at Brockport and SUNY Geneseo.

It is the first of what Fornieri says will become an annual event.

Paul Henry, 17, a senior at Rush-Henrietta High School, got a high five from others as he was the only one in the room to answer a question correctly.

“This has been very worthwhile,” he said. “I learned the views Frederick Douglass had about the Constitution over time.”

RIT’s Center for Statesmanship, Law and Liberty was formed last year to promote an understanding of the crucial role of statesmanship in founding, perpetuating and enhancing a free society under the rule of law.

AP Friday is co-sponsored by RIT’s College of Liberal Arts, its department of Political Science, and the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization.

For more information, go to