Senator Voinovich Class
Senator Voinovich lecturing in the George V. Voinovich Seminar Room in Alden Library.
Photo by Sarah Tilotta

Senator George V. Voinovich Visits Ohio University

Seaira Christian-Daniels
October 1, 2013

Retired U.S. Senator George Voinovich and OHIO Visiting Professor of Leadership and Public Affairs visited Ohio University Tuesday September 24th with hopes of giving students "insight into how things really are." Circled by plaques in honor of his contributions to the State of Ohio in the Alden Library Voinovich Seminar Room, the Senator exchanged handshakes with over thirty students and visitors to Dr. DeLysa Burnier's "Interest Groups in American Politics" class. Then, he dived into a pool of questions about the state of the American student and American society submitted by the students.

Ever a champion for efficient budgeting, the Senator talked, first, about two issues that he says students have inherited from previous generations of Americans—the looming national debt and student debt. Voinovich promoted the "The Can Kicks Back" campaign, an organization that educates students about growing debt issues in the United States. The Senator will be take part in the regional tour at Cleveland State University on October 11, 2013 that will show students how they can take action to improve U.S. budgeting issues.

The Senator urged students that their actions are amplified when they are part of a group. He credits his participation in student organizations, such as East Green Council and Student Senate for his 45- year career in higher levels of leadership.

"You multiply yourself by getting involved in organizations," he said.

He says Ohio University students have the great advantage of being exposed to people from across the state and around the globe. Voinovich says he met people from small towns, big cities, and international students, all while attending Ohio U. He says building connections and compromising to achieve the goals of a group are traits of the most successful leaders.

Though his talk only lasted an hour, the Senator's team left resources for all students to have access to his advice. Alden Library archive now features a collection of his senatorial, gubernatorial, and campaign documents. The collection is a collaborative effort among Ohio University's Voinovich School of Leadership and Public affairs, the Center for Public History and Digital Humanities, and the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Leadership and Public Affairs. The archives contain polls and campaign statistics spanning the Senator's career to help prepare Ohio University students to become the next generation of change agents. The collection opened in November of 2012; a complete finding aid will be available next month to help Alden patrons navigate the documents.