AIC to Host 78th Annual Model Congress
SPRINGFIELD — The 78th annual Model Congress at American International College (AIC) will convene on Thursday, Jan. 11. Founded in 1940, AIC’s Model Congress is the longest-running continuous congress of its type in the nation, and one of the college’s oldest campus traditions.
Each year, AIC’s Model Congress brings high schools from throughout New England to campus to write, debate, and pass legislation in a simulated congress. The program is completely student-run from program development, coordination, and hospitality to the organization and facilitation of the legislative sessions. With strong support of faculty and staff, AIC student leaders have kept the program thriving and secured its place as an educational opportunity for high-school students throughout the Northeast for more than seven decades.
The AIC Model Congress is also one of the Commonwealth’s long-standing academic traditions during its rich history. Committee sessions will be held throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 12 and 13. The keynote speaker, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, will address students on Jan. 12 at 9 a.m. in the Karen Sprague Cultural Arts Center/Griswold Theatre located on the AIC campus.
A Holyoke native, Morse was elected the youngest mayor of Holyoke in November 2011 at age 22. Now 28, he is currently serving his fourth term as mayor, having been re-elected in November.
Morse graduated from Holyoke High School, where he developed his strengths as a leader and devoted his energy to public service. He served as president of the citywide youth commission; founded the high school’s first-ever Gay Straight Alliance; helped with the formation of the annual Pride Prom for gay, bisexual, and transgendered students in the region, and was the student representative on the school committee. Morse attended Brown University, becoming the first in his family to graduate from college. While at Brown, he pursued urban studies and interned for David Cicilline, then the mayor of Providence, R.I., who currently serves in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The AIC Model Congress awards scholarship opportunities to its top delegates. This year’s top delegate will receive the Kathryn Mauke Scholarship, a full four-year tuition scholarship to American International College. Second- and third-place delegates will receive half and quarter four-year scholarships to AIC. All delegates will receive a $1,000 scholarship should they chose to attend the college in the future. In addition, Best Bill, Outstanding Delegation, and School Spirit awards are given to the schools that submit the most outstanding legislation and demonstrate the highest level of participation, enthusiasm, and team spirit.
The 2018 Model Congress has 10 participating schools, including Agawam High School, Chatham Central High School, East Longmeadow High School, East Windsor High School, Minnechaug Regional High School, Pope Francis High School, Poultney High School, SABIS International Charter School, Southwick Regional School, and Wilbraham and Monson Academy.