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American International College Hosts 80th Annual Joint Session Model Congress

SPRINGFIELD — The 80th annual Model Congress at American International College (AIC) will convene on Thursday, Jan. 9 with Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno delivering the opening welcome remarks for this milestone anniversary at 6 p.m. in the Mahogany Room at the Sheraton downtown.

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 support from 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 eight decades.

Committee sessions will be held throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 10 and 11. Keynote speaker U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, will address the students on Saturday at 11 a.m. in the Karen Sprague Cultural Arts Center/Esther B. Griswold Theatre located on the AIC campus.

Neal is a 1972 graduate of AIC, where he received his bachelor’s degree in political science and was a member of the National Honor Society. He received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Hartford in 1976.

The AIC Model Congress awards scholarship opportunities to its top delegates. The top delegate will receive the Kathryn Mauke Scholarship, a full, four-year tuition scholarship to American International College. Second- and third-place delegates receive $10,000 and $5,000 four-year scholarships, respectively, to AIC. 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 2020 Model Congress has 11 participating schools, including Agawam High School, Chatham (N.Y.) High School, Chicopee Comprehensive High School, East Longmeadow High School, East Windsor High School, Longmeadow High School, Minnechaug Regional High School, Poultney (Vt.) High School, SABIS International Charter School, Southwick Regional School, and Suffield High School.

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