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Tar Heel Boys' State at Catawba College June 19-25

June 9, 2005

Category: Events

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Catawba College will host the 66th annual session of Tar Heel Boys’ State June 19-25.   This is the third consecutive year that the weeklong event has been held on campus and close to 300 participants, all rising high school seniors from North Carolina, are expected to participate.

Sponsored by the American Legion, Tar Heel Boys’ State is directed by Roger Cooke of King.   Involving high school juniors who are academically in the top third of their class, the program is a weeklong practical study of the structure and operation of North Carolina State Government.   In a non-partisan atmosphere, participants take a hands-on approach to learning how state and local governments function.   Citizens, as the participants are known, develop an understanding of the responsibilities of citizenship by creating and living under their own mock government.

During the week, citizens are grouped into cities as they organize their own local government, elect officers, prepare a city charter and conduct city activities.   Citizens also assume the role of a senator, representative or lobbyist to research and write bills for their legislature.   Each citizen is also a member of a fictitious political party that will develop a party platform, campaign for party candidates and ultimately elect a slate of officers to govern.

Notable state leaders traditionally speak at sessions during Tar Heel Boys’ State. Past speakers have included the N.C. governor and lieutenant governor, the N.C. attorney general and secretary of state, as well as distinguished alumni from the programs.

This year, slated speakers include on Sunday, June 19, a keynote address by Congressman Patrick McHenry, a Republican representing the 10th District of N.C. at 3 p.m.; on Monday, June 20, N.C. Legislator Linda Johnson of the 74th District at 9 a.m., and at 10:10 a.m., Vice Chair of the N.C. Republican Party Linda Daves; on Wednesday June 22, local government officials, including Salisbury Mayor Susan Kluttz and High Point City Council Members Ronald Wilkins, Benita Sims and Bill Bellamy, at 1:30 p.m.; and on Friday, June 24, N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall will speak at 10 a.m.

Boys’ State participants will also be involved this year in a “Teen Forum” radio show which will be broadcast live from Catawba’s campus to radio stations in N.C. and S.C. between 4 and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 22.   During the evening Friday, June 24, participants will be entertain each other during an All-Star Quiz Bowl Challenge, a chorus concert, a band concert, and a talent show.   The week concludes with a commencement ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 25, in Keppel Auditorium.

Notable former Boys’ State participants include Catawba College Alumnus Phil Kirk ‘67,   chairman emeritus of the N.C. State Board of Education and president and secretary of NCCBI; professional basketball great Michael Jordan of N.C.; and N.C. Governors Jim Hunt and James Martin.   National program alumni of note include U.S. President Bill Clinton, U.S. Vice Presidents Al Gore and Dick Cheney, U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, NBC News Anchor Tom Brokaw and NASA Astronaut Neil Armstrong.

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For more information about Tar Heel Boys’ State, visit their website at   Between June 19-25, contact Scott McAbee, instructional coordinator for the program, on the Catawba College campus at 704-645-4518  and 704-645-4553, or Tonia Black-Gold, Catawba College communications officer, at 704-637-4393.

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