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Celebrating 25 Years


During the past 25 years, the Les Aspin Center for government has given more than 2,000 students the opportunity to experience the political process first hand in congressional, executive branch, nonprofit, corporate and journalistic offices.

The roots of the center reach back to 1984, when Rev. Timothy J. O'Brien coordinated internships for students interested in working in local congressional offices and on local political campaigns. By 1988, there was enough student interest to explore a summer program in Washington, D.C. When Father O'Brien persuaded former Secretary of Defense Les Aspin to come to Marquette 1994, the program was given a boost and Father O'Brien expanded the initiative to a a full semester. After Aspin's unexpected death in May 1995, the Aspin Center was renamed in his honor.

Join us to celebrate 25 years

The Les Aspin Center for Government
25th Anniversary Dinner

Thursday, September 19, 2013 - Washington, D.C.
Cocktails 6:30 p.m.
Dinner 7:00 p.m
The Willard Hotel
1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Featuring the Inaugural presentation of the Les Aspin Center Distinguished Alumnus Award Presented to:

Patrick J. Souders, Comm '91
Chief of Staff, Assistant Majority Leader,
U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin

Patrick J. Souders Started his political career in the summer of 1990 when he participated in the Marquette Washington program, interning in the office of then-Congressman Richard J. Durbin. After graduation from Marquette in 1991, Pat returned to Washington, DC as a legislative assistant for Durbin. Over the past 22 years, he has risen to become the Assistant Majority Leader's Chief of Staff. He is responsible for the operation of Durbin's leadership, personal, and state offices and his work with the Senate Democratic Caucus. Pat also acts as the liaison to the twenty-one member Illinois Congressional Delegation. Other responsibilities in the Durbin office have included Staff Director for the Assistant Democratic Leader in the 109th Congress (2005-2006) and Projects Director (1997-2004).

Prior to Durbin's election to the U.S. Senate in 1996, he served as Legislative Assistant in Durbin's House office. He has worked on several of Durbin's campaigns, including successful House reelections in 1992 and 1994, the Senate election of 1996, and subsequent reelections in 2002 and 2008.

In addition to receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Broadcast Communications from Marquette, Pat earned a Master of Arts degree from Georgetown University. He is a native of Quincy, Illinois. His spouse, Amy Ford Souders, is also a Marquette graduate (Arts '92) and a member of the Aspin Center Board of Visitors. She is a founding partner of Cornerstone Government Affairs. They have a daughter Elizabeth Ford Souders (Elle).

The Les Aspin Center for Government Distinguished Alumnus Award

The Marquette University Les Aspin Center Distinguished Alumnus award is bestowed upon a former Aspin Center student who has demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their work since graduation. This individual has exemplified the Aspin Center's goals of promoting public service, leadership, and a commitment to their community in their work and serves as an example to all of the Center's current and future students as well as alumni and supporters.

Share your memories

Submit your Les Aspin Center photos to aspincenter@marquette.edu. The Les Aspin Center will be accepting photo submissions to be used as a look back at the last 25 years.

Contact the Les Aspin Center

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