Class XXII Program Year Update
The fifty-five members of LNC Class XXII have completed the first two sessions of their program year. The group convened in Boone in October for a two-day Orientation session hosted by Appalachian State University. Programming included a creative and engaging presentation of 400 years of North Carolina History by ASU professor Dr. Karl Campbell, a reception at Appalachian House hosted by ASU chancellor Sheri Everts, program orientation and networking and collaboration opportunities facilitated by LNC staff and Dr. Bauback Yeganeh of Everidian, and time for class members to connect outside of session programming.
Just after the November elections the group gathered in Raleigh for the Government session, held at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science’s Nature Research Center. This tightly packed session included an optional tour of the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women (NCCIW) and a reception at the Executive Mansion, with hosts Governor Pat McCrory and Secretary Sharon Decker of the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Government session programming included a mix of presentations and interactive exercises. Participants took part in a lively “Legislator for an Hour” exercise in the Old House Chamber of the North Carolina Capitol that let them simulate debating and voting on a bill. Representatives Chuck McGrady and Grier Martin shared their experiences with the class and help guide the simulation. The group also split into teams to play “Budgetopolis,” a facilitated game in which each team was charged with balancing a city budget and adapting to frequent fiscal challenges.
Other session highlights included a welcome from Raleigh’s mayor, Nancy McFarlane; a leadership profile presentation from Redwoods Group president and CEO Kevin Trapani; a conversation about North Carolina’s judicial system with Former NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Henry Frye and Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation senior fellow Tom Lambeth; presentations on local government and advocacy and lobbying; an overview of North Carolina’s political landscape from John Davis, editor of the John Davis Political Report; and a facilitated discussion of how class members can define and implement their ideas for having an impact on their communities and state.
Class XXII will meet in Rutherford County in December for the Duke Energy Economic Development session. Their remaining sessions will be the Environment session in Charlotte in February, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health and Human Services session in Greenville in March, and the Education session in High Point in April. The Class XXII program year will conclude with a planning committee meeting and graduation ceremony in Raleigh in May.