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Letter: Slaughter was passionate about higher education

Slaughter was passionate about higher education

It is with much sadness that we at Canisius College lament the passing of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, a great friend of the college and higher education generally. She was a passionate and tireless advocate for so many important Western New York causes, but her impact reached far beyond our region.

Slaughter pursued her own education in microbiology and public health before moving to elected office. She was always supportive of higher education and understood the power it has to invigorate regional economies and improve fortunes for countless students. Slaughter saw firsthand the value of her own education, moving her from a child in a coal mining town in Kentucky to become one of the most powerful women to have ever served in the House of Representatives.

Slaughter was a skilled politician. When her district was expanded to Western New York in 2002, she made it a point to get to know the community and the institutions that were important to it. I was regularly welcomed to her office in the Capitol and in the district to discuss Canisius initiatives. She was gracious and witty, but also fiercely determined to represent her constituents. She and her staff devoted many hours to helping Canisius secure funds for important science education initiatives. She was a dependable vote for federal student aid programs and for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

We are saddened by her passing, but are grateful for Slaughter’s decades of public service and support of our community.

John J. Hurley

President, Canisius College

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