Congressman Fortenberry praises values of Concordia during his speech on campus

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SEWARD, NE (04/27/2018) Concordia University, Nebraska welcomed Congressman Jeff Fortenberry to speak to the campus.

Fortenberry currently serves as Nebraska's First Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. He is also a member of the House Appropriations Committee. On Monday, April 23, he addressed Concordia's community in the Thom Leadership and Education Center auditorium.

The generational differences in values and the importance of conserving all aspects of those values were the main focuses of Fortenberry's message.

"My generation, the older working generation, was bound by duty and ambition," said Fortenberry. "It's different for you young people. You're relational and empathetic. Your generation has a heart and a desire for relation and helping others. The problem is you're not dutiful. But think of the possibility if you could wed those two generations' values. Now that's a vision for America."

Fortenberry went on to explain four things that would improve this vision of America: economic inclusion by connecting the product with people, foreign policy realism with diplomacy being centered on relationships instead of national interest, government decentralization through interdependence in the community, and conservation of culture and community. All of those, especially social conservation, were what he praised Concordia for.

"One of the things that impresses me about Concordia is that you are still tethered to your fundamental mission, and that is evident in your students and my intern Zane," Fortenberry said. "His strong intellectual acumen and commitment to do a job well is evidence that you've been part of his formation."

Congressional intern and Concordia alumnus Zane Francescato was also welcomed back to campus for the speech. Francescato '17 was student senate president during his time at Concordia and continues to excel in his new environment in Washington D.C.

In his closing statement, Fortenberry encouraged students to create a generational bridge, "think about the possibility of combining the older generation's sense of duty with your beautiful heart and you can build a market system unlike any we've known."

Fortenberry has bachelor's and a master's degrees in economics, as well as a master's in public policy. He lives in Lincoln with his wife and five daughters.