Oct. 27, 1994
Vol. 14, No. 5

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    Congresswoman Pat Schroeder to visit as Kovler Fellow

    Nov. 9 lecture: 'Challenges in America's Future' Rep. Pat Schroeder, D-Colo., will visit the University on Wednesday, Nov. 9, and Thursday, Nov. 10, as a Marjorie Kovler Fellow.

    While at the University, Schroeder will attend classes and meet informally with students and faculty members. She will also deliver a lecture, "Challenges in America's Future: Legislative and Policy Issues," at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, in the Oriental Institute's Breasted Hall. Admission is free.

    A congresswoman for 11 terms -- 22 years -- Schroeder is considered one of the country's leading liberal politicians. Her candidacy originated when a group of anti-war activists proposed the then-unusual idea of having a woman run for Congress. Upon her election in 1972, one of Schroeder's first acts in Washington was to get a seat on the House Armed Services Committee, a committee on which she still serves. She also serves on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Post Office and Civil Service. From 1991 to 1993, she chaired the House Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families, making her one of only four women to head a House committee this century.

    Regarded by many as a symbol of feminism, Schroeder has been persistent in her promotion of women's and family issues. She was an early supporter of legalized abortion, and she led the fight for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. She was the author of the Family and Medical Leave Act, signed into law by President Clinton in 1993.

    Schroeder also introduced the Child Support Economic Act, which provides states with additional tools to enforce the collection of child support, and she co-sponsored the National Children's Advocacy Act of 1992, which was designed to set up neighborhood-based facilities across the country to respond to cases of child abuse. In addition, she co-chairs the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues, a bipartisan group of representatives devoted to advancing women's legislation in Congress.

    Her work in Congress has also included an emphasis on the military. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, she has focused on cutting wasteful defense spending and improving benefits for military personnel and their families. In 1991, she helped persuade the committee to allow women in the armed forces to fly combat missions. Most recently, Schroeder put herself at the center of a national debate on the way the military treats women and homosexuals when she helped expose cases of sexual harassment within the armed services and called on the military to end its discriminatory policies toward homosexuals and women.

    Schroeder received her B.A. in 1961 from the University of Minnesota and her J.D. in 1964 from Harvard. She practiced law and lectured in Denver before being elected to Congress in 1972.

    The Marjorie Kovler Visiting Fellows program is designed to encourage interaction between students at Chicago and prominent individuals in the arts and public affairs.