John William “Jack” Buechner’s time in Congress may have been short, but he spent nearly three decades as a former member — and that’s where he made his mark.
The former Missouri congressman and ex-president of the Association of Former Members of Congress died this month at 79. During his time with FMC, he is credited with reviving the group’s primary domestic program: Congress to Campus.
“First, and most importantly, Jack Buechner was a friend and a mentor to me,” FMC CEO Pete Weichlein told Heard on the Hill in a statement. “His passion was always for encouraging the next generation of leaders.”
Buechner served as FMC president from 2004 to 2006 but stayed active in the group by co-chairing Congress to Campus, which aims to educate students about the government by getting former lawmakers to share their firsthand knowledge of the legislative process.
While traveling to college, university and community college campuses for two-day visits, a bipartisan pair of former members conduct classes and hold community forums. They also meet informally with students and faculty, visit high schools and civic organizations, and do interviews and talk show appearances with local press and media. The goal is to give students a more personal side of democracy, the group says.
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