Reading time: 4 minutes

Two major cities, world-class universities and renowned professors, public figures who shaped our history, two joint student programs, nearly twenty academic lectures, two federal judges and many more adventures in California: this was groundbreaking MCC-Stanford Student Summit that provided MCC students with a life-changing experience.

The study trip started at Stanford University and the Hoover Institution, where MCC students had the opportunity to listen to and learn from well-known and prestigious American professors on a wide variety of timely topics. The discussions included, among others, the operation and achievements of the US Commission on Unalienable Rights, the role of the state in the economy in the 21st century, the comparison of the approach to health policy in US as well as in Europe, the legal and political impacts of the current proceedings against former US President Donald Trump on the upcoming presidential election or the geopolitical challenges of the 21st century and its international law aspects.

In the framework of a joint academic program with students of the Stanford University Law School, MCC students discussed the US and European perspectives, the future challenges of the regulation of online free speech and digital sovereignty, while the current geopolitical challenges were discussed with the editors of the Stanford Review. Among the student programs, Joel Peterson, former CEO of Jet Blue airline, founder of Peterson Partners and chairman of the Hoover Institution's Board of Overseers spoke about the American concept and importance of entrepreneurship, leadership skills and the harmony between family and work. Former US President Ronald Reagan’s speechwriter Peter Robinson joined the group for a dinner and recalled the Cold War era of the 1980s, the struggles within the White House, the reunification of Europe as well as the current challenges the old continent is facing.

After the instructive days at Stanford University, the students were welcomed by Honorable Daniel A. Bress, a federal judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, who provided them with an insight on how the federal judiciary works, on what the challenges US judges are facing and on what current issues are in American jurisprudence. After the court visit, the students went to UC Berkeley to attend a discussion on the role of natural law in the modern world which was followed by a private seminar. That evening, the students were invited to a dinner at Berkeley Law School. Besides the academic networking, San Francisco offered a unique experience: the steep streets, the cable cars, the fishermen’s wharf, and the breathtaking ocean view. In the meantime, Lénárd Sándor, the organizer of the academic programs, introduced the MCC students to the peculiarities of the American constitutional system.

After San Francisco, the students headed to Los Angeles, driving along the legendary California State Route 1, where they were first greeted by the Dean of the Pepperdine University, Pete Peterson. Afterwards, at Claremont McKenna College, Charles Kesler, Ryan Williams and William Voegeli discussed the future of the Republican Party and American conservatism with MCC students. The student group then visited the United States District Court for the Central District of California, where Honorable John Holcomb spoke about some of the interesting aspects of judicial vocation. The informal meeting was followed by a unique experience: the students attended a public criminal hearing presided by Judge Holcomb. In the evening, the students met with Professor David Tse-Chien Pen on the UC Irvine campus, and the day ended with a common dinner joined by students from the university’s law school. Beyond all the academic programs court visits and networking, discovering Los Angeles was also a must: Mulholland Drive, Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, Malibu and Santa Monica are all part of the California way of life.

World-class universities and renowned professors, public figures who shaped our history, joint student programs, nearly twenty academic lectures, two federal judges and many more adventures in California: this was the once in a lifetime MCC-Stanford Student Summit in 2023 that offered a unique experience to our students.