Rep. Zipperer Statement on Passing of Father Robert

From , May 11, 2009
by Chris Reader, Chris.Reader@legis.wisconsin.gov, (608) 266-5120

Madison-Representative Rich Zipperer (R- Pewaukee) made the following statement upon learning of the passing of Father Robert Cornell. Rep. Zipperer, a 1996 graduate of St. Norbert College, had Father Cornell as a professor for many courses while a student at St. Norbert.

"News of the passing of Father Robert Cornell has brought back fond memories of the many hours I spent as a student in his classroom.

Though Father Cornell and I often disagreed on a number of issues, we shared a strong desire to enact good public policy that would help America and Wisconsin prosper.

Hearing his stories about policymaking in Congress helped inspire me to serve as an aide there after I graduated from St. Norbert College. His sense of humor reminded me that, even when debating serious issues, it is important to never take yourself too seriously. And, as the first person ever to tell me I should run for office, I have Father Cornell to thank for helping prepare me to serve in elective office.

In class, Father Cornell loved to tell stories of his time in "Happy Rock" (his affectionate term for his hometown of Gladstone, Michigan) and in Philadelphia, including the peculiar election in which every single voter in a certain precinct not only voted and voted for the same candidate, but also voted in alphabetical order.

Though I never succeeded in convincing him to join my political party, and he never succeeded in getting me to join his, I will certainly miss our rousing debates.

Thank you, Father Cornell, for your years of service to God, St. Norbert College, Wisconsin, and our nation."