Congressman Jared Polis to Speak at Naropa University Town Hall

BOULDER, Colo. (April 2, 2010) -- Naropa University is proud to announce that Congressman Jared Polis will speak about the latest news from Washington concerning higher education, healthcare and immigration at a town hall on Monday, April 19, 2010, from 12 p.m to 1 p.m. The town hall, free and open to the public, will be held at the Naropa Performing Arts Center, 2130 Arapahoe Ave. A light lunch will be served; to reserve a lunch please RSVP at 303-245-4714. For further information, please visit

Jared Polis, the first openly gay man elected to Congress as a freshman, has served on the Colorado State Board of Education and founded schools to serve homeless and immigrant populations. His commitment to education and willingness to tackle complex issues has earned him a reputation as a champion of the common people.

His engagement with education and social issues has led Polis to Naropa in the past. In previous years, he's been a guest speaker at graduation. His speech about the latest news from Washington will follow his April 12 visit to Naropa's "Authentic Leadership" class where he will speak with students about civic engagement.

Before being elected to Congress, Polis was successful in the business world. He started his first company, American Information Systems, while attending Princeton. Since then, he has launched several others and he has been called one of America's "Top Ten Entrepreneurs" by Success Magazine.

His early success in the business sector made Polis realize the importance that education plays in the economy. In 2000, he ran for a seat on the Colorado State Board of Education and won, making him the youngest chairman in the history of the board. During his six-year tenure, he pushed for school reform and was instrumental in the passage of Amendment 23, which improved funding for public schools in Colorado.

In 2000, he also founded the Jared Polis Foundation, which provides micro-grants to teachers and schools that have shown outstanding commitment to their community through education. The Foundation's Community Computer Connection (C3) program refurbishes more than 3,500 used computers from corporations, organizations and individuals per year and donates them to schools and nonprofit organizations that serve disadvantaged students.

Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Naropa University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian liberal arts institution dedicated to advancing contemplative education. This approach to learning integrates the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions, helping students know themselves more deeply and engage constructively with others. The university comprises a four-year undergraduate college and graduate programs in the arts, education, environmental leadership, psychology and religious studies.