State of Pennsylvania, 178th District
CLASS OF 1982
Scott Petri wanted to play basketball in college, but he did not want to go to college just to play basketball. He wanted a rigorous education more than anything else. So, when Coach Eunice from Washington & Jefferson College called and asked him to visit campus, he almost did not accept the invitation. But, when they met, the coach spent one and a half hours talking to Petri without once mentioning basketball. He just showed Petri the campus and talked about the outstanding academics and dedicated faculty at W&J. When Petri talked with students, they were warm and friendly and they, too, talked about their favorite faculty. Petri was impressed and he decided, “This is the place I want to go.”
W&J was a logical choice for Petri, since he had always wanted to be a lawyer. Even when he was a child, his grandfather called him “grosse Schnauze” (big mouth) and said he would be a lawyer or a politician one day because he loved to talk. At W&J, he pursued a double major in two very verbal fields, English and political science, and he almost completed a third major in economics. Although his primary occupation now is serving in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, he continues to practice law, fulfilling both halves of his grandfather’s prediction.
In the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Petri chairs several important committees, including the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Economic Impact and Infrastructure, the Pennsylvania Winery Caucus, and the Life Science Caucus. As a lawyer in private practice, he focuses on real estate, banking, wills, estates, and municipal law.
He advises students, “Be flexible—your ideas about what you want to do in life will change during college. Look around and you will find something that will not only support you financially but also fulfill your passion.” The most important lesson he learned during college, Petri says, was how to take criticism and grow from it, a skill that is especially important in his political life.