William “Bill” Emerson, a 1959 Westminster College graduate, served eight terms on behalf of Missouri’s Eighth District in the U.S. House of Representatives, beginning in 1980. Raised in Jefferson County, he first came to the House of Representatives at the age of 15 as a page in that august body.
After receiving his Bachelor of Arts from Westminster, Emerson completed a law degree in 1964 from the University of Baltimore and then served in the United States Air Force Reserve until 1992.
During his public service in the House, Congressman Emerson championed such initiatives as a balanced budget amendment, line-item veto authority for the President, and fair trade. When he died in 1996, his wife of 21 years, Jo Ann Hermann Emerson carried on his career in public service and is now completing her eighth term in Congress in the same seat.
A number of significant programs and projects bear his name today, including The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau, The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, and The Emerson Center for Leadership & Service at Westminster College. We are proud of our favorite son, Congressman Bill Emerson, and his service to Westminster, to the Eighth District, and to the United States of America.