Alumni Spotlight: Lane Anderson Koch ’04
Lane (Anderson) Koch, Class of 2004, grew up in a family in which politics was a common topic of discussion and being involved in the public process was regularly encouraged. Her life path, influenced not only by her upbringing but also by her experience in Westminster history and ethics courses, reflects the difference of a Westminster Christian Academy education. “My education at Westminster served as a foundation for my career in politics and government service,” says Lane. “The support I received from the faculty was invaluable to me as a young person.”
After earning her bachelor’s degree from Taylor University, Lane worked her way up through several political campaigns and organizations. She served as executive director of Romney for President 2012 in Missouri and now serves as the small business liaison for Senator Roy Blunt.
What motivated your interest in politics early on?
Neither of my parents was in politics, but I grew up in a household that was politically engaged. My parents did a lot of volunteering for campaigns, and I went along. One of my memories as a young kid was going to a watch party for Jim Talent.
How did your classwork at Westminster influence your decision to pursue politics as a career?
I got the political bug at Westminster in Mr. [Larry] Hughes’ and Mr. [Brian] Burkey’s classes. They both provided classroom environments In which students were encouraged to engage in spirited debates on ethics, political philosophies, and theology. Mrs. [Jill] Keith and Ms. [Cindy] Zavaglia helped sharpen my writing and communications skills, and Mr. [Jim] Drexler encouraged me to get involved in campaigns and politics outside the classroom. Beyond the career preparedness and self-confidence that my Westminster education provided, it instilled in me a deeper desire to serve the Lord and to help people like the constituents we serve every day.
You interned with then-Senator Kit Bond during college. How important are internships for someone who is interested in a career in politics?
I always tell people that internships really open doors. My internship led to a great job for me. The McCain-Palin campaign was coming in, and they had asked for staffers. I was hired to be in charge of the grassroots campaign for the St. Louis region. I focused on recruiting volunteers and asking if they would make calls or go door-to-door. As we drew close to Election Day, we contacted voters and reminded them to vote for our candidate. There were even Westminster students who came to help!
What is politics like as a career?
What’s nice about a career in politics is that you can mold it to fit your life. Campaigns are very hard work. That first campaign when I was a field rep was tough because it was 70 hours a week. If you really want to get into politics, you have to make it through that first tough gig. If you do a good job in one campaign, you know you’ll move up in the next job. It’s exciting for those who are really ambitious. I know quite a few Westminster students who have become involved in campaigns and told Mr. Boesch that I enjoy mentoring and developing interns because I want to try to help them by sharing my own experiences in the field.
I believe Westminster students who are considering a career in politics and public service have an edge because of the values and principles ingrained in them by their academic experience. We should encourage more people to enter public service, motivated not by self-interest but rather by a desire to serve and make our state, country, and world a better place for the glory of God.
Lane and her husband (and Westminster sweetheart), Dan, live in Chesterfield with their daughter, Langley.