Center for Freedom and Western Civilization

The Center for Freedom and Western Civilization is a forum for civic debate and scholarly research that enlivens the intellectual discourse among students and faculty by promoting a set of ideals that have their origins in Western civilization, but are universal in scope and appeal.

Next up on 13: The Center for Freedom and Western Civilization

In this episode of 13, the codirectors of the Colgate Center for Freedom and Western Civilization discuss the genesis of the group, its mission, and past speakers that they have brought to campus.

Find 13 on your favorite podcast platform, including Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher.

Cultivating Intellectual Diversity within a Liberal Arts Education

First and foremost for the Center of Freedom and Western Civilization is the ideal of a classical liberal arts education: an education worthy of a free citizen and a free mind that is based on a rigorous and unflinching encounter with the political thought, intellectual history, and artistic enterprise of Western traditions. We believe that these contain timeless wisdom about the good life, human nature, and reality, and should be at the core of a liberal arts education.

Second, we study the ideals of free speech, free enterprise, and constitutional democracy, especially as they have been understood and established by America’s founding fathers. The serious study of these ideals and institutions – from the time of the early American Republic and in the contemporary world – is critical to educating citizens and leaders. The great debates surrounding the ideals of freedom and democracy need to be presented with respectful appreciation as well as with critical detachment.

Third, the Center seeks not only to feature these ideals in campus dialogue and debate, but also to foster their growth to prepare the student for life after college. Accordingly, the Center honors students whose projects make significant contributions to understanding freedom and Western civilization and to promoting them in their future careers.


The Center for Freedom and Western Civilization is home to a collection of forums for academic research and discussion.

About the forums


Get Involved

The Center for Freedom and Western Civilization will sponsor up to three students each summer to pursue faculty-mentored summer research projects focused on themes related to the Western heritage of freedom and civilization.

Learn more about fellowship opportunities

One of the important resources supporting the Center for Freedom and Western Civilization's mission as forum for civic debate and scholarly research is the financial support of generous donors. Gifts from these supporters fund student and faculty research, support invitations that bring leading thinkers to the Colgate campus, and allow the center to enliven the intellectual discourse among Colgate students and faculty.

To make a gift: click below, select "Other" as your gift's designation, and write in Center for Freedom and Western Civilization in the comments field.

Make a gift

The center welcomes outreach from organizations, centers, and institutes at other institutions whose goals align with Colgate's Center for Freedom and Western Civilization. In the past and present, the center has found synergies in its programming with organizations such as:

To inquire about collaboration or partnership, please contact co-directors Carolyn Guile ( and Robert Kraynak (

Contact Information


Professor of Political Science; Director, Center for Freedom & Western Civilization
132 Persson Hall
  • W 4:00pm - 5:00pm (132 Persson Hall)
  • F 12:30pm - 3:00pm (132 Persson Hall)
Associate Professor of Art & Art History and Russian and Eurasian Studies; Director, Medieval & Renaissance Studies Program; Co-Director, Center for Freedom & Western Civilization

Administrative Assistant

Administrative Assistant, Political Science Department & International Relations Program; Center for Freedom & Western Civilization