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.


Painting: The School of Athens by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino

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 great books of the Western tradition. We believe that these books contain timeless wisdom about the good life and the nature of man and reality, and they should be at the core of a liberal arts education. Second, we believe in the ideals of free speech, free enterprise, and constitutional democracy, especially as they have been understood and established by America’s founding fathers.

Image of the painting “Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States”

The serious study of these ideals and institutions – from the time of the early American Republic to the contemporary world – is critical in 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. 

Image of the painting “The Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo

Third, the Center seeks not only to feature these ideals in campus debates, but also to foster their growth at home and abroad. Accordingly, the Center honors students whose projects make significant contributions to understanding freedom and Western civilization and to promoting them in their future careers. In addition, the Center seeks to cultivate the growth of freedom in other nations around the world.

The Center for Freedom and Western Civilization sponsors 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. Projects utilize a range of research methodologies and technologies, and are done at Colgate or off-campus.

  • James Madison Summer Research Fellows
    Students pursuing projects at Colgate under the guidance of Colgate professors.
  • Stone Fellows
    Students pursuing research projects at the CEVRO Institute in Prague, Czech Republic, under the guidance of CEVRO faculty.

Both James Madison and Stone Fellows receive a stipend of $4,500 for the summer; Stone Fellows receive additional funds (up to $2,000) to support travel and on-site research. 

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The Center for Freedom and Western Civilization works with the Alexander Hamilton Institute, planning shared events, and with the CEVRO Institute in Prague, Czech Republic, on Summer Fellowships. Richard Stone Fellows attend the CEVRO Institute each summer.

The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization
is inspired by Alexander Hamilton’s life and work. The AHI was created to help cultivate a genuinely free marketplace of ideas and to promote excellence in scholarship through the study of freedom, democracy, and capitalism. 

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Contact Information


Professor of Political Science; Director, Center for Freedom & Western Civilization
132 Persson Hall
Associate Professor of Art & Art History and Russian and Eurasian Studies; Director, Medieval & Renaissance Studies Program; Chair, Art & Art History

Administrative Assistant

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