Carey Family Gift Benefits Center for Freedom and Western Civilization

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A generous $1 million gift from trustee emeritus Chase Carey ’76 and his family will benefit Colgate’s Center for Freedom and Western Civilization.
A forum for civic debate and scholarly research, the center enlivens the intellectual discourse among students and faculty at the University by studying and promoting ideals that have their origins in Western civilization, and are universal in scope and appeal.
The Carey family’s gift will be designated to the center’s permanent endowed fund, which supports programmatic initiatives such as guest speakers, panel debates, and seminars; academic conferences; faculty and student research; and internship, fellowship, and student award programs.
“The Carey family’s generous gift allows us to promote the important ideals of intellectual diversity, diversity of viewpoint, and diversity of opinion in a more substantial and sustained way,” says Carolyn Guile, co-director of the Center for Freedom and Western Civilization and associate professor of art and art history and Russian and Eurasian studies. “We want to offer avenues for students to enter confidently into dialogues and debates about the issues that concern us as individuals and citizens. First and foremost, we are interested in encouraging and fostering the critical thinking skills that are fundamental to a liberal arts education.”
In its Vision Statement for the Third Century, Colgate articulated its intention to graduate students with the ability to summon reason; to gather facts; and engage in sound, fair, powerful debate. Pursuing the University’s commitment to lively, intellectual discourse, the Center for Freedom and Western Civilization focuses on topics ranging from classical studies to security and democracy. The center sponsors events, lectures, speakers, and symposiums that explore a range of issues and encourage interaction and engagement among  students, faculty, and alumni.
The center also sponsors the James Madison Fellowship program, which allows students to pursue faculty-mentored research projects during the summer.
“Free speech and a willingness to engage with diverse, differing viewpoints plays a critical role in higher education,” says Carey. “We want to help students develop a sense of who they are and the courage to think for themselves while promoting the ideals of academic freedom and expression.”