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.
Support the Center
Supporter gifts fund student and faculty research, bring leading thinkers to Colgate, and allow the center to enliven the intellectual discourse among Colgate students and faculty.
The Center's two advisory boards made up of Colgate faculty and alumni who are nominated by the director and approved by Colgate’s president.