Center for the Study of American Democracy
Kenyon has always prided itself on a dedication to debating the issues of the day, no matter how controversial, through deliberative inquiry and civil, probing conversation. Drawing on this tradition, the campaign will establish a permanent Center for the Study of American Democracy. Its guiding premise: that citizenship, at its best, depends on open debate--and on pressing beyond the headlines toward a more subtle understanding of history, timeless questions, and fundamental principles.
In Spring 2010, The center sponsored its first conference, "The Future of Political Parties." The conference was made possible in part by support from a "We the People" Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Thomas W. Smith Foundation and the Glady Krible Delmas Foundation. The conference brought together eminent scholars, policy experts, and civic and business leaders including E.J. Dionne, William Kristol, Paul Beck, Karlyn Bowman, James Caesar, James Foley, Lisa Disch, William Galston, Fred Greenstein, Michael Malbin, Deborah Pryce, Steve Ricchetti, Reihan Salam and Ruy Texeira. The entire conference was covered by C-SPAN and can be viewed on DVD.
The CSAD also exists to support student research, collaborative faculty-student projects, and curricular enrichment. In manifold ways, the center will stimulate the informed dialogue essential to democracy.
Many alumni remember Kenyon's famed Public Affairs Conference Center (1967-87). The new center is an enterprise in the same spirit--and, because the campaign will provide endowment funds to support its work, this center will have a permanent place at the College. Alumni and friends of Kenyon who are interested in supporting the CSAD may become Fellows of the Center for the Study of American Democracy.