GWU Mission

To build men and women of virtue, wisdom, diplomacy, and courage who inspire greatness in others and move the cause of liberty.

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April 4-8
Salt Lake City, Utah

Welcome to our annual flagship event, the Statesmanship Invitational! This is an exceptionally rich learning opportunity for young people interested in how public policy and public opinion shape each other, especially for students interested in the practice of law, government and the media.

For the last three years, right after the state legislative session ends our students convened their own mock legislature for a solid week to reconsider and revamp over 40 of the session's most controversial bills.  This year will be different.  After the legislature hammers out a bill and the governor signs it into law there may still be forces ready to overturn it.  The most controversial bills may end up being tested by the third branch of government, the Judiciary.  This year the Statesmanship Invitational will simulate this process with a moot court simulation, one which may reach as far as the state Supreme Court. 

Advanced students from local high schools may participate during the week as members of a legal team, as court officials, the media, or in other roles. Visiting students may also act in these roles, being assigned to them as needed.

Students will be mentored by seasoned law makers, attorneys and judges.  The fifth day concludes with a two-hour debriefing to share the lessons learned, followed by a celebratory dinner.


Available Roles

Students who are able to participate for the full week or half the week will take on key roles in our moot court as members of the legal teams.  Visiting students who are able to stay for a couple of hours or more generally perform as witnesses or members of the media.

How to Participate

This year's Statesmanship Invitational will begin on Monday, April 4 with an orientation on legal procedure.   Activities typically consume the whole of each day and evening. Unless otherwise noted, daily events are held on campus in downtown Salt Lake City on South Temple, or within walking distance. The final day will occur at the Utah Capitol. Proper attire throughout the week is business dress. See our guidelines here.

Although this event is designed for students at the college level, advanced older teens and adults are also welcome. Such guests may participate all week, half the week or may volunteer for a morning, afternoon or evening. 

For visiting students who participate the full week, the cost is $260; the cost for half-week participation is $180.  Full participants are eligible to receive one course credit. Depending on enrollment status, additional costs may be associated with course credit.  Students interested in volunteering for a few hours may contact info@gw.edu for more information.

So that we can assign roles, participants should reserve their slots as early as possible. 

Register as a full or half-week Participant

For those arriving from out of town, prearranged accommodations are available with host families and individuals. Discounts are also available with nearby hotels. Contact us at info@gw.edu for lodging details.

Important Dates

  • April 1: Registration deadline for full or half-time participants
  • April 4: Beginning of simulation - 1:00 PM
  • April 8: End of simulation - Dinner from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM


Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a political bias to this event?

As a charitable nonprofit with 501(c)3 status, we do not endorse political parties or candidates.  Nonetheless, we unabashedly stand firmly for the cause of liberty, and the fact that a society devoid of virtue is incapable of supporting and perpetuating its freedoms.

Why is this called the Statesmanship Invitational?

Participants gain an appreciation for the nuanced and diplomatic process of making policy and the proper role of government when constrained by a constitution in a free society, especially one that recognizes fundamental rights. They also gain a degree of empathy for public officials who must learn the ropes on the fly while they sacrifice their time. Most importantly, however, is that students are awakened to the need for humility, diligence, moral character and integrity while learning something of what statesmanship entails.  Hence the reason we call this event the Statesmanship Invitational.

Aren't most of our problems at the Federal level? Why not focus attention there instead of state government?

Honoring the unique powers and roles of the states as preserved in the Constitution is the key to preserving peace and liberty. While states function as independent laboratories, each is free to observe, accept or reject the models of the other states depending on their own unique population needs and preferences. When efforts to shape society are centralized at the national level, corrupting influences are more easily attracted and amplified. Hence, the best solutions and buffers generally remain applied at more localized level such as the individual states.

How is daily transportation managed for this event?

All event venues are at or within walking distance of the GWU campus, which is downtown on South Temple near TRAX and bus routes. High School aged students participating full time can commute from home if they live on the Wasatch Front, or stay in prearranged accommodations with host families or GWU students.


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