Building Future Statesmen
We are pleased to announce the creation of several new scholarships that will fully leverage our academic integration with the State Capitol.
These scholarships are tailored to assist those students who are most committed to the cause of liberty, and who demonstrate the greatest capacity to make a difference. We take our mission of building statesmen seriously, and this financial assistance to students both magnifies and concentrates our ability to do so. Top award amounts are for full tuition. Other amounts are awarded commensurate with student qualifications. All awards are renewable annually for up to four years.
In order to put the classical foundation we provide to greatest use, applicants are selected for indications of a high multiplier effect over the course of their lives. Priority is placed on the key battlefronts of influence where liberty advances and retreats to shape society: law & government, media and education. In the words of former GWU President Ashby Boyle:
Imagine the impact of sending out an army of wise, good and principled attorneys who then become lawmakers and even judges; firmly grounded teachers who then start entire schools; fearless reporters and writers steeped in the principles of liberty who possess the skills to not be silenced, some who even go on to produce documentaries and feature films. The impact of all of these would reach into the thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions.
These scholarships also serve as a defining accountability mechanism for GWU. They are designed to meet the high expectations of thoughtful and motivated donors who wish to see the fruits of their support within their lifetimes—matching their funds only with the caliber of talented students who share their principles and commitment.
All returning and prospective students are welcome to apply. We invite all to read through the requirements and consider their own qualifications and commitment to the cause of liberty. Applicants for Fall Semester should apply by the end of December of the previous year for priority consideration. Thereafter, applicants are considered on a first come, first served basis.
The Clarence Thomas Pre-law Scholarship
For top applicants declaring their commitment to use their education as a springboard into law school, and for the express purpose of moving the cause of liberty in law and government.
The William F. Buckley Valor in Media Scholarship
For top applicants declaring their commitment to use their education as a springboard into graduate programs or careers in journalism, mass communications, film or other media related programs, in which they will cultivate society's embracing of liberty, virtue and responsibility.
The C. S. Lewis Classical Education Scholarship
For top applicants declaring their commitment to use their education as a springboard into graduate programs in education, and to expand the culture of liberty through improving curricula and the creation of new schools.
The Margaret Thatcher Leadership Scholarship
For top applicants demonstrating a track record of exceptional leadership and declaring their commitment to use their education as a springboard into graduate studies related to media, education, law or a degree related to business and organizational leadership and with intent to advance the cause of liberty in American culture through those fields.
The Milton Friedman Free-Market Economics Scholarship
For top applicants with exceptional communications abilities and media potential, declaring their commitment to use their education as a springboard into a graduate program in economics.
Prospective and returning students are both welcome to apply.
Scholarship Requirements ►
Why and How
For those exploring GWU for the first time, unlike other institutions which might also use a classical curriculum, we add a purpose: to build future statesmen with the foundation, commitment and ability to advance the cause of liberty. Some of our key distinctions that make this possible are below.
The Capitol is our Campus
The Williamsburg Model: Incubator of Influence
Since the Golden Age of Athens, a student’s proximity to his learning opportunities has been vital to the richness of his preparation. In Colonial America, the ideal environment for students of philosophy, law and government was arguably Williamsburg, Virginia. With the College of William and Mary at one end of town, the House of Burgesses is only a few blocks away at the other. Consequently, a favorite pastime of students was to gather to hear the legislative debates.
In 1765, the inquisitive 22-year old Thomas Jefferson was in many ways still a regular college student. Although studying the law under George Wythe at the time, he had not yet “caught fire” to set on the great trajectory of his future.
On May 30th he was watching the legislative debates with his fellow classmates. On that day, however, he was fortunate enough to see the newly elected Patrick Henry present his five resolutions against the Stamp Act. By Jefferson’s own account, he was standing in the doorway, riveted to every word as a spark ignited within him. For the rest of his life he would refer to that moment as the catalyst for his commitment to the cause of liberty, independence and good government. From that time forward his studies came into focus through a new lens as his passion grew and his understanding deepened; the natural “inalienable” rights of man taking their place as a central tenet.
His ensuing friendships with Patrick Henry and many others intersecting through the hub of Williamsburg set the stage for much of the history we all know. But the serendipity that led to those opportunities was magnified first by proximity. It should also come as no surprise that so many statesmen emerged from that same college, just minutes from the halls of Virginia's government. Combined with good mentoring, state legislatures are the seedbeds, laboratories and incubators of statesmanship.
Such locations provide the richest opportunities for modern students as well—to intern with legislators, governors, judges, law offices, think tanks, public affairs consultants, media and other supporting institutions that shape governments and society. It is where key networking relationships utilized by people of influence are oftentimes initially forged in one's youth, just as benefited the young Jefferson.
Each year during the Utah legislative session, we go a step further by holding classes in rooms at the Capitol itself. Engaging one's peers in this inspiring atmosphere adds sobriety to the subject matter, and the frequent private briefings by legislators, think tanks and political operatives clarify and make concrete the subtle abstractions of politics and law. Tracking bills as they move through committee hearings and floor debate while examining the human drama "behind the scenes" that surrounds them provides great enrichment to the classroom discussion.
Full Immersion Simulations
Three weeks after the end of the legislative session the students participate in the Statesmanship Invitational, a campus wide simulation that includes online students who fly in. This event is comprised of a mock legislature in which students assume responsibilities in detailed roles as state legislators for a solid school week, 24 hours a day. During this simulation they are assigned up to 40 bills that either failed in the Utah legislative session, or bills that passed but were either controversial or altered by the faculty to provide additional challenges. New legislation is also permitted to arise from the students. In addition to faculty acting as proxies for lobbyists, surrogates from the political community participate in committee hearings as well. Up to a dozen legislators might participate in the simulation over the week, sometimes even lobbying against their own legislation. In 2013 the event culminated with the final day being held on the floor of the House of Representatives at the Utah Capitol, including a debriefing by Utah Governor Herbert.
See highlights from the 2013 Legislative Simulation ►
Explore campus life ►