-Scott Sipprelle, Hamilton College, Class of 1985, Phi Beta Kappa
“The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization provides valuable insights into many educational opportunities that should be available to all serious students. The value of a good liberal arts education should be to provide us with the knowledge to look at subjects fairly and intelligently. The Institute encourages us to look at various problems in our society and view a range of possible solutions, exposing students to competing points of view along the way. Only through looking at the problems that exist and studying them with a diversity of opinions can one hope to find the truth. Otherwise misguided opinions and policy will continue to go on unchallenged.”
-Tom Murphy, Coordinator of Basketball Advancement, Northeastern University
“It is no exaggeration to say that my time spent at Alexander Hamilton Institute events and with the persons who made all the events possible composed the most meaningful experiences of my college career and among the most meaningful of my life so far. The Alexander Hamilton Institute was not just a universitas, in the best sense of the word, but a home. Professors Paquette, Bradfield, Ambrose, and Hill were not just teachers, but mentors. What I learned there was not merely interesting or useful, but changed the way I looked at the world. As the higher education bubble collapses and elite universities are unmasked as mere tools for legitimizing a certain set of prejudices, the Alexander Hamilton Institute contains the seeds for rebirth, a hope for the liberal arts, and, most importantly, a chance to join the conversation of mankind.”
-Thomas Cheeseman, Hamilton College, Class of 2012; J. D., Vanderbilt Law School
“Before taking your class and attending events at the AHI, modern politics and current events, along with their philosophical underpinnings, were things I rarely thought about or valued. Thanks to a push from my father, I enrolled in your Conservative Thought class and my life was changed. Simple “truths” that I was taught in my other classes and had taken as given were challenged. I really appreciated your willingness to present an alternative view to the mainstream on campus in as unbiased a manner as possible. I felt like I could finally evaluate both sides of pertinent issues, such as political tensions on campus or the conflict in the middle east, and independently form my own conclusions. But the lessons didn’t stop there. You pushed me to get involved with the topics I valued, such as Israel and antisemitism, and supported my pursuit of these with both your encouraging words and AHI resources. You also served as a role model, exemplifying these ideals on campus, sticking up for what you thought was right.
These lessons in refining my own beliefs and sticking up for them, whether or not they are deemed ‘popular,’ has been a critical value I’ve aimed to emulate in both my personal and professional life. Working in a relatively high-stakes business environment, I have found myself surprisingly comfortable challenging the beliefs of executives working for my company and our clients. These leaders don’t always agree (it’s great when they do), but even if I’m wrong, they almost always seem appreciative that a young analyst is willing to engage with the topic at hand and challenge the status quo. Especially as a young woman, I have cherished this lesson in having the confidence to speak my mind. These experiences recently paid off when I found out that I was awarded a fellowship to attend the Fuqua School of Business at Duke starting this summer through the Forte Foundation, which aims to further female representation in leadership roles. I truly believe the intellectual curiosity, confidence, and bravery you inspired in me was critical to get to this point, so, thank you.
I sincerely hope that young adults from Hamilton will continue to benefit from your mentorship in your new role at AHI. If you believe there is any interest in a career in business among students involved in AHI, I would be more than happy to help in any way I can, whether via a networking call or coming to campus to talk about my experience. I hope to give back to the organization that continues to give so much to me through its lasting lessons!”
-Sarah Izzo, Hamilton College, Class of 2015
“The Alexander Hamilton Institute has proven to be an invaluable resource, both during my time as an undergraduate fellow and beyond. Through AHI, I have had the opportunity to engage in thoughtful discourse on a variety of topics with peers, professors, and leaders from across the political, ideological, and religious spectrum. These conversations taught me how to listen, ask probing questions, synthesize information, and formulate my own opinions – all skills that have served me well both in the professional arena and as a global citizen. My involvement with the AHI also led me to discover great books, such as Friedrich Hayek’s Constitution of Liberty, which have introduced me to ideas and principles that I would not have otherwise been exposed to. What’s more, AHI provides a platform – including reading clusters and colloquiums – to discuss these works that undergraduate fellows like myself have continued to leverage long after graduation. Additionally, engaging with AHI has afforded me the opportunity to drastically improve my writing. Where Professors Paquette and Ambrose worked tirelessly to critique my work in the classroom, Dr. Frisk provided instrumental guidance during my tenure as editor-in-chief of Enquiry. Without their dedication to teaching undergraduates like myself, I would not have been nearly as successful communicating complex concepts in my professional life.
For me, however, the true value of AHI cannot be understood independently of the relationships I built as an undergraduate fellow. The connections made and friendships formed during those four short years on the Hill have withstood the test of both time and distance. I still exchange emails with my AHI mentors and call on them whenever I make the trek back to Clinton; I still meet fellow undergraduate fellows to chat about the latest new cycle over coffee; I still join my AHI friends at their homes for the holidays. I have the AHI to thank for that and so much more.”