“I have taken four courses in history/political science at the Alexander Hamilton Institute (AHI) and found them all enjoyable, informative, well organized, and taught in a very understandable manner. The instructor, always a PhD, was well read on the subject being covered, as he was able to select short, pertinent sections from a wide array of much longer articles and books, so as to present a wide variety of viewpoints, without causing excessive reading. Thus, I think that each topic was covered in a well-balanced manner. Also, many of the attendees to these classes made significant contributions to our discussions, based upon their personal experiences, outside readings, or personal beliefs. Additionally, I have found several situations in current events for which material covered in these classes helped explain, by giving some historical perspective. Thus, I consider these courses very worthwhile.”
James W. Fesko, Metallurgical Engineer (Retired), Clinton, New York
“Not all college students have the privilege of connecting with a professor that is able to cultivate within them a lasting appreciation for higher learning and academic achievement. Lucky for me, I was blessed with two of these mentor-figures at Hamilton College, and not coincidentally, they are both co-founders of AHI: Douglas Ambrose, and Robert Paquette.
After leaving the sheltered world of a suburban, Long Island high school, Hamilton’s rigorous academic environment presented a challenge that was unlike anything I had previously experienced. Yet, with their instruction and wisdom, Professors Ambrose and Paquette helped me navigate this journey and—ironically—fulfill the College’s mission statement: to “Know Thyself.” It was Professor Ambrose who first caught my attention with his fiery lectures on colonial American history, but it was Professor Paquette’s passionate discourse on conservative thought in America that inspired me to shift my academic focus. Through their friendship, and the culture of free-expression and intellectual diversity that their leadership has fostered, I found a home at AHI. As I prepare for the next phase of my life, in search of a law degree and beyond, I find myself deeply indebted to this organization, and even more convinced as to the merits of its mission.”
Mike Russo, Hamilton College, Class of 2018
“I can say with full confidence that you and the AHI gave me a strong academic foundation that I feel would have been incomplete had I missed the classes, reading groups, and other activities offered by the AHI and its members. One of my few regrets at Hamilton is not finding and learning with the AHI earlier in my college career. I believe I gained a much stronger understanding of our political and intellectual history as well as some of the nuances and complexities that are too often lost on today’s students (and citizens!). The work with the AHI also helped me to recognize and differentiate between serious intellectual rigor and the shallow, simplistic thought frequently disguised in academic jargon. Without this education, I would not have been as prepared or as confident to be a boarding school faculty member, especially at a time like the ‘16 election cycle.
I also believe you had a strong influence on my teaching and grading style. I will never forget the first paper I wrote for your Conservative Thought class. I thought (at the time) it was reasonably well written, perhaps nothing groundbreaking in academia, but somewhat respectable. I remember my jaw almost hit the table when I saw that you had rewritten the entire introductory paragraph, corrected every grammar and punctuation error, and pointedly noted where various pieces of evidence or analysis did not completely support conclusions. While the prose was “passive and pedestrian,” I was thrilled that it at least “showed promise.” I had never seen that level of rigorous grading, and it forced me to reevaluate what I considered acceptable writing.”
Ryan Glenn, Hamilton College, Class of 2016
“Hope all you’ve been well and enjoying life on the Hill! I thought of you and AHI recently, as I had dinner with a retired Lieutenant General who served as the CIO of the Army (and now works with Deloitte) – her reminded me a bit of General Bunting. I so enjoyed the [Veterans Day] lecture he gave about service back in 2013…can’t believe it was almost two years ago!”
H. C., Hamilton College, Class of 2014
“Thank you again for hosting such a wonderful and thought-provoking conference. My mind is still whirring from the many scintillating conversations across the weekend. I’m sure we’ll see each other again soon — perhaps at a joint Buckley/AHI event? Wherever it is, I look forward our next meeting and the exhilarating exchange of ideas that will inevitably follow.”
L. S., Yale University undergraduate, April 2018
“To other students, I would say that the AHI, at its core, is about adding to the Hamilton educational experience. In its best form, the AHI can truly be a resource for everyone. At the end of the day,” he adds, “while I am really grateful to the AHI for all of the specific programming they offered, for the networking opportunities and for the chance to hone writing skills, what I am really going to take away is the love of learning. Because who doesn’t love learning more than people who keep it going outside of the regular classroom? That’s what brought me to the AHI, and I think that’s what makes me continue to appreciate it.”
Phil Parkes, Hamilton College, Class of 2017