“For years my colleagues Mary and David Nichols have been worthy partners of Bob Paquette in conceiving, organizing, and participating in the annual conference co-sponsored by AHI and the Baylor University Political Science Department in which great issues in the history and present condition of Western civilization have been discussed and elucidated. These three scholars have offered enlightenment on a wide range of serious and foundational topics. It is entirely appropriate that, thanks to Professor Paquette’s generosity, the series should henceforth bear the name of Professors David and Mary Nichols. The prestige of their scholarship will ensure the success of the series for years to come.”
Dr. David Clinton, Chairman, Department of Political Science, Baylor University
I am pleased to have this opportunity to express my views as to the importance of AHI for the Clinton community as well as the students at Hamilton College. One of the things I have found greatly enriching are the speakers AHI Director Robert Paquette has invited to the campus as well as to AHI. They introduce important perspectives on current topics not offered at the College. I am always impressed by the number of members of the general community that attend these talks, who otherwise would never come to the campus.
However, where I personally have benefited most is from the classes I attend regularly on Monday evenings, offered by Dr. David Frisk, an AHI Resident Fellow. He has a remarkable ability to treat fairly all sides of the issues discussed each week. The themes range from “Abraham Lincoln,” to “Statesmanship,” to “American Democracy.” I always look forward to coming each week not only to benefit from David’s most informative and stimulating presentations on current and historical topics, but especially to engage in discussions with people from the wider community. This, to my mind, is the true value of AHI. It provides a venue where ordinary people from across the political spectrum can come each week and engage in conversations that will enable them to become a better informed citizenry concerning the social and political issues that matter most in our world today. The weekly sessions also provide an opportunity for members of the community to voice their diverse views and be respectfully heard. I am always reminded of a famous illustration by Norman Rockwell, Freedom of Speech, for The Saturday Evening Post, February 20, 1943.
Stephen J. Goldberg, Associate Professor of Asian Art History, Hamilton College
“I never got the chance to say a proper goodbye, but I want to thank you for such an outstanding semester. Early Republic was my most intensive and rewarding class at Hamilton. Your meticulous feedback was incredible and demonstrates how incredibly dedicated you are to the intellectual development of your students. Keep up all the good work with AHI. I have enjoyed many AHI events throughout the year and have grown intellectually from them. Thank you for all your hard work.”
A. G., Hamilton College, Class of 2011
“I want to thank you [Paquette] for writing my recommendation and for all of your help, particularly during this past Fall semester; it has meant a lot to me to have teachers and mentors who have taken an interest in my future as well as in my academic pursuits. More than any other faculty member I really feel that you have challenged me to improve my writing and to take pride in my work.”
J.S., Hamilton College, Class of 2012
“My visit to AHI was the highlight of my year. As a Hamilton biographer, I was thrilled when Professor Paquette invited me to lead a discussion at an AHI Leadership Dinner. For the event, AHI brought together an eclectic mix of students, faculty, and community members. The evening focused on Washington’s famed Farewell Address of 1796. The Address was largely ghostwritten by Hamilton and endures as one of the classics of American political history. In the course of our conversation about the Farewell Address during dinner, the undergraduates simply blew me away. These students were sharp in intellect, eloquent in speech, and passionate about ideas. At AHI, they had found a home where they could freely engage with our country’s founding principles–and over a sumptuous meal in a historic mansion no less! What Mount Vernon is to Washington, and Monticello is to Jefferson, AHI is to the legacy of Alexander Hamilton.”
Andrew Porwancher, Wick Cary Associate Professor, University of Oklahoma
“The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization has played a large role in my experience as an undergraduate at Hamilton College. During my sophomore year at Hamilton College, I became a member of the Psi Chapter of Psi Upsilon. The Psi Chapter holds events throughout the year at the Alexander Hamilton Institute, including our annual banquet, formal initiation, and alumni events. Our chapter could not ask for a better place to hold these events. While the Psi Chapter of Psi Upsilon was forced to sell the Skenandoa House on Hamilton’s campus to the college in the 1990’s, our presence as a chapter remains strong. Because of its commitment to the study of freedom, democracy, and capitalism in addition to its emphasis on conservatism, the Alexander Hamilton Institute conjures thoughts of the history of the Psi Chapter for many of our brothers. For this reason I will always value the Alexander Hamilton Institute as a meaningful place during my experience at Hamilton College.
Robert Paquette, the co-founder and current executive director of the Alexander Hamilton Institute, served as a teacher and advisor to me during my freshman and sophomore years at Hamilton College. During the first semester of my freshman fall, I took Paquette’s course, Atlantic World Slave Trade. An engaging lecturer, Paquette asked a lot out of the students enrolled in his course. While I learned extensively about the history of the slave trade, I have mainly remembered how Paquette pushed me as a student to improve my writing skills and enhance my analytical skills. As an advisor, Paquette encouraged me to challenge myself as much as possible during my time at Hamilton. While I did not understand the importance of doing so as a freshman at Hamilton, I have come to appreciate this piece of advice that Professor Paquette has given me. I recognize the importance of learning and developing skills over any grade that I may receive on my transcript. For this reason, I am glad that I chose to take challenging courses and believe that I will leave Hamilton more prepared to live a fulfilling life than I otherwise would have been had I not taken Paquette’s advice. While Paquette no longer serves as my advisor, we remain in touch as I near the end of my time at Hamilton. I will always value my relationship with Paquette, and I admire his commitment to conservatism and the Alexander Hamilton Institute.”
Sam Rowley, Hamilton College, Class of 2020