Exposing Top Students to the Classics

  • Public-Policy Reform
  • 2010

Retired investor Roger Hertog has made it a centerpiece of his philanthropy to create first-rate intellectual seminars that can inspire an interest in politics among top students who are likely to be involved in setting national policies in the future. His Hertog Foundation describes itself as “an educational philanthropy whose mission is to bring the very best ideas in defense of Western civilization to a new generation of intellectual and political leaders.” It operates a half-dozen different seminars toward this end.

The Hertog Political Studies Program brings college students to Washington for six weeks of classes on political theory and practice. The foundation’s Economic Policy Studies Program is a two-week immersion in the politics and finances of the welfare state. The War Studies Program is a similar session on military and foreign policy. Various Advanced Institutes tutor students and young professionals in specialized areas like Lincoln’s political thought or the lessons of the Iraq war. An American History Scholars program is designed for high-school students.

Each of these programs is taught by prominent scholars hired by the foundation. The Hertog Foundation also supports special seminars at Macaulay College and Columbia University to inspire talented students to become engaged citizens acquainted with the best of classic political thinking. The ultimate effects of this work will be felt as graduates of Hertog classes enter positions of influence in government, academe, and other fields.

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