The AHI sponsored the appearance on Saturday, 25 March, of undergraduate fellows Noah Bishop and Thomas Cheeseman at The Fourth Annual Undergraduate Scholars Conference at Princeton University. The James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions sponsors this prestigious conference annually, this year in collaboration with the Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy, Georgetown University, and the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy, Boston College.  Students from Princeton University, Boston College, Georgetown, Notre Dame, and Hamilton College participated.

Mr. Cheeseman and Mr. Bishop presented on the second of three panels  “Philosophical Foundations of American Ideals and Institutions” with Katherine Bermingham of Georgetown University.  Mr. Cheeseman presented on “The Natural Rights Dilemma:  Organic Order and the Constructivist Fallacy”; Mr. Bishop on “Rational Belief in the Existence of God.”  Sherif Girgis, Princeton University, and Matthew O’Brien, University of Texas at Austin served as respondents.

Mr. Bishop’s and Mr. Cheeseman’s performances received high praise. Said AHI co-founder Douglas Ambrose: “Messrs. Bishop and Cheeseman distinguished themselves with their confidence, poise, and intelligence.  Their papers were nuanced and insightful, and they responded thoughtfully and respectfully to the questions that the audience posed to them.  They brought great honor to Hamilton College and to the AHI.  I was enormously proud of them.”

Indeed, on 30 March Dr. Bradford P. Wilson, Executive Director of the James Madison Program, communicated to the AHI the following:  “I wish to thank you, Professor Ambrose, and the [Alexander] Hamilton Institute for your participation in the 4th Annual Undergraduate Scholars Conference last weekend at Princeton University.  I especially wish to thank your students, Noah Bishop and Thomas Cheeseman, for their superb presentations of their first-rate scholarship.  I can imagine how proud you must be of these young men, who exemplify the virtues we associate with a liberal education.  Their admirable performance at Princeton University has secured a permanent invitation to the [Alexander] Hamilton Institute to recommend its affiliated students as presenters at future Undergraduate Scholars Conferences — one of which, I can hope, will be hosted by the [Alexander] Hamilton Institute.”

Needless to say, the AHI family thanks Dr. Wilson for this great honor of future collaboration with the Madison Program, the gold standard of programs of its kind, and congratulates Mr. Cheeseman and Mr. Bishop as expressions of excellence in a liberal arts education.