Quarterly Newsletter, July 15, 2014


Dear Friends:

This is the first quarterly newsletter of the recently established Center for Statesmanship, Law, and Liberty at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Here is the link to our official website, which includes our Mission Statement and other relevant information about events, our annual symposium, contact information, and initiatives, http://www.rit.edu/cla/statesmanship/. The purpose of this newsletter is to inform you of our activities and to ask for your support in helping us engage the wider community of citizens and scholars in enhancing and reviving statesmanship. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to an interested friend who would like to be included on our list. My administrative assistant Cassandra Shellman (copied above) will be happy to add anyone who kindly requests by responding to this e-mail.

Spring 2014: The Center’s Launch. The Center, which is a legal entity of RIT, was made possible by a generous gift from Kraig Kayser, CE0 of Seneca Foods Corporation and former board member of RIT. In the past year we have established a Memorandum of Understanding that spells out our arrangement with RIT, entered into affiliation with The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, created a Steering Committee dedicated to fundraising and development, and completed a strategic plan that sets future goals and programming. We are currently in the process of establishing an affiliation with the Friends of the Lincoln Collection of Indiana, which has one of the largest on-line Lincoln libraries in the world. Our Steering Committee is headed up by Mr. Harlan D. Calkins, CEO of Rochester Midland Corporation. It also includes former RIT president Al Simone. (See Website for brief bios of our Steering Committee Members).  The Center’s Strategic Plan includes an annual symposium open to the public on a topic related to statesmanship, law, and liberty. Our First Annual Symposium this past April featured award winning author Allen C. Guelzo who spoke on “Lincoln’s Statesmanship on the Emancipation Proclamation.”

ACTA includes our Center as an “oasis of excellence”!!! The American Council of Trustees & Alumni (ACTA) is an independent, non-profit organization committed to promoting academic excellence in higher education. For many years, it has encouraged alumni and donors to support what it calls “oases of excellence”—programs like our Center that promote the study of Western civilization, political theory, economics, leadership, and the Great Books. ACTA has now launched an online directory of over 50 “oases of excellence,” and the Center for Statesmanship, Law, and Liberty is among the programs it features! This directory will encourage ACTA friends and the interested public to learn about and support our Center. Here is a link to ACTA’s latest press release about the launch of the “oases of excellence” initiative, http://www.goacta.org/news/actas_new_oases_of_excellence_directory_will_help_alumni_support_academic_e

2015 Symposium: Security, Liberty, and PrivacyApril 8-9, 2015Keynote Speaker Richard A. Clarke at Ingle Auditorium @ 7: 00.     

Richard A. Clarke was former U.S. chief counter-terrorism advisor under both the Clinton and Bush administrations, contributor to the 9/11 report, and the most recent NSA reports. He is the bestselling author Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror and Cyberwar. The following day April 9th guest speakers and panelists will debate the issue of where to draw the line between security and privacy/liberty. Open to the public.

Dr. Fornieri’s Virtual Book Signing: Webcast July 19, 2014. Tune in for a virtual book signing/live webcast of Director Joseph R. Fornieri speaking on his latest book, Abraham Lincoln, Philosopher Statesman in Chicago on Saturday July 19th. Here is the link. The talk will be broadcast live at 12:00pm and then maintained on this internet website, . Open to the public.

Constitution Week, Sept. 17th & 18th.

  • September 17th. The Center is proud to host The David Aldrich Nelson Lecture on Constitutional Jurisprudence, which is held every year on September 17, Constitution Day, and generously supported by the Hamilton Institute. The event will take place in Bldg. 8 College of Science, Room 1250 @ 7:00. Our Keynote Speaker is Bruce Frohnen who will lecture on the timely topic of “The Constitution and Religious Liberty.” There will be a subsequent panel discussion led by myself and my colleague, professor Lauren Hall, on the two most recent Supreme Court cases involving religious liberty, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, 2014 and the local case of Town of Greece v. Galloway, 2014 Q&A to follow. Open to the public.
  • September 18thRIT’s 10th Annual Constitution Day Lecture, hosted by the RIT Political Science Department. Time and place TBA.  Bruce Frohnen will join us once again this time on the topic of “Virtue, Statesmanship, and the Constitution.” His lecture will be based on his latest book, Constitutional Morality and the Rule of Law: Norms, Structure, and the Problem of Powerto be published by Harvard University Press in 2015.  Open to the public.

Advanced Placement Seminar, Winter, 2015. This winter (date and time TBA) we are holding an intensive one day AP Seminar, which will be taught by faculty from RIT, SUNY Brockport, and SUNY Geneseo to help prepare local High School Students for the Advanced Placement Exam and for college. The event will include lectures, seminar discussion, analysis of key primary sources in American history and government, and Q&A. Invitations will be sent out to local high schools. Tell your teacher friends!!

Please feel free to provide us with suggestions about how we may best fulfill our mission. And please spread the word. We appreciate your interest and support.