More than 140 students, faculty, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and educational leaders, turned out for a fundraising dinner sponsored by the AHI at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino.  The founders preceded Professor John Stauffer’s keynote address by announcing several major educational intiatives:

1. Howard Morgan, Senior Managing Director of the investment firm Castle Harlan, played a crucial role in relocating the AHI after its collapse as an on-campus center at Hamilton College.  In recognition of Mr. Morgan’s efforts the founders of the AHI will hold in his name an annual event devoted to the study of financial markets and property rights in exploring the mysteries of economic development in Western and non-Western countries.

2.  David Aldrich Nelson recently retired as United States Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit.  Judge Nelson has proven to be a stalwart supporter of the AHI from its inception.  On Constitution Day, 17 September 2007, the founders unveiled the AHI to the public.  They proudly announce the creation of the David Aldrich Nelson Lecture in Constitutional Jurisprudence to be given annually at the AHI’s headquarters on Constitution Day.

3. The founders of the AHI aspire to stimulate original scholarship in areas that comport with the institute’s central concerns as identified in its charter.  Beginning in the fall, 2008, the AHI will offer a competitive fellowship to support original research in area archives and repositories such as the Clinton Historical Society, the Oneida County Historical Society, and the Loesch Special Collections & University Archives at Colgate University.  The recipient of this award, which will be named after E. M. (Peter) Bakwin, a distinguished graduate of Hamilton College and the University of Chicago, will receive a $1600 stipend for a one-month residence free of charge at the headquarters of the AHI.  The fellow will be lodged on the second floor in a special room named after Jane Fraser, a former member of Hamilton College’s board of trustees and a staunch support of the AHI and its mission of educational reform.  Ms. Fraser was recently named by the Non-Profit Times as executive of the year for her work with the Stuttering Foundation of America.

3. On April 10, John Stauffer of Harvard University provided the AHI with a dazzling keynote address, “Gerrit Smith and the Ambiguities of Social Reform,” which explored one of the most important and intriguing figures in the history of political abolitionism.  Professor Stauffer’s keynote address will be published by the AHI. It inaugurates an annual distinguished lecture series that will serve, in turn, to introduce a major two-day colloquium devoted to the theme of the previous night’s lecture.  The founders of the AHI proudly announce that both the lecture and the colloquium will be named after Carl B. Menges, a distinguished graduate of Hamilton College and former member of its board of trustees. It was Mr. Menges through his passionate interest in the history of American ideals and institutions who inspired the founders of the AHI to initiate construction of a center whose mission is to serve as a beacon light of scholarly excellence.