“I stumbled across AHI by way of a history course on the American South while in college. Professor Robert Paquette and I connected almost immediately (after he ripped my first paper apart with red ink, of course). Professor Paquette recognized my viewpoint and outlook on life, particularly the fact that I had been raised to value above all else family, community, and hard work. I found my somewhat traditional notions constantly downplayed, or even worse, I encountered classrooms and professors that made the unilateral assumption that no students held conservative beliefs.
Professor Paquette and AHI allowed me to express and expand on these beliefs, and even gave entrusted me with tools and backing of AHI in order to launch an entrepreneurship club. I truly appreciated this opportunity, as my interests and passions always pointed towards a career in entrepreneurship with a stress on self-reliance. AHI has continued to support me over the years, as I have taken on business challenges and continued my higher education. I will honestly and sincerely always hold the highest level of gratitude to AHI and its leaders.
-Anthony Balbo, Hamilton College, Class of 2013; J. D., Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Pace University
“The Alexander Hamilton Institute changed not just my career trajectory, but my outlook on the world. I received a superb, wide-ranging education during my undergraduate years, and I attribute as much–if not more–to the AHI than I do to my alma mater. Professor Chris Hill drew me in with his insightful and inspiring lectures in the first few weeks of my freshman year. I quickly met Professors Ambrose and Paquette, both of whom would become profoundly important mentors. The discussions I had with them and other AHI members and faculty still stick with me to this day. At the AHI I was taught not just to express a gut opinion but how to construct–and defend–an argument. The students I met there had an equally crucial effect on my life; some remain my closest friends today. The AHI was and is an educational institution of the highest order–but even more, it is a community and a family.”
-Dean Ball, Hamilton College, Class of 2014; Director, Adam Smith Society at Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
“I have attended all of the AHI [continuing education] classes since the autumn of 2010. They are currently taught by David Frisk, an organized and remarkable political science academic. My collegiate training had been in the sciences. Political science was a subject I and fellow biology majors sometimes regarded dismissively. Politics. Government. Nixon. It was the 70s. We were young and clearly poorly informed. Now, with some familiarity with the positive initiatives emerging from the AHI, an opportunity to be exposed to new subject matter in a casual way was enthusiastically embraced. Regular attendance at a class, of course, creates new and unexpected friendships. Classmates become familiar friends and there is pleasure each semester in seeing them again. At the end of a Monday we have something to look forward to, a class which feels as comfortable as a club.
The class structure includes a timely break after lecture and discussion. One can tell from the noise volume during breaks that multiple lively conversation on all manner of thing soccur. It would be an incorrect assumption to think the courses or the general mission of the AHI was anything other than being a place where alternative ideas are welcome and openly discussed. Indeed, thanks to the visionary founders of AHI, this community, local and surrounding, has much for which to be thankful.”
-Kit Blackmore, Veterinarian, Clinton, New York
“I have since completed my active duty service in the Marine Corps, and I will be attending law Georgetown University Law Center this coming August. I wanted to thank you again for your letter and your support. I fondly think back to your courses on the Early Republic and Slavery and the Civil War, and I hope to bring what I learned about eloquence and objectivity in those classes to my legal studies.”
-William Boudreau, Hamilton College, Class of 2014
“As is typical of new AHI Undergraduate Fellows, I came to my first AHI event during my Sophomore year at Hamilton with open eyes and ambiguous expectations. I had no idea that I was about to embark on a transformational growth experience that would arm me with knowledge, intellectual tools, and an ability to manage myself and others transcendent of what I believe to be typical for the undergraduate environment. The ideas, people and themes to which the AHI exposed me have prepared me to evaluate new ideas, both informative and artistic, in ways that I otherwise would never have approached. While college is a period of growth for everyone, I believe that AHI’s challenges made me a more courageous and intellectually honest person than I otherwise would have been. At an on-the-ground level, leadership positions within AHI student organization prepared me for the interpersonal dynamics and pressures of the workplace in ways that facilitated my transition out of college. I continue to root for the AHI from afar as post-collegiate life twists and turns.”
-P. C., Hamilton College, Class of 2014
“AHI stands out as a highlight of my time at Hamilton. What a singular place, and what luck I had wandering into its fold early in my college career. One appreciates things best in hindsight – I couldn’t fully know then how special it was being surrounded by the ferocious intellects of Professors Ambrose, Hill, and Paquette, to name a few. The environment was intellectually stimulating and nurturing. The point was to learn, not lecture; to prove, not pose. I learned to find my voice on topics I hadn’t previously considered, and learned so much simply by watching deeply intellectual people debate civilly about topics that meant the world to them.
AHI’s programming stood out for its intellectual depth and political diversity. The speakers, audiences, and ideas that AHI hosted were more diverse (really!) than most events I encountered up the Hill. To current students, I’d say attend at least one event, especially if you don’t think you’ll like it. Hamilton’s campus environment isn’t always conducive to new ideas or stimulating discussion – AHI is that place. AHI means a lot to me and still shapes my memory of Hamilton. I’ll always be grateful for having been a part.”