More than 230 supporters of The Fund for American Studies gathered at its annual conference on April 15 and 16 in Washington, D.C.
The welcome dinner was held on Thursday, April 15 at the Ritz-Carlton and keynote remarks were given by Dr. Charles Krauthammer, contributor to FOX News and publications such as The Weekly Standard, Inside Washington and The Washington Post.
Krauthammer gave a speech titled “American Exceptionalism in the Age of Obama,” which discussed America’s idea of liberty, how other countries are influenced by this liberty and how we need to sustain it in years to come.
Prior to Krauthammer’s address, Dr. Terrence Reynolds was given the 2010 Outstanding Professor Award. Reynolds teaches Ethical Perspectives on the Media to IPJ students. Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, received the 2010 David R. Jones Lifetime Service Award.
Dr. Reynolds serves as chairman of the department of theology at Georgetown University and has received other awards including the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Before his time with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, McPherson served as president of Michigan State University and chairman of the Board of Directors of Dow Jones and Company.
Conference sessions on Friday, April 16 began at The Society of the Cincinnati’s Anderson House. Participants enjoyed breakfast and private tours around the building which played a large part in George Washington’s life, as he was known as the “Cincinnatus of the West,” and elected the Society’s first president general, a position he held until his death in 1799.
Three alumni were presented with 2010 Alumni Awards during breakfast, as well.
Alumni Council Chairman Dan McConchie (J 93, A 95) presented the Alumni Achievement Award to the Honorable James Ritchie (E 83), the Kevin Burket Alumni Service Award to John Sweda (E 97) and the Young Alumni Award to Mary Ellen Burke (J 05).
The three recipients delivered inspiring speeches; all citing TFAS as the main reason they are in their current careers. In fact during his acceptance speech, Sweda said, “As I prepare for my next assignment overseas with the State Department I know that during those long days when I am homesick for my homeland, it is the Fund’s principles of liberty and democracy that will remind me of why I do the work that I do.”
Stephen F. Hayes, senior writer at The Weekly Standard, a FOX News contributor and former IPJ Director, then spoke to the audience.
Hayes is a regular member of the “FOX News All Stars” on Special Report with Bret Baier and a frequent panelist on FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He is also the author of two New York Times bestsellers, has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and National Review to name a few publications.
Conference participants then continued to learn about George Washington’s life with a trip to Mt. Vernon, where TFAS Senior Fellow Prof. Jim Otteson spoke, followed by John Marshall, the Mt. Vernon Guest Relations Manager.
After exploring all that Mt. Vernon had to offer, the group headed back to Washington and to the Center for Teaching Freedom, the newest TFAS building, for a special brick unveiling ceremony and champagne toast.
Those who donated bricks in 2009 for the Alumni Scholarship Fund found their personalized bricks in the patio; the celebration then moved across the street to TFAS Headquarters, 1706 New Hampshire Ave. where alumni enjoyed re-establishing connections from the past and making new acquaintances.
For more photos from the Annual Conference, view for the full slide show.