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Center for Freedom & Western Civilization Events

Fall 2016

Archive of Past Events

Click a semester below to see the events that took place on campus.
Spring 2016
EuroSim Confrerence 2016, Antwerp, Belgium
January 3-8, 2016

Co-sponsored a delegation of ten students to participate in Eurosim, a model UN-like simulation.

“Drone Warfare and its Implications for Upstate New York”
March 21, 2016 at 4:30 pm at the Palace Theater, Hamilton

Symposium featuring Major General Charles Dunlap, USA (ret.), Duke University Law School; Professor Daniel Brunstetter, UC Irvine; and Professor Nicholas Rostow, Charles Evans Hughes Professor of Jurisprudence, Colgate University. Co-sponsored with the Upstate Institute, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Political Science.

“Undercover Jihadi: My Journey from Radicalism Back to Islam”
March 31, 2016 at 4:30 pm in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27

Lecture by Mr. Mubin Shaikh, Master of Policing, Intelligence & Counter Terrorism (MPICT), Macquarie University, Canada; Subject Matter Expert (SME) for Tactical Decision Making Research Group, University of Liverpool. Co-sponsored with Political Science.

EVENT CANCELLED (to be rescheduled in the Fall 2016)
“Strategic Implications of Enhanced Russia-China Relations”
April 11, 2016 at 4:30 pm in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27

Lecture by Professor Lyle Goldstein, China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI), U.S. Naval War College. Co-sponsored with the Program on Security and Democracy.

Conference “Tolerance, the Constitution, and the Limits of an Open Society”
April 14-16, 2016 at the Turning Stone Resort, Verona

Keynote speaker: Dr. Roger Pilon, Vice President for Legal Affairs, Cato Institute and Publisher, Cato Supreme Court Review. Co-sponsored with The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, Clinton.

Applications for Summer Fellows –
Madison Fellows and Stone Fellows in Prague, Czech Republic
DEADLINE: April 15, 2016

“How To Do The Most Good”
April 19, 2016 at 4:30 pm in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27

Lecture by William MacAskill, Tutorial Fellow in Philosophy, Lincoln College, University of Oxford.
Co-sponsored with the Program on Economic Freedom.

“The Islamic State's Erasure of Cultural Memory and the Manipulation of Cultural Identity in Syria and Iraq”
April 21, 2016 at 4:30 pm in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27

Lecture by Michael Danti, Academic Director University of Pennsylvania Museum and The American Schools of Oriental Research, Boston University. Co-sponsored with the Program on Western Art and Culture.
Fall 2015
September 11, 2015, 12:30-2:00 pm, Persson Auditorium
Iran and the Bomb: Assessing the Iranian Nuclear Deal
Robert Gallucci, Georgetown University and former U.S. ambassador
Mark Dubowitz, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Followed by a catered lunch in 108 Persson Hall

Constitution Day Debate
September 17, 2015 @ 4:15 pm, Persson Auditorium
Sexual Assault and Due Process:
Vindicating or Violating the Constitution on College Campuses?
Stuart Taylor, Brookings Institute
Wendy Murphy, New England Law School, Boston

September 28, 2015 @ 4:30 pm, Persson Auditorium
Afghanistan and its Region after the U.S. Combat Role
Barnett Rubin, New York University

October 15, 2015 @ 7:00-9:30 pm, The Palace Theater, 19 Utica Street, Hamilton
The Common Core: Is It Good for Students and Teachers?
A Public Debate About Education
John Palmer, Colgate University
Sue Lehmann, Hamilton Central School
Jennifer McDowell, Norwich High School
Mary Grabar, Alexander Hamilton Institute
Gary Weeks, Sherburne-Earlville School (retired)
Open to the public with free refreshments served at 7:00pm

October 22, 2015 @ 4:30 pm, Persson Auditorium
Between the Television and the Fridge:
Continuities and Transformations in Russian Public Life After Socialism
Olga Shevchenko, Williams College

October 28, 2015 @ 4:30 pm, Persson Auditorium
The Irish Debt Crisis: Origins and Lessons for the Future
Roisin O’Sullivan, Smith College

November 9, 2015 @ 4:30 pm, Persson Auditorium
The Ukrainian Famine as World History
History Department Reading Lecture
Timothy Snyder, Yale University
Spring 2015
“Are You Baffled?: Race, Law Enforcement, and Civil Rights in the U.S.”
Feb. 19, 2015 at 4:30 pm in Love Auditorium, 300 Olin Hall

Lecture by Juan Williams, Fox News Analyst, former NPR Analyst, and best-selling author. Co-sponsored with the Brothers, College Republicans, College Democrats, SGA, ALANA, and the offices of the Dean of Faculty and the President.

“From Colgate to Washington to the Front Page: two recent grads working to root out waste, fraud, and abuse in Afghanistan reconstruction”
April 2, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27
Lecture by Parker Laite ’06 and Justin Markley ’14, Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). Co-sponsored with Project Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan and its Region after the U.S. Combat Role”
April 13, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27

Lecture by Barnett Rubin, Senior Fellow and Director of CIC's Afghanistan Pakistan Regional Program, New York University. Co-sponsored with Project Afghanistan.

“The Islamic Theology of Human Rights and Politics of Sharia”
April 20, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. in Golden Auditorium, 105 Little Hall

Lecture by Abdullahi an-Naim, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law, Emory University. Co-sponsored with the Political Science Department, Kulla Fund, and MIST.

“Homer and the Foundation of Classical Civilization”
April 23, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27

Lecture by Peter Ahrensdorf, James Sprunt Professor of Political Science, Davidson College. Co-sponsored with the Program on Classical Studies.

Civic Freedom Awards to be presented
May 16, 2015
Fall 2014
Sept. 11, 2014 at Noon on the Colgate Memorial Chapel Steps
9/11 Remembrance and Chapel Prayer Service
Constitution Day Debate

“NSA Surveillance: A Violation of the Fourth Amendment?”
Sept. 17, 2014 at 4:30 pm in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27

Debate with David Cole, George J. Mitchell Professor, Georgetown University Law Center and Gus Coldebella ’91, Partner, Goodwin Procter, Former General Counsel, Department of Homeland Security.  Co-sponsored with the Program on Constitutional Government.

“The Islamic State: Imminent Danger or Over-Hyped Threat”
Sept. 22, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. in Love Auditorium, Olin Hall

Lecture by Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, former coordinator for counterterrorism at the US Department of State; currently the Director of the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College. Co-sponsored with Project Afghanistan, IR Program, IRC, PCON, and MIST.

"Governance vs. Government in Afghanistan”
Oct. 1, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27

Lecture by Thomas Barfield, Professor of Anthropology, and Director of the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies & Civilization, Boston University. He currently serves as president of the American Institute for Afghanistan Studies. Co-sponsored with Project Afghanistan.

“The U.S. Senate: Its Special Role in American Politics”
Oct. 16, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. in 105 Lawrence Hall

Lecture by Alan S. Frumin ’68, Former Chief Parliamentarian of the United States Senate.

“Immigration and Prosperity in the United States”
Nov. 10, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27

Lecture by Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative. Co-sponsored with the Program on Economic Freedom.

“Spartans at War: The Historians Debate Thermopylae and The 300”
Nov. 17, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27

Lecture by Professor Chris Carey, Professor of Greek, University College London. Co-sponsored with the Program on Classical Studies.

Open discussion of Professor Barry shain’s new book: The Declaration of Independence in Historical Context
Dec. 2, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. in 108 Persson Hall

Join us for a free wheeling debate on the Declaration of Independence with Professor Barry Shain, Political Science Department, Colgate University. Professor Sanford Levinson, W. St. John Garwood & W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair; Professor of Government, University of Texas Law School.  Professor Robert Martin, Department of Government, Hamilton College. Professor Robert Kraynak, Director, Center for Freedom & Western Civilization, Colgate University.
Spring 2014
Martin Luther King Day Workshop
“Letter from a Birmingham Jail: MLK’s Theology of Social Justice and Christian Natural Law”
Jan. 20, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. in ALANA Multipurpose Room
Lecture and discussion by Robert Kraynak, Director of the Center for Freedom.

“Presidential Elections, Security Transition, and Peace Process in Afghanistan”
Feb 10, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27
Lecture and discussion by Nargis Nehan, former official in the Afghan Finance Ministry, Ministry of Higher Education, and Ministry of Women's Affairs; currently Executive Director of the NGO "Equality for Peace and Democracy." This is the first of two lectures co-sponsored with Project Afghanistan

“State Institutions, Civil Society, and the Future of Women in Afghanistan”
Feb. 11, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. in Lathrop Hall, Room 207
Second lecture by Nargis Nehan. Co-sponsored with Project Afghanistan

Skidmore Conference for Undergraduate Research Papers
March 28-29, 2014 at Skidmore College
The Center for Freedom will sponsor David Poortinga, Colgate Political Science honors student, who will present his honors thesis on “Lincoln’s Political Ideals.”  Co-sponsored with Skidmore, Hamilton College, Notre Dame, RIT, and Princeton Centers.

AHI Conference
“War and The West: The Strategic Situation Past, Present, and Future”
April 3-5, 2014 at the Turning Stone Casino with Panel Discussions
Co-sponsored with the Alexander Hamilton Institute and the Center for Freedom, with participation by Professors Douglas Macdonald and Robert Kraynak.

“Lincoln’s Statesmanship”
April 9, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27
Lecture by noted Lincoln scholar, Allen Guelzo, Luce Professor of the Civil War Era, Director, Civil War Era Studies Program, at Gettysburg College.

“American Politics and the Need for Resolute Leadership”
April 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm in Colgate Memorial Chapel
Lecture by Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City.
Tickets available at the Colgate Bookstore.  Doors open at 4:30 pm. 

Civic Freedom Awards to be presented
May 17, 2014

“The Role of Religion in a Free Society”
May 31, 2014
Reunion lecture by Robert Kraynak
Fall 2013
“Interpreting the Constitution: Originalism vs. The Living Constitution?”
September 17, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27

Constitution Day debate between law professors, Bruce Frohnen of Ohio Northern College of Law and David Strauss of University of Chicago Law School. Discussion of the two leading schools of interpretation – following the original intention of the founders or the evolution of a living constitution beyond originalism? Co-sponsored with the Colgate political science department and the Program in Constitutional Government.

“Homecoming: Friends of the Center Breakfast and Board Meeting”
September 21, 2013 at 9 a.m. (Saturday breakfast) and 10 a.m. board meeting in Persson Hall 133.

Invitation to all “Friends of the Center” among the alumni supporters who wish to join us for a discussion of the campus intellectual climate and the future of the Center. Breakfast provided for all guests here for homecoming. RSVP Cindy Terrier at

“Human Life and Human Dignity in Catholic Social Teaching”
September 23, 2013 at 12:10 – 1:20 p.m. in the Chapel Basement.

Luncheon discussion of The Gospel of Life in relation to human life issues and the dignity of the human person by Professor Robert Kraynak and Colgate students Santina Scarcella ‘14 and Eric Lindley ‘16. Co-sponsored with the Colgate Newman Society.

“Counterinsurgency: Assessing Military Strategies in Iraq and Afghanistan”
October 22, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27

Lecture and discussion with US Army Colonel Gian Gentile, professor of history at West Point and author of the controversial book, “Wrong Turn: America’s Deadly Embrace of Counterinsurgency (2013)”. Co-sponsored with Project Afghanistan.

“Democracy and Terrorism: The View from Israel and Beyond”
October 28, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27

Lecture and discussion by Professor Kraynak on FDD conference in Israel to study democracy and terrorism. Includes pictures and accounts of group visits to Israeli military bases, counter terrorism units, maximum security prisons, and border security checkpoint and interviews with official personnel. Analysis of the strategies of democratic societies for dealing with the terrorist threat. Co-sponsored with the Colgate IR program.

“Debating Hillary: Her Record and Her Colgate Speech”
Oct 29, 2013 at 11:30am – 1 p.m. in Persson Hall 108,

Brown-bag luncheon discussion of Hillary Clinton’s visit to the Colgate campus on Friday, Oct 25 and free-wheeling debate about her speech, and an assessment of her record overall. Open to all Colgate students, faculty, and staff who wish to come and discuss Clinton’s controversial life, record, and speech at Colgate. Free Lunch provided to all participants. Co-sponsored by the College Republicans and College Democrats.

“Top Secret America: Security, Surveillance, and Espionage in a Free Society at War”
November 13 at 4:30 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27.

Lecture and discussion by Professor Thomas Bruscino, associate professor of history at the US Army School of Advanced Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth, KA and author of “A Nation Forged in War: How World War II Taught Americans to Get Along”. Co-sponsored with the Colgate IR Program.
Spring 2013
“The Betrayal of Liberal Education”
February 21, 2013 at 4:15 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27
Lecture by Peter Berkowitz, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Chair, National Security & Law Task Force; & Co-Chair, Virtues of a Free Society Task Force. 

“Does Affirmative Action Hurt Those it Intends to Help?”
March 27, 2013 at 4:15 p.m. in Love Auditorium, 300 Olin Hall
Lecture by Richard Sander, UCLA Professor of Law, with commentary by Rhonda Levine, Professor of Sociology.  In a series of articles in Stanford Law Review, Yale Law Journal, and North Carolina Law Review, Sander argues that race preferences impose unexpected but substantial costs on their intended beneficiaries. In 2012, he, with Stuart Taylor, co-authored Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won't Admit It (Basic Books, 2012).  Co-sponsored with The Institute for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and the Arnold Sio Chair on Diversity and Community.

"Beyond 2014: The Afghan National Security Forces After NATO
March 28, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27
Lecture by Candace Rondeaux, Candace Rondeaux is a research fellow at the Center on National Security at Fordham University Law School. Her work focuses on international law, security and counterterrorism policy in South and Central Asia. She is currently working on a book about the Afghanistan National Security Forces. Co-sponsored with Project Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan Reconstruction: Prospects for a Sustainable Future”
April 15, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27
Lecture by Parker Laite ’06, senior program analyst at the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). SIGAR is a watchdog agency responsible for safeguarding U.S. reconstruction funds spent in Afghanistan. To date, this work has included reviews of U.S. programs related to local governance and community development, infrastructure development, and counternarcotics.  Parker holds a M.A. in International Affairs from Georgetown University (2010), and a B.A. from Colgate University (2006) in German.  Co-sponsored with Project Afghanistan.

“What Is a Civilizational Struggle: The Work of Samuel Huntington”
Sixth Annual Carl B. Menges Colloquium: Samuel Huntington and the Clash of Civilizations

April 18-20, 2013, Turning Stone Resort, 5218 Patrick Road Verona, New York
A major colloquium devoted to the theme of civilizational struggle in the work of Samuel Huntington, one of the most influential political scientists of his generation. Dr. James Kurth, Claude Smith Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College and one of Samuel Huntington's former students, will keynote.

Co-Sponsors: Robert Kraynak, Professor of Government and Director, Center for Freedom and Western Civilization, Colgate University Robert L. Paquette, Co-Founder, Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization

“Liberty Defined: The Future of Freedom”
Congressman Ron Paul
April 24, 2013 at 5 p.m. in the Colgate Memorial Chapel

Admission by ticket only.
Ron Paul ran unsuccessfully for president in 2012, 2008 (both times as a epublican) and in 1988 (as a Libertarian). At last year's Republican National Convention Paul received 190 delegates. Before running for president, Ron Paul served in Congress from 1976-1977, 1979-1985, and 1997-2013.  Congressman Paul graduated from Gettysburg College and Duke University Medical School. He served in the Air Force and worked as an obstetrician/gynecologist before getting into politics. He has long been a critic of the federal government, especially on the topics of the economy, foreign policy, the war on drugs and other domestic social policies. His son Rand Paul is a senator from Kentucky.  Sponsored by Colgate University's College Republicans; The Institute for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics; The Budget Allocation Committee; Students for a Sensible Drug Policy; and The Colgate Entrepreneur’s Club

Fall 2012
"Obamacare before the Court: Was the Robert's Decision Right?"
September 17 at 4:15 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27
Constitution Day Debate on the Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of the natural health insurance law.

"Maternal Health Care in Afghanistan"
September 24 at 4:30 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27
Lecture by Ann Lin, advisor to Afghanistan's Ministry of Health and assistant director of Johns Hopkins Medicine International will discuss the health care structure in Afghanistan and the conditions of maternal and child health.

"The Senate Today: Would the American Founders Approve?"
October 2 at 4:15 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27
Lecture by Alan Frumin '68, the official U.S. Senate Parliamentarian for twenty years. He will explain how the Senate was envisioned by the Founders and how it works or doesn't work today. The Edgar Shor Memorial Lecture, co-sponsored with PPE, the Political Science Department, and the Colgate Washington D.C. Study Group. 

"Thomas Jefferson and the Power of Ideas in Politics"

October 13 at 5:00 p.m. at 20 Utica Street, the downtown Hamilton Center for Arts and Culture
Lecture by Robert Kraynak, Colgate University, on Thomas Jefferson's three great accomplishments – the Declaration of Independence, the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom, and the founding of the University of Virginia – and what they teach us about the power and weakness of ideas in politics. Sponsored by Great Mind Series.

"The 2012 Elections and the Future of American Politics"
October 26 at 4:30 p.m. in Love Auditorium, Olin Hall
Lecture by Monica Crowley '90, Fox News Commentator, on the presidential and national elections, followed by a student panel of College Democrats, Republicans, and Democracy Matters members.

"American Military Strategy in Afghanistan"
October 29 at 4:30 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27
Major Fernando Lujan, U.S. Army Special Forces, will discuss the problems and perils of American military strategy in the Afghan war. Co-sponsored with Project Afghanistan.

"The Religious Beliefs of the American Founders"
November 15 at 4:30 p.m. in Persson Hall Auditorium, Room 27
Lecture by Gregg Frazer, professor of history at Masters College, CA will discuss his new book on the religious beliefs of the American founding fathers.

Spring 2012
"Irregular Warfare and Counterinsurgency"
Lecture by Major Fernando Luján

Army special forces officer Major Lujan is an expert in counterinsurgency assigned to Afghanistan. He will be discussing the new and innovative strategies for fighting the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan as the US pursues its strategic objectives in the years ahead.

"The Inner-City Citizen"
Lecture and panel discussion with Professor Glenn Loury
One of the greatest challenges to American democracy is bringing the urban poor and alienated youth of our inner cities into responsible citizenship and the mainstream of American life. The distinguished scholar Glenn Loury will discuss these problems in a lecture and panel discussion with Professors Maya Beasley and Alicia Simmons. This symposium is dedicated to the late Arnie Sio, Colgate professor of sociology for many years.

"Political Legitimacy in Afghanistan: 1500-2012"
Lecture by author, Professor Thomas Barfield

The United States’ military strategy in Afghanistan is linked to stable political rule – but how realistic is that political goal in the light of Afghan history? Best-selling author and writer Thomas Barfield will discuss these problems and his new book on the political prospects for stability in that country.

“The Natural Law Tradition: Moral Foundations for a Just Society”
A conference on the natural law principles of a just society as they have developed over the centuries from classical and Biblical sources and been applied to modern democratic societies. Co-sponsored by Colgate’s Center for Freedom and Western Civilization and the Alexander Hamilton Institute of Clinton, N. Y. Featured speakers are Proferssor Robert Kraynak of Colgate, David and Mary Nichols of Baylor University, and legal scholar Martha Martini.
Fall 2011
"East Asia and the West: A Long Interregnum" 
Lecture by Bilahari Kausikan of Singapore

Bilahari Kausikan served as Second Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Singapore and as ambassador to Russia and the U.N. He will be discussing the complex history of East – West relations.

"Democracy for the Rich? -­‐ Corporations and Electoral Speech"
Constitution Day Debate with Brad Smith and Michael Waldman

Brad Smith is former Commissioner of the Federal Elections Commission, and Michael Waldman is Executive Director of the Brennan Center, New York University Law School. They will be debating the constitutional issues and court cases that have given corporations the right to spend their money in elections.

"The Making of a Saint: The Story of John Paul II"
Lecture by George Weigel

George Weigel is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington DC. He will be discussing the life of John Paul II and how one becomes a saint in the modern world. Co-­‐sponsored with Colgate's Newman Society, the Religion Department, and local community.

"Afghanistan: What Happened, What's Next in the War"
Lecture by Kim Barker
Kim Barker is the author of the best-­‐selling book Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She will be discussing the war in Afghanistan and the prospects for American policy in that troubled land.

"The Economic Crisis of Our Time: The Great Recession of 2008-­‐2011"
Lecture by Greg Mankiw
Greg Mankiw is Professor of Economics at Harvard University and chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors 2003-­‐2005. He will be giving a major address on our economic problems, discussing the causes and possible cures for the current recession. Co-­‐sponsored with the Economics Department.