Institute Programming

The Gary L. McDowell Institute hosts a wide variety of events for students, faculty, and the University community. Institute programming focuses on the history of ideas and stresses the importance of viewpoint diversity as a way of realizing the prospects of leadership.

Participants in the McDowell Student Fellows Program and faculty seminars discuss works that address the place of the classics in a liberal education, freedom of thought and expression, and potential solutions to social and political problems. The Institute is also home to a longstanding lecture series. Open to students, faculty, staff, and the larger Richmond community, the lectures feature some of the world's top scholars and most influential thinkers.

2022-23 Student Fellows Activities

Alison McQueen 2 Sept. 30, 2022
Meeting with Dr. Alison McQueen, followed by her public lecture
Reading: "The Wages of Fear" by Dr. Alison McQueen
Greek Theater Oct. 18, 2022
Dinner and discussion at the Jenkins Greek Theatre
Reading: "Apologyby Plato
Alice Dreger Oct. 24, 2022
Jepson Leadership Forum lecture "Free Speech and Open Inquiry in Higher Education" given by Dr. Alice Dreger
Seth Moulton Nov. 30, 2022
Jepson Leadership Forum lecture "U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan" given by Congressman Seth Moulton 
Rescuing Socrates Jacket Spring 2023
Bi-weekly meetings to discuss Dr. Roosevelt Montás' "Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation" in preparation for the author's March 16 visit.

2022-23 Faculty Workshops 

N Langlitz

Dec. 2, 2022 • 3 p.m.
Do We Need Less Moralistic Humanities? 
A faculty workshop led by Dr. Nicolas Langlitz, associate professor and chair of anthropology at The New School for Social Research, and Dr. Christopher von Rueden, associate professor of leadership studies at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond. 

2022-23 Public Lectures 

Roosevelt Montas

March 16, 2023 • 5 p.m.  
Lecture by Dr. Roosevelt Montás
Senior lecturer in American studies and English, Columbia University, and author of "Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation"

Alison McQueen

Sept. 30, 2022 • 4 p.m. • Ukrop Auditorium
Lecture titled "Realism, Ethics, and Catastrophe" by Dr. Alison McQueen 
Associate professor of political science and, by courtesy, of history,  Stanford University
Watch the video. Listen to the audio.

2023-24 Public Lectures 

Jason Riley

Sept. 28, 2023 • 5 p.m.
Lecture titled "Why Thomas Sowell Matters" by Jason L. Riley
Senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and columnist for the Wall Street Journal

Nov. 9, 2023 • 5 p.m.
Lecture titled "Don't Cancel the Classics, Broaden and Diversify Them" by Dr. Angel Adams Parham
Associate professor of sociology, University of Virginia

Zena Hitz

March 21, 2024  
Lecture by Dr. Zena Hitz 
Tutor at St. John’s College and author of "Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life"