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.

2023-24 Public Lectures 

Zena Hitz

March 21
Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life

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

Jason Riley

Sept. 28 • 5 p.m. • Queally Center for Admission and Career Services
Why Thomas Sowell Matters
Jason L. Riley
Senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and columnist for the Wall Street Journal

Nov. 9 • 5 p.m. • Ukrop Auditorium
Don't Cancel the Classics, Broaden and Diversify Them  
Dr. Angel Adams Parham
Associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia
Watch the video. Listen to the audio.