Ivy League College Senior Brought Conservatism 101 Course to Campus

September 26, 2012 | By Lauren Hart

Although Chicago native Terrence George is just a college senior, he’s become a leader in Rhode Island politics.

He was appointed to the Rhode Island Commission for National and Community Service, which oversees the state’s 11 AmeriCorps programs, volunteer center, programs staff, and a $4 million budget. He’s also on the Rhode Island Republican Party’s State Central Committee and Executive Committee.

Terrence is also chairman of the College Republican Federation of Rhode Island and a national board member on the College Republican National Committee, for which he serves on the Credentials committee.

On campus, Terrence is president of both the Alexander Hamilton Society and the Republican Club at Brown University. In his spare time, he enjoys debating, campaigning, and conducting legal research when not studying for his major—philosophy.

But, one way he’ll be remembered for years to come is how he began the first Conservatism 101 political science course at an Ivy League university.

“I started our class on conservatism at Brown University because I perceived a hole in our course offerings,” Terrence told the Leadership Institute. “Though I’ve taken classes that have given me overviews of liberal and Marxist thought, I had not encountered the works of conservative thinkers in any of my classes and I felt shortchanged.”

He continued, “As conservatism constitutes one of the two major currents in historical and contemporary American political thought, no education is complete sans basic knowledge of its dictates and origins. I often encounter students and professionals whose attempts to engage in political discourse are undercut by their lack of understanding the intellectual underpinnings of the framework from which they argue. Whether you are a TEA Partier or Occupier, professional commentator or armchair politico, a basic knowledge of political philosophy (including conservative political philosophy) will do you a world of good.”

Conservatism 101, a non-profit organization supported by the Leadership Institute and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, helps students, professors, and administrators introduce a for-credit course on conservative thought into their college curricula.

“My experience with the course was quite positive and other students seem to have shared a similar experience,” Terrence said. “Given the large amount of press attention we received, students all over campus were buzzing about the course.”

The Conservatism 101 course is an academically rigorous examination of the conservative intellectual tradition. The course highlights four areas of conservatism: traditional conservatism, libertarianism, social conservatism, and neo-conservatism.

“The Leadership Institute helped greatly in promoting the course to the public and arranged for me to be interviewed by NPR,
Glenn Beck, the Boston Globe, and others,” Terrence said.  “I have not yet started my professional journey in earnest, but when I do, I will look to the friends and resources I have found through LI for assistance.”  

Terrence has also attended the Leadership Institute’s CPAC Chicago Job and Internship Fair as well as LI’s 2010 CPAC Job and Internship Fair in DC.

“These events helped me learn about opportunities provided by employers in the conservative movement,” Terrence said. “The Leadership Institute serves as a great resource for young conservatives wanting to launch their careers.”

Come launch your career by registering for one of LI’s upcoming trainings here.

For more information on the Conservatism101 course, please go here.

Please welcome Terrence George as LI’s Graduate of the Week.

To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member to be featured as LI's spotlight of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.