Too many students graduate — whether from high schools, colleges, or universities — without the job skills needed to compete in our knowledge-based economy. Worse, many students lack basic information on the foundations of our free and civil society, the very concepts that allow our republican form of government to function and our nation to flourish.
The John William Pope Foundation believes that Americans have a duty to teach the next generation about the West’s rich tradition of liberty. We support educational institutions, academic centers, student groups, and national organizations that achieve those ends.
But ensuring that future generations are taught about the blessings of freedom isn’t enough. The Pope Foundation also believes in impacting education for the current generation — creating educational excellence for today. That’s why we support public policy organizations such as the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, a nonprofit whose goal is to improve higher education in North Carolina and around the country. The Foundation also contributes regularly to the Institute for Humane Studies, a national organization that assists undergraduates, graduate students, and scholars worldwide in becoming advocates for freer societies.
Pictures of the John W. Pope Student-Athlete Academic Support Center at Kenan Stadium
A key way that the Foundation meets its goal of impacting current students, and future generations of learners, is through academic centers. These include the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics program at UNC-Chapel Hill; the Economic, Legal, and Political Foundations of Free Societies program at N.C. State University; the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University; and the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism.
These centers provide a needed freedom-centric perspective that is often overlooked in the classrooms of higher learning.
- The primary goal of educational institutions is to encourage critical thinking, scholarly inquiry, and responsible teaching, not to indoctrinate students in a particular worldview.
- Schools, colleges, and universities should be strongholds of intellectual diversity, including the philosophies of economic freedom and prosperity.
- Educational institutions have a duty to provide value to their customers, the students.
- Philanthropists and alumni ought to be keenly interested in supporting our nation’s academic institutions.
The Foundation invests in over a dozen entities that foster the founding principles of freedom in the educational sphere. Gifts to these groups have totaled nearly $16 million during the last 25 years. Examples of other organizations that we support include:
- John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy
- Institute for Humane Studies
- Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at UNC-Chapel Hill
- Economic, Legal, and Political Foundations of Free Societies
- Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University
- Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism
- The Fund for American Studies
- The Foundation for Economic Education
The Pope Foundation also supports the capital needs of area universities. In 2011, the Foundation gave a $3 million gift to UNC-Chapel Hill to create the John W. Pope Student-Athlete Academic Support Center as part of the renovation of Kenan Stadium. In 2009, the Foundation completed the final installment of a $4.5 million grant to complete the John William Pope Jr. Convocation Center at Campbell University. The same year, the Foundation committed $1.2 million to complete the renovation of Campbell’s law-school building in downtown Raleigh.
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