Dear Friends of the Hamilton Society,
A few weeks ago, we were excited to learn that Joseph Riley, our chapter president at the University of Virginia and our longest-serving Hamilton student officer, has received the Rhodes Scholarship. We have been honored to work with students and professionals of Joe’s caliber during the last two years.
AHS has sponsored 160 events at 30 colleges and universities, as well as in New York City and Washington, D.C., with nearly 5,000 students, faculty, and professionals attending. During our second year, the number of our events increased by 88 percent, attendance by 130 percent, and the number of chapters which held events by 40 percent. Both the Wall Street Journal and Philanthropy magazine have noted our progress.
More important than the numbers, however, is the response to our programs from faculty, professionals, and students like Joe Riley.
A debate at Williams College on U.S. support for Israel drew nearly 150 students–almost 7 percent of the student body. Professor Steven David of Johns Hopkins, one of the participants, wrote: “This truly was an exceptional event. The air was electric with excitement and engagement. Questions were hard, but respectful. It was the model of what I believe a Hamilton event should be.”
No less impressive was a debate at Johns Hopkins on nuclear proliferation. Over 130 students heard Elbridge Colby, co-chair of the Hamilton Society’s Washington, D.C. professional chapter, debate Daniel Deudney, a popular international relations professor at JHU. As one student said after the event, “the debate was much more engaging than any I had been to before.”
Unfortunately, such thoughtful discussion of foreign and economic policy is in short supply at America’s universities. Students regularly report that Hamilton events are not only the best, but sometimes the only debates which take place at their colleges. It is not unusual for our events to draw 80 or more.
We have brought our program to universities and major cities, per person, for about what the typical college student spends on coffee each semester. As the philanthropist Roger Hertog–one of Hamilton’s founding supporters–has pointed out, “intellectual capital provides enormous bang for the buck.”
Nevertheless, the extraordinary growth in our program is pushing us to the limit of our resources. Students at a dozen more universities are asking to start Hamilton chapters, and we have the opportunity to begin professional chapters in several more cities.
Many of you have attended Hamilton professional events and benefitted from the outstanding program and network we have built. We ask you now to join our founding supporters by making a tax-deductible, year-end gift of $100 or $250. Help us to continue serving our members: professionals like you, and students as you were perhaps not long ago.
If you would like to discuss our progress and plans further, please let me know. On behalf of our Board of Directors, let me thank you in advance for your generosity.