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Programs of the Academy

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Liberty Studies Program

class photo of Liberty Study students

The visionary efforts of the Academy’s donors and faculty have led to the creation of a unique program in Liberty Studies that exists nowhere else in the world. This program provides students with a strong and challenging array of educational opportunities from new courses, study abroad programs, intensive weekend seminars and student groups. These opportunities help students from all fields learn about the importance of liberty, free markets, and limited government as part of their broader educational program. Students can now, for the first time ever, receive an official university undergraduate minor in Liberty Studies as part of their formal degree program. High School teachers and others can even pursue a master’s degree focusing on Liberty Studies to help reach students at all levels and ages. The great strides that have been made are only the beginnings of what is possible with visionary donor leadership and support. We can build the Liberty Studies program into a world-class center for students in Illinois and around the country to supplement their education with a strong foundation in liberty.

Annual Symposia

Steve Moore lecturing

The Academy supports an annual major lecture by a significant scholar or opinion leader to provide provocative and educational commentary on ideas critical to current events, human well-being and American society. These events are open to and well attended by students, faculty and the broader community. Learn more about past Annual Symposia.


Lincoln-Douglas Debate Series

Illinois debate speaker

To encourage lively and constructive interaction and debate between a broad spectrum of ideas the Academy supports a Lincoln-Douglas Debate Series which features prominent scholars and idea leaders addressing prominent controversial issues. Learn more about past Lincoln-Douglas Debates


Lectures and Visitors

Visiting lecturer

To support world class educational opportunities throughout the year the Academy provides support to faculty to help bring guest speakers, teachers and lectures into classrooms, student groups and special meetings on campus and in the community. These speakers are often 'real-world' experts on topics students are studying and provide students the opportunity to hear directly from practitioners how the ideas they are learning in the classroom apply in business, policy, or non-profit arenas. Learn more about past visiting speakers.


Study Abroad

Study abroad group of students

A world class education is expected to include an understanding of other cultures, institutions, economies and societies. By supporting study abroad programs the Academy helps ensure students are exposed first-hand to the outcomes and controversies that result from different political and economic systems and help them gain better perspectives on issues relevant to their lives and futures in the US and around the world. Learn more about study abroad programs.