News & Features
William E. Simon Foundation Adds to Public Policy Professorship
By Nate Ethell ('08)
The School of Public Policy has received an additional $150,000 in grant support from the William E. Simon Foundation to continue the foundation's named professorship. Created in 2005, the William E. Simon Distinguished Visiting Professorship enables the school to bring nationally recognized individuals to teach, and devote significant time as resident mentors to student scholars. This latest gift brings the Simon Foundation's generous campaign support to more than $735,000 for the School of Public Policy.
"Simon Professors dramatically enrich the student experience by exposing graduate students to extraordinary researchers and scholars who are well known and highly respected in their field," said James R. Wilburn (MBA '82), dean of the School of Public Policy. "The professorship allows the University and students alike to have a deeper, more meaningful experience with these educators, enlisting them to teach classes that are regularly part of the school's course offerings while also guiding research and other related assignments of full-time faculty."
Serving in the post for one semester or a full academic year, Simon Professors also prepare at least one lecture designed for the entire campus community while in residence. Past Simon Professors include celebrated academics Victor Davis Hanson, Steven F. Hayward, Wilfred McClay, Daniel Pipes, and Robert Tamura.
"I took Victor Davis Hanson's class, and I can truthfully say it was one of the best classes I've ever taken," said Tom Church (MPP '11), now a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. "There's a trinity that every student grades professors on: are they knowledgeable, are they interesting, and is their material relevant later in life? Professor Hanson was one of the few professors I've had who received top marks on each of these questions."
The William E. Simon Foundation supports programs designed to strengthen free enterprise and spiritual values of individual freedom, initiative, thrift, self-discipline, and faith in God. The foundation is named for its principal benefactor, American businessman and public servant William E. Simon, who also served as president of the John M. Olin Foundation for more than two decades.
The Simon Foundation made one of its first major gifts to the School of Public Policy as part of a joint gift funded with the Olin Foundation. Pepperdine friend William E. Simon, Jr., co-founder of William E. Simon & Sons, serves as the foundation's co-chairman.