Center for Constitutional Liberty

The mission of the Center for Constitutional Liberty at Benedictine College is to renew and advance the understanding of the founding principles of the United States of America so that our nation’s unique experiment in self-government will inspire, inform and direct new generations of Americans.

With twice as many people retiring as there are graduating from college, the current generation of students is faced with the prospect of being thrust into leadership roles at all levels of society faster than ever before. Will they be prepared for such responsibility? The Center for Constitutional Liberty is Benedictine College’s way of reinforcing the connection between constitutional principles and civic virtue. By providing a deep understanding of fundamental principles along with highly developed skills of analysis and persuasion, the Center will give Benedictine graduates the tools they need to take their place as heirs to the founding fathers of this great nation.

“Love of the laws of our country…ought to be the principal business of education.”
—Thomas Jefferson

The Center will provide students and the broader public a chance to immerse themselves in the foundational principles and values of a free society through an interconnected series of field work, speakers, public outreach, scholarly effort and leadership development. The Center will focus its efforts on two crucial areas:

  • Fostering an understanding and love of the nation’s founding principles.
  • Forming the next generation of leaders with the knowledge and skills to successfully uphold American ideals.

At the Crossroads of America

You may wonder how Benedictine College, in the Midwest, relates to the founding of the nation with the 13 original colonies on the East Coast. There are a number of reasons:

  • Benedictine College and Atchison, Kansas, are located very near the geographic center of modern America’s contiguous 48 states.
  • On their expedition launched by President Thomas Jefferson following the Louisiana Purchase, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark celebrated the first Fourth of July in the west by shooting off a cannon at what they named Independence Creek, near the current site of Benedictine College on the bluffs above the Missouri River.
  • Half a century later, Abraham Lincoln visited Atchison as a campaign stop. It is the furthest west he ever traveled.
  • Atchison was at the forefront of the struggle for freedom in the years leading up to the Civil War.
  • A Pony Express town that became a railroad center, Atchison is also the birthplace of Amelia Earhart, famous aviation pioneer, and Jesse Stone, who created the rock’n’roll music genre. As such, the town is a symbol of America’s ingenuity and pioneering spirit.

Constitutional Liberty Speakers

The Center for Constitutional Liberty will host prominent scholars, journalists, pubic servants and world leaders to provide insight into the intersection of the pressing issues of the day and the enduring principles of self-government. These events are open to both the college community and the general public.

The Liberty Forum

The Liberty Forum is an academic symposium for scholarly analysis. The Center for Constitutional Liberty will host this annual forum annually and will invite scholars from a wide array of academic disciplines. This will provide a venue for academics around the country who share the mission of the Center to gather and share research.

Location