$150 – $25,000

14th Annual ATHENA Roundtable Conference & Philip Merrill Award Gala Dinner

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Reagan Building and International Trade Center

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20004

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ATHENA Roundtable Conference—"First Principles in Higher Education Leadership: Protecting Freedom, Safeguarding Value"

9:00 am - 3:30 pm

A continental breakfast will be served at 8:30 am.

Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center
The Rotunda, North Tower, 8th Floor
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004

PANELS:

Panel 1: Building a Culture of Free Expression on the American College Campus

For some time, instead of fostering the free exchange of ideas and robust debate, too many campuses have been roiled by the disinvitation of speakers, violent protests, classroom disruptions, “safe spaces,” and speech codes. And the problem is growing more severe. Can the freedom essential for liberal education survive the chilly—sometimes hostile—treatment given to opinions that question campus orthodoxies? How can higher education regain its birthright of the unfettered pursuit of truth? Our panelists will address the remedies and solutions that institutions urgently need to embrace.

Moderator: Megan McArdle, columnist, Washington Post. Speakers: Nadine Strossen, former president, ACLU, and New York University law professor; Eugene Volokh, UCLA law professor; David Blankenhorn, founder, Better Angels; and Paul Levy, former University of Pennsylvania trustee.

Panel 2: Safeguarding Value: What is Higher Ed Doing with Its Money?

Over the last two decades, college costs have risen exponentially, skyrocketing even faster than health care costs; and student debt has climbed to an all-time high. The fiscal model for both private and public higher education is clearly unsustainable, yet many institutions continue to operate in a business-as-usual mode, raising tuition year after year and ramping up administrative costs. Can higher education leaders stem the tide? What strategies are showing measurable success in restoring affordability for students and their families? Our panelists will probe root causes of the college cost explosion, and spotlight concrete measures that visionary leaders are taking to safeguard higher education’s value.

Moderator: Douglas Belkin, reporter, Wall Street Journal. Speakers: Mark Searle, University Provost and Executive Vice President, Arizona State University; The Honorable Hank Brown, former U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative, and president emeritus, University of Colorado; Jan Sullivan, Chair, University of Hawaii Board of Regents; and Armand Alacbay, Vice President, Trustee and Government Affairs, ACTA.

Lunch will be served after the panel discussions and feature the presentation of the Jerry L. Martin Prize for Excellence in Trusteeship to Paul Levy, former University of Pennsylvania trustee.

Panel 3: Transforming Higher Education through Targeted Philanthropy

While higher education receives over $40 billion in private philanthropy annually, many donors are deeply concerned about the state of the academy: declining standards, the erosion of academic freedom, and insufficient workplace skills of recent graduates. Can donor intervention restore excellence to undergraduate education and bolster free expression on campus? The panel will feature leaders in philanthropy, wealth management, and higher education who will discuss aligning donors’ philanthropic goals with opportunities to promote excellence on campus.

Moderator: Janet Lorin, reporter, Bloomberg News. Speakers: Andy Carroll, Senior Program Director, Exponent Philanthropy; Erin Hogan, Managing Director and Philanthropic Market Executive, U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management; and Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill, Executive Director, Fund for Academic Renewal.


Philip Merrill Award Gala Dinner

6:30 pm

Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center
The Pavilion, 2nd Floor

In the evening, we will honor the extraordinary accomplishments of Purdue University president Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., with the presentation of the Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education. President Daniels has been an ardent defender of free speech, and his innovative leadership has demonstrated that a great university can simultaneously lower costs, widen access, and strengthen teaching and learning.

Hotel Accommodations
JW Marriott
1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

A special rate of $199/night is available for conference attendees. Click here to book online, or call (202) 393-2000 and reference "American Council of Trustees and Alumni" or "ACTA." All reservations must be made by September 20.


Sponsorships and Tickets

For our gala dinner, ACTA is offering sponsoring tickets as well as table sponsorships at several levels. To learn more about the sponsorship opportunities listed above, please contact Ryan Sabot at rsabot@goacta.org or 202-467-6787.

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Reagan Building and International Trade Center

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20004

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