Philanthropists | Liberal Arts

Annual ATHENA Roundtable & Philip Merrill Award Gala

DARE TO BE WISE: Enlightenment and the American College Campus
  • Date

    No date provided

  • Time

    9:00 AM - 9:30 PM

  • Location

    Ronald Reagan Building

    1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20004

ATHENA Roundtable Conference

DARE TO BE WISE: Enlightenment and the American College Campus

9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m
A continental breakfast and catered lunch will be served.
Ronald Reagan Building, The Rotunda, North Tower, 8th Floor 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20004

Join Professor Alan Kors, other higher education leaders, scholars, policy experts, and concerned trustees, alumni, and students at ACTA’s 2023 ATHENA Roundtable Conference, a discussion of the Enlightenment—a period that saw the birth of modern science, the creation of free markets, and the Founding of the United States of America. The conference will feature two panels: Enlightenment, Education, and Liberty, and Enlightenment on Campus in the 21st Century. A catered lunch will be served and will include the presentation of our 2023 Hero of Intellectual Freedom award.

Philip Merrill Award Gala

6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Cocktail Reception – 6:30 p.m.; Gala Dinner – 7:15 p.m.
Ronald Reagan Building, The Pavilion, 2nd Floor, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20004

ACTA will present our 18th annual Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education to Professor Alan Kors. A distinguished scholar of European history, an award-winning teacher, and the co-founder of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Dr. Kors is the embodiment of the qualities that the late Philip Merrill envisioned when he established this award—namely, an indefatigable dedication to teaching the humanities and transmitting the values of Western Civilization to the next generation. Tributes to Dr. Kors will be given by Princeton University Professor Allen Guelzo, Clemson University Professor Bradley Thompson, and Princeton University Professor Robert George.

For questions regarding the events or ticketing, please contact Hanna Hotes at or (202) 467-6787.


A special rate of $349/night for conference attendees is available at the JW Marriott across from the Reagan Building at 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20004. Book your reservations by copying the following link into your browser:


The annual ATHENA Roundtable provides an opportunity for ACTA’s patrons to sponsor the event. Contributors may purchase tables at the Merrill Award Gala and receive special recognition. Please contact Jimmy Lewis at for more information.


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Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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