Interns Engage with Conservative Principles

Each summer, the Kirk Center welcomes a group of interns from the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty to an intellectual retreat to focus on first principles. This July, Acton interns gathered in the Kirk library for a seminar titled “Politics, Economics, and History: An Introduction to Contemporary Conservatism.” The interns heard from senior fellow Bruce Frohnen during the morning session on “Principled Conservatism as the Basis for Good Public Policy.” Dr. Frohnen wove into his talk many experiences and illustrations from Russell Kirk’s life with which most of the interns were unfamiliar. Over lunch at the Kirk home, the group enjoyed continuing this conversation with Annette Kirk.

The afternoon session was led by senior fellow Gleaves Whitney who considered “The Roots of American Order and the Contemporary Challenge to America’s Founding.” This provoked thoughtful and important questions from the students who are fully engaged with the current intellectual trends and seek to draw upon the best of conservative ideas to aid them in both their work and personal conversations.

Before driving back to Grand Rapids, the staff and interns stopped by the Mecosta Book Gallery to acquire some hard-to-find used books. This has become an enjoyable tradition for them to conclude a memorable day.

“It was a great learning experience and I have a much greater appreciation for the history of American conservatism.”


“Loved it! Great people and conversations.”


“Amazing–the environment (both physically and intellectually)–is second to none.”


– Acton Institute Interns

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