Annette Y. Kirk is president of the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal, director of its residential Fellows Program, and publisher of the journals The University Bookman and Studies in Burke and His Time. She also serves as an advisor to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
A native New Yorker, Mrs. Kirk moved to the village of Mecosta, Michigan in 1964 when she married Russell Kirk. While raising their four daughters and acting as lecture agent for her husband, she founded the Mecosta County Council for the Arts, and served for ten years as Chairman of the Mecosta County Board of Social Services.
Mrs. Kirk was a board member of the Midland Charter Initiative and the Education Freedom Fund, which awarded scholarships to low-income students in Michigan Schools. She served as an advisor to the Heritage Foundation’s Russell Kirk Memorial Lecture Series and was a member of the board of the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.
Annette Kirk received her Bachelor of Arts degree and an honorary doctor of letters from Molloy College. She taught English and Drama in a New York public high school and did graduate work in theater at Queens College, in literature at St. John’s University, and in education at Columbia University.
President Ronald Reagan appointed Annette Kirk to the National Commission on Excellence in Education, which in 1983 published the landmark report, A Nation at Risk, elevating educational issues to national prominence. Since then, she has encouraged our educational and political leaders to consider to what purpose we are educating our youth, and whether true education can exist without a moral dimension.
During her thirty-year marriage to Russell Kirk, they gave joint lectures, campaigned for political candidates, and hosted thousands of students at seminars held in The Russell Kirk Center library where Russell Kirk wrote almost all of his thirty-two books.
Selected lectures by Annette Kirk
- “Images for the Journey,” a commencement address for the Hillsdale Academy, June 6, 2004 (PDF, 400K).
- “What Conservatism Is For”: a luncheon talk at the Philadelphia Society, May 2004.
- “Life with Russell Kirk,” a lecture at the Heritage Foundation, November 1995