Ideas to Impact Blog

Dedication to the Formation of Informed and Capable Citizens

fehe-logoEstablished in 2012 as an independent, non-partisan, grant-making organization, the Foundation for Excellence in Higher Education (FEHE) funds and advises programs at elite universities where the next generation of cultural leaders are formed.

FEHE advances its mission of academic and cultural renewal through a network of twenty-eight programs and institutes at fourteen elite universities in the United States and the United Kingdom. One of the key impacts of this strategy is a rapidly growing network of young leaders who share a commitment to rigorous, civil, and open intellectual exchange across ideological differences.

In the 2022-23 academic year, FEHE’s network sponsored seventy-five for-credit courses for over 3,000 students and hosted over 1,200 events for over 25,000 attendees. Since each was held in a venue where the open exchange of ideas is often under attack, participants are producing world-class scholarship that challenges the mediocrity that is leading so many to despair of the future of higher education. And make no mistake: what happens on elite college campuses—good and bad—doesn’t end there. Perhaps more so than any other institution, the academy shapes our culture and institutions.

FEHE’s internal university programs are directed by select professors who teach for-credit courses and mentor students. Their external institutes draw scholars and students from their home universities, host academic programming and events, and support their internal programs. The model is based on the Witherspoon Institute, which was founded in 2003 by individuals associated with Princeton University’s James Madison Program. Recognizing the need for similar programs to be well-resourced at other elite institutions, FEHE grew to support such programs as the Abigail Adams Institute (Harvard), the Houston Institute (Rice), the Zephyr Institute (Stanford), and the Elm Institute (Yale).

In line with the Bradley Impact Fund’s commitment to developing informed citizens, FEHE is teaching rigorous scholarship, informed and civil debate, and intellectual courage. Fighting back against the Left isn’t a battle won overnight. An investment in FEHE is about winning the battle of ideas over the long term.

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