Reunions 2024 Schedule of Events

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Great Minds Matter: Western Civilization and the Liberal Arts

May 24 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Ben Sasse Event

McDonnell Hall
Room A02

A Princeton University Reunions lecture with Ben Sasse, President of the University of Florida and former United States Senator from Nebraska, in conversation with Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program.

The James Madison Program is honored to welcome to Princeton Ben Sasse, Ph.D., President of the University of Florida and former United States Senator from Nebraska, for a public discussion with Professor Robert George of the opportunities and challenges facing American higher education. Among the topics to be explored are: the mission of liberal arts colleges and universities, the scope and limits of academic freedom, the importance of equal opportunity, viewpoint diversity, ideological non-partisanship, and the maintenance of intellectual excellence and integrity.

Ben Sasse joined the University of Florida as a professor and 13th president of the 170-year-old institution in February 2023. A husband, father, historian, Uber driver, and football addict, Ben is committed to guiding Gator Nation through this era of rapid change in the nature of work, technology, and higher education.

As the leader of Florida’s flagship land-grant university, Ben has moved swiftly to cultivate fresh leadership, construct a UF-wide strategic planning initiative, and ground UF’s priorities in making the highest and best use of public funds. He has sought to establish goals that are critical to Gators and the state: more applied research, more focus on lifelong learning for students, and faster, more nimble engagement with exceptional partners.

Twice elected to the United States Senate and a two-time New York Times national best-selling author, Ben’s career has spanned the private and public sectors. Passionate about education and teaching, Ben taught at Yale University, the University of Texas, and Midland University in his Nebraska hometown. Professor Sasse has won teaching awards and holds a history Ph.D. from Yale, where his dissertation won both the Egleston and Theron Rockwell Field best dissertation prizes.

Ben and his wife, Melissa, have two college-age daughters and a younger son. Ben, Melissa, and Breck live on campus with multiple dogs and Breck’s lizard, Dart, who is delighted to call humid subtropical Gainesville home.

Contributions to and/or sponsorship of any event does not constitute departmental or institutional endorsement of the specific program, speakers or views presented.

Sponsored by the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions


May 24
11:00 am - 12:30 pm


McDonnell Hall, Room A02
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08540 United States
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(609) 258 - 3000