On Thursday night, about 100 members of the campus and local community gathered in the Wortmann Ballroom for the first-ever David L. Guy Lecture Series event.
The lecture series, through Roanoke College’s Center for Economic Freedom, will bring speakers to campus to further the center’s goal of exploring the role of economic freedom and encouraging prosperity and growth, in a liberal arts setting.
The inaugural speaker was Stephen Moore, an economic writer and political analyst who has written for The Wall Street Journal and regularly appears on television. He focuses on issues of budget, tax, monetary policy and more, and recently advised President Donald Trump.
Moore’s talk was titled “Is Socialism Coming to America?” and focused largely on Moore’s view that the growth of government could be detrimental to the United States’ economy. The Young America’s Foundation co-sponsored the event alongside the Center for Economic Freedom, and the event was live-streamed for those who weren’t able to attend in person.
In between charts and graphs about tax cuts, Trump policies, and current President Joe Biden’s proposed policies, Moore sprinkled in bits of wisdom he’s picked up over the years.
“Pursue your dream,” Moore said, “because if you love it, you’ll be good at it.”
During the question-and-answer segment of the night, Moore specifically asked people who didn’t agree with him to speak up. A few students took him up on it, sparring with him over claims that he had made during his talk. Among them was Zain Masri ‘23, an international relations and political science major who pressed Moore for more clarity on his thoughts about whether socialism is indeed coming to the United States.
While Masri didn’t agree with everything he heard from Moore, he said he enjoyed the talk and looked forward to more David L. Guy Speaker Series events.
“I think it’s nice getting challenging speakers — speakers who challenge the ideas of the general community,” Masri said.
Youssef Labriny ‘22 described Moore’s talk as “provocative” and said he looked forward to other different points of views from future speakers.
“Pursue your dream, because if you love it, you’ll be good at it.”
Stephen Moore, economic writer and political analyst
President Michael C. Maxey gave the introductory speech. He spoke about Guy, a 1975 Roanoke alumnus who was in attendance with his wife, Patricia. Guy is a member of the Roanoke College Board of Trustees, and is the CEO and managing principal of GS Companies LLC, a group of real estate development, consulting and advisory firms specializing in the southeastern United States.
“It’s fitting that David Guy is one of Roanoke’s staunchest defenders of freedom of thought and expression,” Maxey said. “He himself embodies the principles and tradition of economic freedom in his distinguished professional career. He’s also a guardian of those principles in his leadership at Roanoke through the board of trustees.”
Maxey also praised Dr. Alice Kassens, the John S. Shannon Professor of Economics at Roanoke College. Kassens is the founder and director of the Center for Economic Freedom.
“She personifies the professional ideal of an excellent teacher, an active and renowned scholar who serves the College and her discipline and community through her work,” Maxey said of Kassens.
Another David L. Guy Lecture Series event is in the works for the spring, and Kassens hopes there will be one speaker per semester going forward. The Center for Economic Freedom continues to support programs such as ECON LAB, which helps students conduct real-world research. The Center will also host a Data Analytics Bootcamp for Roanoke College students in May 2023.