Roanoke College will launch a new Center for Economic Freedom with a special event in September.
Inspired by economist Milton Friedman and his passion for free markets and individual choice, the Center for Economic Freedom's mission is to educate students and the community on the freedom of markets and individual choice in a liberal arts setting. Dr. Alice Kassens, the John Shannon professor of economics, will direct the Center, which will be funded by grants from several foundations.
Through the Center's programs, the goals are to:
- Promote an environment of educated discourse and discovery
- Explore the role of economic freedom and individual rights in prosperous societies
- Motivate students to actively seek opportunities in classically liberal minded scholarship and service
- Develop a network of alumni and friends that remain active in the Center for Economic Freedom
The first event will be a public lecture to mark the opening of the Center for Economic Freedom Lecture Series on September 1 with featured speaker Dr. Chris Coyne. He is the associate director of the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Coyne has written several books, including Doing Bad by Doing Good: Why Humanitarian Action Fails. He is a prolific writer of articles for scholarly journals, has published numerous policy briefs, and also has written for the Daily Caller, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and others. Coyne is the co-editor in chief of the Review of Austrian Economics, the coeditor of the Independent Review, and the book-review editor of Public Choice. He is a member of the Board of Scholars for the Virginia Institute for Public Policy.
"I have admired Milton Friedman, both his work and style, since I first studied economics," Kassens said. "The Center for Economic Freedom is a way to bring his ideas to students and the Roanoke College community to expand the public discourse regarding markets and regulation. I am thrilled to open the Center officially in September with a lecture by Chris Coyne."
In addition to the annual lecture series, the Center will host a variety of events and activities for students, both those majoring in economics and those studying other disciplines. Opportunities for students include an economics reading group, a research assistantship, an economic freedom group and library of materials related to economic freedom. The center also will have a seminar travel fund to help support student travel. The center also will sponsor a faculty reading group and will hold Milton Friedman Remembrance Day each year on November 16, the anniversary of his death.