THE NINTH ANNUAL WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY JR. PRIZE DINNER
SEPTEMBER 29, 2022
THE RONALD REAGAN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY
SIMI VALLEY, CALIFORNIA
The William F. Buckley Jr. Prize for Leadership in Political Thought
YOUNG AMERICA’S FOUNDATION
Ron Robinson and Governor Scott Walker
The William F. Buckley Jr. Prize for Leadership in Supporting Liberty
Watch highlights here
Watch this video about the legacy of William F. Buckley Jr. and Ronald Reagan
Watch these videos about the honorees:
National Review Institute honored conservative movement and longtime friends of the National Review enterprise—Larry Kudlow and Young America’s Foundation at the William F. Buckley Jr. Prize Dinner at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on September 29, 2022. The dinner, which included conservative leaders and supporters from across the country, raised close to $1.4 million for the Institute’s programs.
In its ninth year, the William F. Buckley Jr. Prize Dinner is a marquee gathering and celebration for the conservative movement. NRI rotates the dinner between major cities around the country and was pleased to return to California this fall.
David L. Bahnsen and Richard F. Spencer served as dinner co-chairs.
John Heubusch, the executive director, of the Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, opened the event. Richard Spencer delivered the invocation and then David Bahnsen took the stage to welcome everyone. NRI President Lindsay Craig followed, speaking of the Institute’s marked success over the past two years—the launch of National Review Capital Matters and NRI’s William F. Buckley Jr. Communicators Program, the introduction of virtual programs including NRI’s book club, and strategic hires that will enable the Institute to continue its programmatic and fundraising growth ahead of WFB’s centennial in 2025.
A video was then played about the important relationship between William F. Buckley Jr. and Ronald Reagan. Given the venue, NRI felt that it was important to highlight this impactful friendship. This video is the first in a series of videos about Bill Buckley that the Institute is creating before his centennial in 2025.
Young America’s Foundation was presented with the Prize for Leadership in Supporting Liberty by Katie Pavlich. Ron Robinson and Governor Scott Walker accepted the award on behalf of the organization.
The William F. Buckley Jr. Prize for Leadership in Political Thought was presented by Rich Lowry to Larry Kudlow in recognition of his staunch support of free-market economics over the course of his career, as well as his work highlighting important financial trends. Currently a host at FOX Business Network, Kudlow served as Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council under President Trump. He has also been a senior contributor on CNBC, where he hosted a post-market analysis show, The Kudlow Report. Previously, he served as chief economist and senior managing director of Bear Stearns. From 1981 to 1985, during the Reagan administration, Kudlow was an associate director for economics and planning at the Office of Management and Budget.
The program concluded with remarks from NRI Chairman Peter J. Travers, who thanked guests for joining us from across the country for a wonderful, celebratory evening. Guests then made their way to our festive after-party for drinks and dancing.
For his entire life, Bill Buckley sought to preserve and buttress the foundations of our free society. To honor his achievement and inspire others, NRI’s Board of Trustees annually awards the William F. Buckley Jr. Prizes for Leadership in Supporting Liberty and Leadership in Political Thought. These prestigious awards honor their namesake and those who champion the principles Buckley advanced during his lifetime.
NRI first brought the annual Prize Dinner to San Francisco, California in 2016 and over the past nine years has hosted events and worked closely with state think tanks and regional policy organizations in California. We aim to energize the local conservative base and introduce our friends and supporters around the country to state-based and regional organizations doing vital work for the broader movement. This year’s Buckley Prize Dinner in Simi Valley is indicative of National Review Institute’s commitment to maintaining a consistent presence in California and our goal of making real the “National” in the National Review mission. The encouragement NRI has received from friends and supporters in California and across the county has been tremendous. Over the past nine years, NRI has grown its programming, bringing National Review’s best talent to various cities outside of our home in New York. NRI plans to continue to expand its core programming, which complements the mission and work of National Review.
Views and opinions expressed by National Review Institute are not necessarily shared by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Foundation.
FOX Business, Kudlow – Ronald Reagan and Bill Buckley would be appalled at this socialist assault on freedom by Larry Kudlow
National Review Capital Matters – Kudlow and Bahnsen: How Can You Not Listen? by Jack Fowler
National Review Capital Matters – My Favorite Episode Yet: Kudlow Joins Capital Record by David Bahnsen
National Review – God and Man at the Reagan Library by Kathryn Jean Lopez
Politico Playbook – For Your Radar
The Washington Examiner – Larry Kudlow on a roll, tops ratings, wins Buckley Prize
The NY Sun – Listen to the Gipper: Freedom Is Fragile, and Never More Than a Generation From Extinction by Larry Kudlow
Townhall – Reagan’s Example by Kathryn Jean Lopez
David L. Bahnsen | Richard F. Spencer
BUCKLEY CIRCLE SPONSORS
The Bahnsen Group
John and Ann Buser, Texas
Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation
Karen Buchwald Wright, Ohio
Asness Family Foundation
Harlan Crow, Texas
Fox News Media
Peter J. Travers, New Jersey
Julianne and Michael Woronoff, California
Wendy and Dale Brott, Ohio
Joan and Michael Conway, California
Suzie and Bruce Kovner, Florida
Debbie and Brian Murdock, Florida
Stephen P. Schaible, California
Paul E. Singer Foundation
Monique and Kenin M. Spivak, California/Apricity Foundation, Texas
Madelene and L. Stanton Towne, New York
American Legislative Exchange Council
Erika and John Ammirati, California
Bradley Impact Fund
Janet and Brad Childers, Texas
Laura and Peter J. Claude, Michigan
Teresa and Jack Clem, Texas
Kristen and Charles Correll, California
Diana and Jim Cusser, Kansas
Kristie and Kevin Hassett, Washington, DC
The Heritage Foundation
Heather and James Higgins, New York
The Hon. John Hillen, Virginia
Dr. and Mrs. Gerard Jensen, California
Linda and Tom Lamoureux, California
Linda E. McMahon, Connecticut
Susan and William Oberndorf, California
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute
Brooke and Mark Rollins, Texas
Stand Together Trust
State Policy Network
Penny and Bob Young, Florida
Young America’s Foundation
Mary Ellen and Roger Borgelt, Texas
Holly and Michael Cuggino, California
Melinda and Marcus Fierro, California
Sharon and Jack Fowler, Connecticut
Denise and Al Frink, California
Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky & Josefiak
Sarah E. Hunt, Washington, DC
James V. Lacy, California
Anastasia Marty, New Jersey
Diane and Thomas O’Leary, Florida
Eddie Perkin, Massachusetts
Marisabel and Jerry Raymond, New York
Roger R. Ream, Washington, DC
Nancy Reeves Reardon, Massachusetts
Lisa Schreiber and George Randle, Texas
Dominick Schirripa, Virginia
David Souther, Texas
Janet and Alan Stanford, California
David Michael Thomas, California
Young Americans for Liberty
BURKE TO BUCKLEY HOST COMMITTEE
Sally Ann Ellert, Dallas
Maxwell Everett, San Francisco
Jonathan Minsker, Miami
Vikas Mittal, New York
Stephanie Polis, Washington, DC
Dominick Schirripa, Washington, DC
Shawn Sheehy, Philadelphia
Kathryn Rooney Vera, Miami
Brian Volkman, Chicago
Edward Zobian, Philadelphia
About The Honorees
Lawrence “Larry” Kudlow has been a staunch supporter of free-market economics over the course of his career and has highlighted important financial trends. He is a Fox News Media anchor. His daily show, Kudlow, provides an upbeat free-market perspective on the news of the day and regularly tops the business-television ratings. Mr. Kudlow served as Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and was the Director of the National Economic Council. He was a key figure helping to develop the President’s tax cuts and deregulatory efforts, and played a major role in renegotiating trade deals that treated U.S. exporters more fairly. Prior to this stint in the White House, Mr. Kudlow was a CNBC Senior Contributor and host of CNBC’s primetime show The Kudlow Report. For many years prior he served as the Chief Economist at Bear Stearns & Company. During President Reagan’s first term, Mr. Kudlow was associate director for economics and planning at the Office of Management and Budget. For decades he, along with Art Laffer, has been the leading public advocate for Reagan’s supply-side policies. Nobody understands these policies better than Mr. Kudlow, who was there at the beginning, and nobody has been a better public advocate of supply-side market ideology. Very few people are more qualified to provide honest critique of Federal Reserve monetary policy. He started his career as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and has maintained a strong finger on the pulse of the flows and excesses of monetary policy for decades. Mr. Kudlow was a senior editor of National Review magazine, as well as a columnist and economics editor for NationalReview.com. He and his wife, Judy, were very close personal friends with Bill and Pat Buckley and Judy is well-known for her legendary piano duets with Bill. Mr. Kudlow was educated at the University of Rochester and Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Young Americans for Freedom was established in 1960 at the home of William F. Buckley Jr. in Sharon, Connecticut. Those gathered adopted the Sharon Statement, a timeless and succinct statement of American conservative principles. In 1969, Young America’s Foundation (originally called University Information Services) was established at Vanderbilt University to promote conservative ideas among students. The two organizations merged in 2011, with Young Americans for Freedom becoming a project of Young America’s Foundation. Today, Young Americans for Freedom is the official student membership program of Young America’s Foundation. Over the decades, YAF has demonstrated that, contrary to what many assert, young people can be energized, organized, and mobilized by conservative ideals. The organization rallied for Goldwater and Reagan—even before it was cool. In 1962, future President Ronald Reagan joined YAF’s national advisory board, eventually becoming its honorary national chairman and addressing numerous YAF audiences before, during, and after his Presidency. YAF emphasizes education in conservative principles by organizing conferences and campus lectures to teach the next generation about the ideas of limited government, traditional values, a strong national defense, and free enterprise. YAF has also published original works that counteract the left-wing bias found in our schools. In addition, YAF has a long and impactful history of facing down attacks on free speech and students’ rights—and fighting back successfully. In 1988, YAF won a momentous Supreme Court victory, Boos v. Barry, overturning 50 years of precedent and defending the right of protestors to decry the evils of the Soviet Union. The Court struck down a District of Columbia law prohibiting protests outside embassies. Countless activists across the political spectrum have enjoyed that exercise of their free-speech rights since then. Three decades later, YAF won a landmark case against the University of California, Berkeley, for discrimination against conservative views, forcing the school to pay a settlement and abolish its discriminatory policies. For decades, YAF has been the leading organization bringing conservative speakers to our nation’s campuses. Even the New York Times acknowledged that YAF is “the conservative force” behind the free speech movement on campus and beyond. In 1998, YAF deepened its connection to Ronald Reagan when it saved his Western White House, Rancho del Cielo, outside Santa Barbara, California. In 2020, YAF saved the Reagan Boyhood Home in Dixon, Illinois, and just this past summer, YAF acquired President Reagan’s birthplace in Tampico, Illinois. These historic, Presidential sites allow YAF to establish a beachhead in the middle of the country, through which YAF educates and inspires even greater numbers of young people about our 40th President and his timeless conservative principles. From addresses by prominent conservative leaders, including Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley Jr., Margaret Thatcher, and Milton Friedman, to conferences which have become a rite of passage for all young conservatives, YAF’s unique educational programs empower students to embrace and boldly share conservative values throughout their lives. Ron Robinson served as Young America’s Foundation’s president for 43 years. He was instrumental in its growth—including seeking out YAF’s current president, Governor Scott Walker, who became the organization’s leader in February 2021. Under Governor Walker’s leadership, YAF continues to reach increasing numbers of young people nationwide.
About The Gala
For his entire life, Bill Buckley sought to preserve and buttress the foundations of our free society. To honor his achievement and inspire others, NRI’s Board of Trustees has created the William F. Buckley Jr. Prizes for Leadership in Political Thought and Leadership in Supporting Liberty. The William F. Buckley Jr. Prize Dinner is an annual marquee event in the conservative movement that we move around the country each year to reach our broad base of supporters. Past galas hosted in New York City, Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, and Palm Beach have allowed us to connect with our supporters in those areas and grow our national enterprise. We look forward to returning to California this fall, an area of strategic importance for National Review Institute.
Today, National Review Institute is enhancing and expanding its programs to better fulfill its mission—from equipping young conservative professionals and journalists, to promoting the work of the nation’s foremost proponents of a free society. With your help NRI continues to spread its influence and reach.