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. Past awardees include the DeVos family and the late Harold Simmons (Supporting Liberty) as well as Charles Krauthammer and Victor Davis Hanson (Political Thought). Notable public intellectuals, philanthropists, and leaders in the conservative movement attend to show support for our honorees, Bill Buckley’s enduring legacy, and the National Review mission.
NRI’s Ideas Summit is a biennial conference that brings together leading public intellectuals, conservative leaders and policymakers, and philanthropists to critically assess the standing and future of conservatism in an intimate setting that fosters substantive dialogue. These Summits combine the best aspects of NRI’s early regional conferences and post-election conferences while incorporating new features that enable the Institute to have an even greater impact in strengthening the conservative movement.
In 1966, Buckley took his conservative message beyond the pages of National Review and directly to the American public. Through Firing Line, for over three decades he influenced the millions of Americans who tuned in weekly for intelligent discussion—of key events, of core principles, and of leading policy makers—between powerful voices on the Left and Right.
In the spring, NRI, in partnership with the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, celebrated the 50th anniversary of Firing Line and the Buckley legacy in three cities: Dallas, New York, and Washington, D.C. Our kickoff partnership event was held at Harlan Crow’s new Debate Chamber on the Old Parkland campus located in Dallas. True to Buckley’s legacy, this series of events provides a forum for civilized debate and discussion—lessons that important legacy still teaches us today. We are pleased to continue our partnership with Old Parkland.
Part of NRI’s mission is to “draw from and support other conservative institutions.” In that spirit, in December 2013, NRI began this initiative to co-sponsor events with state-based think tanks, civic groups, and other educational organizations across the United States. National Review Institute partners with organizations to co-host regional events across the country that feature NR’s best talent. By co-sponsoring these events, NRI and local groups are able to meet each other’s friends and supporters and introduce them to NR writers. NRI’s Regional Partnership Events program aims to both help strengthen partner groups and build a larger National Review community around the country. It is a strategic—and mutually beneficial—relationship that invigorates the conservative movement at the grassroots level.
William F. Buckley Jr. understood how vitally important young people are to the future of our country, and he frequently spoke on college campuses throughout his illustrious career to promote the principles of classical liberalism and limited government. It was Buckley’s unyielding dedication to these principles that united the freedom movement and launched conservatism back into the political mainstream.
In this spirit, the National Review Institute brings the National Review mission to college campuses, where it provides opportunities for college students to learn about the principles and ideas of a free society and empowers them to “stand athwart history.” Through events, social media, and disseminating NR magazine, NRI reaches today’s students with timeless conservative ideas rooted in Buckley’s own powerful campus legacy.