Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.
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Allison Smith
Alison Smith is the Director of the Manhattan Institute's Center for the American University.
James Piereson
James Piereson is a senior fellow at the Center for the American University and president of the William E. Simon Foundation.
John Leo
John Leo is a senior fellow at the Center for the American University, editor for and a contributing editor at the Institute's City Journal.
Herb London
Herb London is a Manhattan Institute senior fellow, a contributing editor of, and president emeritus of Hudson Institute.

Alison Smith


Center for for American University.

The VERITAS Fund for Higher Education Reform at DonorsTrust

In 2007, the Manhattan Institute created the VERITAS Fund for Higher Education at DonorsTrust.

The VERITAS Fund at DonorsTrust is a donor-advised fund that seeks out professors at top-tier universities who are committed to bringing intellectual pluralism to their institutions. Working with these professors, we fund "centers of academic excellence" within universities that help introduce a new generation of students to broader perspectives than are available on most campuses with regard to our three main issue areas: western civilization, the American founding, and political economy. The general objective of these programs is to give students a different view of Western Civilization and American economic and political institutions than the critical approach taken toward these subjects in most college curricula.

The objective of the Fund is, therefore, to reform to higher education by underwriting programs and courses in subjects which until now have been neglected on the campus or have been out of favor within the largely one-sided professoriate. This is a constructive strategy that allows us to work in cooperation with colleges and universities to bring something new and badly needed to their campuses. In this sense, we are not attacking higher education for its flaws but rather working with it to improve and strengthen its offerings.

Supported Programs

The VERITAS Fund's lodestar is Professor Robert George's James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. The Madison program, which is dedicated to studying American constitutional law and Western political thought, was founded in 2000 and is a powerful example of how relatively modest funding, employed tactically, can drive the development of new institutions on campus.

Since its inaugural year, the VERITAS Fund raised and largely committed nearly $4 million to centers on over 25 campuses across the country. Of these, we have five flagship centers:

Other centers include those on the campuses of:

Baylor University
Brown University
College of the Holy Cross
Cornell University
Duke University
Emory University
Furman University
Hamilton College
Harvard University
Indiana University
New York University
Ohio University
Rhodes College
University of Richmond
Villanova University
Yale University

VERITAS sees itself as an angel investor in these programs. We are confident that we will be able to find trustees and alumni willing to sustain them.

Supporting VERITAS

Many philanthropists wish to support higher education reform on American campuses, but need assistance in identifying worthy scholars and programs. VERITAS provides an experienced staff of advisors who are closely attuned to the academic world and who are expert in leveraging philanthropic support to sustain efforts for the long haul. We focus on the most difficult part of a foundation's job-identifying and seeding new programs. Unlike the traditional foundation model, however, our fund is open to outside investors. We expect that a number of established foundations interested in making higher-education reform a philanthropic priority will invest in the Fund as well. Certain investors are eligible to sit on the Board of the Veritas Fund, and to make decisions regarding which worthy programs to fund at our bi-annual Board meetings.

To make a financial investment in the VERITAS Fund, please contact Vanessa Mendoza at or follow the contribution instructions below. Charitable investments of any size are encouraged, and individuals, private foundations, and corporations are eligible for an immediate charitable tax deduction.

  • Make checks payable to "DonorsTrust." Indicate "FBO VERITAS Fund" on the memo line.
  • Notify DonorsTrust of the name and number of all incoming securities. Instruct that the shares be directly transferred to the Trust's account (#86Q-04119) through Merrill Lynch's DTC (#5198).
  • Notify DonorsTrust of all incoming wire transfers. Contact DonorsTrust for additional transfer instructions.

109 North Henry Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Voice: 703.535.3563
Fax: 703.535.3564

(DonorsTrust serves as the financial administrator for the VERITAS Fund and is a 501(c)(3) public charity that provides a safe, tax efficient, and innovative charitable vehicle to any donor who wishes to fund organizations that undergird America's founding principles.)

If you have any questions regarding the VERITAS Fund at DonorsTrust, or would like to review materials on any or all of our programs, please contact Alison Smith at


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Veritas Fund Profiled by New York Times

An article in the New York Times reports on the work of the Manhattan Institute's Veritas Fund for Higher Education Reform.

"Acknowledging that 20 years and millions of dollars spent loudly and bitterly attacking the liberal leanings of American campuses have failed to make much of a dent in the way undergraduates are educated, some conservatives have decided to try a new strategy. They are finding like-minded tenured professors and helping them establish academic beachheads for their ideas... Their goal is to restore what conservative and other critics see as leading casualties of the campus culture wars of the 1980s and '90s: the teaching of Western culture and a triumphal interpretation of American history..."

To read this article, click here. To learn more about the Veritas Fund, click here.