About Us

MercerThe Thomas C. and Ramona E. McDonald Center for America's Founding Principles exists to supplement Mercer University’s excellent liberal arts program with a redoubled commitment to the foundational texts and ideas which have shaped Western Civilization and the American political order.  This focus on the core texts of the Western tradition helps to revitalize a cross-centuries dialogue about citizenship, human rights, and political, economic, and religious freedom, thereby deepening the moral imagination and fostering civic and cultural literacy.

The McDonald Center’s programming includes the annual A.V. Elliott Conference on Great Books and Ideas, faculty-student reading groups, a general education course on America's Founding Principles, summer Great Books programs for high school teachers and students, and undergraduate research fellowships. All programming is designed to enhance Mercer’s longstanding role as a distinctive home of liberal learning, a place where serious students come to live the life of the mind and emerge more thoughtful and engaged citizens.


Guided by James Madison’s maxim that “a well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people,” the McDonald Center exists to promote the study of the great texts and ideas that have shaped our regime and fostered liberal learning.