The ideals of Ronald Reagan were alive and well at the Young America’s Foundation 27th annual National Conservative Student Conference held July 31st through August 6th at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Two-hundred twenty-five students from 41 states and 160 colleges, in addition to more than 175 part-time students, enjoyed the informative week of speakers, panels, and banquets.
The list of speakers included leading conservatives such as HUMAN EVENTS’ own Ann Coulter and Chris Field, Newt Gingrich, Ben Stein, Michelle Malkin, Bay Buchanan, Walter Williams, Mark Skousen, Reagan adviser Richard Wirthlin, and Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith.
This year’s conference included a “radio row,” with radio personalities invited to broadcast their shows live from the conference. Kirby Wilbur, morning talk show host for KVI Radio in Seattle, spent the entire week broadcasting, giving students the opportunity to sit-in on the program. Kevin McCullough of WMCA in New York and Armstrong Williams of WWRL in New York also broadcasted live from the conference, for a total of 29 hours of live broadcasting. In addition, 18 portions of the conference were taped for C-SPAN, bringing the speakers and panels into the homes of over 80 million viewers.
Seasoned activists and inquisitive students new to conservative ideas made up the wide range of student attendees. Energized speeches from the top names in the conservative movement, and lively debate with fellow conference goers, left students ready and recharged for the start of a new school year.
“Continuing the fight for freedom, strong defense and limited government is all that is on my mind right now,” said Matthew Myer of Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., at the end of the inspirational week.
While touching on a variety of topics, many speakers reminded students of the importance of patriotism and courage of conviction. “I wake up and get down on my knees and thank God that I live in America,” stated Ben Stein, offering a counter to the anti-American, anti-military bent of many in the television and film industries. Referring to American heroes in our armed services, he went on to say, “This is a nation of stars, there just don’t happen to be a lot of them in Hollywood right now.”
The importance of the National Conservative Student Conference is reaffirmed by the liberal influences dominating college campuses and recent pledges by wealthy liberals to support spreading left-wing ideas to young people.
“This conference is doing an excellent job of preserving the ideas of the Great Communicator, Ronald Reagan,” said Mick Snieder of Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. “As we are learning from some of the premier conservative minds in the nation, we are also becoming prepared to wage this war of ideas on our college campuses.”