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ISI’s Dinner for Western Civilization

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Join ISI in Washington, D.C.! Save the date: Thursday, October 25

The ISI community will come together in D.C. on October 25 for an incredible day and evening of discussion and fellowship.

Join ISI supporters, friends, students, faculty, and alumni for a Forum on Freedom, an afternoon of discourse and debate capped off with ISI’s thirteenth annual Dinner for Western Civilization.

You’ll hear from an extraordinary roster of speakers, including bestselling author Heather Mac Donald, Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen, James Freeman of the Wall Street Journal, Katherine Mangu-Ward of Reason magazine, Hillsdale College president Larry Arnn, and the dinner’s keynote speaker, North Korean defector and human rights activist Yeonmi Park. You may have heard Yeonmi’s harrowing story of escape from the brutal North Korean regime. Her message about the evils of tyranny carries special urgency given the threats to freedom we are seeing on college campuses and beyond.

Learn More and RSVP Here

Details on ISI’s Forum on Freedom and Dinner for Western Civilization
Schedule: Thursday, October 25, 2018
  • Noon: Registration opens
  • 1:30–5:15: A Forum on Freedom
  • 6:30: Dinner Reception 
  • 7:30: Dinner for Western Civilization
  • 9:30 Hospitality
Venue: InterContinental Washington D.C.—The Wharf

ISI’s Forum on Freedom and thirteenth annual Dinner for Western Civilization will be held at the InterContinental Washington D.C.—The Wharf, located at 801 Wharf Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024.

The hotel offers valet parking. Daily Rate: $35.00

Attire: Business




For questions, please contact Tara Gallardy at (302) 524–6143 or


During ISI’s Forum on Freedom and the Dinner for Western Civilization, you’ll hear from a distinguished group of speakers:

  • Yeonmi Park, North Korean defector (dinner keynote speaker)
  • Heather Mac Donald, bestselling author
  • Marc Thiessen, Fox News contributor
  • James Freeman, Wall Street Journal
  • Timothy Carney, Washington Examiner
  • Katherine Mangu-Ward, Reason magazine editor
  • James Stoner, Louisiana State University
  • Donald Downs, University of Wisconsin
  • Keith Whittington, Princeton University
  • Larry Arnn, Hillsdale College president (recipient of ISI’s 2018 Charles H. Hoeflich Lifetime Achievement Award)
Yeonmi Park, Keynote Speaker

Twenty-four-year-old human rights activist and North Korean defector Yeonmi Park is a leading voice of oppressed people around the world. At the 2014 Oslo Freedom Forum and the One Young World Summit in Dublin, she became an international phenomenon, delivering an impassioned and personal speech about the brutality of the North Korean regime.

Born in Hyesan, North Korea, Yeonmi grew up in a society devoted to the worship of Kim Jong-il and hatred for enemies of his regime. It was normal for her to see dead bodies as she walked to school and to be so hungry she ate wild plants. In 2002 her father, who smuggled gold, nickel, and silver, was caught, tortured, and sentenced to ten years in a forced labor camp. After his early release on medical leave, the family decided they had to flee North Korea but became separated before they could escape together. In 2007 Yeonmi and her mother crossed into China, hiding from Chinese authorities, who would return them to North Korea. Two years later, they reached the Mongolian border and spent a freezing night in the Gobi Desert, dodging patrols and crawling through barbed wire to seek refuge in South Korea. Yeonmi’s memoir about her escape, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom, was released in 2015.

Yeonmi has told her story of survival to millions, urging the world to recognize the oppressed people of Kim Jong-un’s reign. Currently a student at Columbia University, she has been published in the Washington Post and has been featured on CNN, CNBC, and the BBC as well as in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. She serves on the board of directors of the Human Rights Foundation.

2018 Charles H. Hoeflich Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Larry Arnn

Larry Arnn is the twelfth president of Hillsdale College, where he is also a professor of politics and history. He received his BA from Arkansas State University and his MA and PhD in government from the Claremont Graduate School. He also studied at Oxford University, where he served as director of research for Sir Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill. From 1985 to 2000, he served as president of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy.

Dr. Arnn serves on the board of directors of the Heritage Foundation, the Henry Salvatori Center of Claremont McKenna College, the Philadelphia Society, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and the Claremont Institute. He served on the U.S. Army War College Board of Visitors for two years, for which he earned the Department of the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. In 2015 he received the Bradley Prize from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. Dr. Arnn is the author of three books: Liberty and Learning: The Evolution of American Education; The Founders’ Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It; and Churchill’s Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government.



ISI’s lifetime achievement award is named after Charles H. Hoeflich (1914–2011), longtime president of Univest Corporation and a founding member of ISI’s Board of Trustees. For nearly sixty years, Mr. Hoeflich served as a moral, financial, and practical guiding light to ISI and its leadership.

Past Keynote Speakers


Betsy DeVos
United States Secretary of Education


Arthur C. Brooks
President of the American Enterprise Institute


Ben Sasse
United States Senator for Nebraska


Peter Thiel
Cofounder of PayPal


Donald Kagan
Historian and Author


Mike Lee
United States Senator for Utah


James Grant
Market commentator and historian


Honorable Edwin Meese III
75th U.S. Attorney General


Honorable Samuel A. Alito Jr.
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice


Joseph Epstein


Bernard Lewis
Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University


Honorable Clarence Thomas
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice

Chairman’s Table — $25,000
  • Premium dinner table placement with seating for eight guests, plus two ISI student leaders 
  • Admission for eight to an exclusive meet and greet reception with the dinner keynote, Yeonmi Park, and other featured speakers
  • Prime acknowledgment as a Chairman’s Table Sponsor in the dinner invitation, on ISI’s website, in the dinner program, and in The Canon magazine
  • Annual membership in ISI’s William F. Buckley Jr. Society
Gold Sponsor — $10,000
  • Special dinner seating and admission for six 
  • Admission for six to an exclusive meet and greet reception with the dinner keynote, Yeonmi Park, and other featured speakers 
  • Acknowledgment as a Gold Sponsor in the dinner invitation, on ISI’s website, in the dinner program, and in The Canon magazine
  • Annual membership in ISI’s William F. Buckley Jr. Society
Silver Sponsor — $5,000
  • Dinner admission for four
  • Acknowledgment in the dinner program and The Canon magazine
  • Annual membership in ISI’s President's Club
Bronze Sponsor — $2,500
  • Dinner admission for two
  • Acknowledgment in the dinner program and The Canon magazine
  • Annual membership in ISI’s President's Club
Student Sponsor — $1,000
  • Dinner seating and travel assistance for one ISI student
  • Acknowledgment in the dinner program and The Canon magazine
  • Annual membership in ISI’s President's Club
2017 Dinner Sponsors
Chairman’s Table
  • Gilbert Collins
  • Thomas E. Lynch
  • Dennis J. and Rachel M. McGonigle
Gold Sponsors
  • Andrea and Michael Abraham
  • Dick and Pat Allen
  • Linda Bean
  • Roberts and Allison Brokaw
  • T. Kenneth Cribb Jr.
  • Vivian and Sam DuBose
  • Alan and Linda Englander
  • Edwin and Linda Feulner
  • Richard Gilder
  • Robert and Patricia Herbold
  • Thomas D. Klingenstein
  • Michael and Andrea Leven Family
  • Christopher and Sheila Long
  • Edwin and Ursula Meese
  • Alfred and Audrey Regnery
Silver Sponsors
  • James and Diana Cusser
  • Judith Jaeger
  • Robert Milligan
  • The Siegfried Group, LLP
  • David P. Stuhr
  • Bridgett and Steve Wagner
  • Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP
Bronze Sponsors
  • Larry Arnn
  • The Fund for American Studies
  • Stanely and Karen Hubbard
  • Joe and Rhonda Johnston
  • Streck, Inc.
  • Young America’s Foundation
  • James and Diana Cusser
Student Sponsors
  • George B. and Diana Allen
  • Bill and Helen Campbell
  • Brian DiSabatino
  • John Garvey
  • Jean B. Hall
  • Paul J. Isaac
  • Matthew Medearis
  • Cliff Sterns
  • Bobby West
DeVos Student Leadership Awards
Richard and Helen DeVos Freedom Center Leadership Award

ISI recognizes exceptional undergraduate students with the Richard and Helen DeVos Freedom Center Leadership Award. The award honors longtime trustee Rich DeVos, who cofounded Amway and owns the Orlando Magic NBA franchise, and whose philanthropy has underwritten the membership and recruiting efforts of ISI through the DeVos Freedom Center. These award winners have inspired members of their campus communities.

Winners of the 2017 awards are pictured below:

McKenzie Beckstead

Margaret Roberts

Marlo Safi