About the George Washington Forum

Our Mission

Civic Education, Civil Debate, Viewpoint Diversity

The Menard Family George Washington Forum on American Ideas, Politics, and Institutions teaches America’s foundational principles in their Western intellectual, political, and institutional contexts. It is grounded on the idea that students facing an increasingly globalized world need to understand what characterizes and distinguishes the nation in which they live and the civilization from which it emerged. The Forum helps students become enlightened citizens in a liberal democracy whose roots run deep in Western civilization, but whose ideals and interests transcend the West.

The Menard Family George Washington Forum pursues its mission in at least three interconnected ways:

  • It directs and encourages the efforts to teach Ohio University undergraduates the history of America and its location within the Western tradition.
  • It encourages rigorous scholarship on important themes in American and Western history through themed conferences, public lectures, and publications.
  • It provides scholarship funding to Ohio University undergraduates interested in free societies and what makes them possible.

The Menard Family George Washington Forum is a participant in The Jack Miller Center-Veritas Fund for Higher Education Initiative. The Forum’s first year of operation was academic year 2009–10, and its future success depends on the generous support of foundations and private individuals who share its commitment to civic education and viewpoint diversity. Thank you for your interest in the Forum, and we appreciate all who support our efforts.

Robert G. Ingram
Professor of History
Director, The Menard Family George Washington Forum

GWF Staff

Portrait of Robert G. Ingram

Robert G. Ingram

Robert G. Ingram is an historian at Ohio University, where he teaches courses in early modern British and European religious, political, and intellectual history. Born and brought up in Ruston, Louisiana, he did his undergraduate work at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and his doctoral work at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. Robert is the founding director of the George Washington Forum on American Ideas, Politics, and Institutions, a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the President of the Southern Conference on British Studies.

Portrait of James M. Vaughn

James M. Vaughn

James M. Vaughn is the JMC-Thomas W. Smith Postdoctoral Fellow (2019–2021). He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and his B.A. from Cornell University. He taught at the University of Texas at Austin and held a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University. His first book, The Politics of Empire at the Accession of George III (Yale, 2019), provides a revisionist account of British imperial expansion and politics during the eighteenth century. His co-edited book, Envisioning Empire: The New British World from 1763 to 1773 (Bloomsbury, 2019), is out this November, while another book, The East India Company and the English Revolution, c. 1640–1714 (Primus), will be out later next year. As a postdoctoral fellow, he will be completing a new book, A Very Bourgeois Revolution, which reexamines and reinterprets the American Revolution, the wider Age of Revolution in the Atlantic world, and the origins of liberal democracy.