ON-Lion Letter

Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, Okla., will receive the Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick Award for Academic Freedom at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., in March.  Piper was selected because of his response to student calls for safe spaces, banned words, and other "protections" from controversy or exposure to challenging ideas.

"In a time when university administrators are giving in to what amounts to student temper tantrums, Everett Piper stands out for his adherence to the tradition of academic integrity and open inquiry," said Michael E. Grebe, president and chief executive officer of Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which supports the Kirkpatrick Award.  "Dr. Piper's stand for open discussion and genuine mutual tolerance for dissent on campus is both rare and overdue."

During a time of widespread campus upheaval over the discussion of controversial ideas, Piper wrote "This is not a Daycare.  It's a University!"  The piece quickly went viral and Piper appeared on many television programs to discuss academic integrity and freedom.

The award carries a $10,000 stipend and honors the memory of Kirkpatrick, a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, who was known for her outspokenness in hostile environments, clarity and determination in the midst of oppression, and fierce dedication to American ideals and academic freedom.

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