Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Nine freshmen join college’s Lyceum Scholars Program family


Nine freshmen have been welcomed into the fifth class of the Lyceum Scholars Program by the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism.

Group photo of Lyceum Scholars 2019 freshmen
2019 Lyceum Scholars freshmen include, back row, left to right, Sergio Gonzalez Varela, Judah Gray, Andrew Boyles, Mason Harmon; front row, left to right,
Racquelle Vellandi, Avery Means, Abigail Ready, Elizabeth Sharkey. No pictured, Catherine Gangemi.

The Lyceum Scholars Program, created in 2014 and open to all majors, had 650 applications for entry into this year’s class. Under the umbrella of Clemson University’s College of Business, the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism’s goal is to bring a traditional liberal arts education to a modern university setting.

The 2019-20 Lyceum Scholars freshman class includes, Andrew Boyles, political science major, Academic Magnet H.S., (SC); Catherine Gangemi, political science, West Morris Mendham H.S. (NJ); Sergio Gonzalez Varela, political science, Seneca H.S. (SC); Mason Harmon, secondary education, Ben Lippen School (SC); Judah Gray, history, South Florence H.S. (SC); Avery Means, history, Oak Hall School (FL); Abigail Ready, history, Fort Mill H.S. (SC); Elizabeth Sharkey, pre-business, Bethesda Chevy Chase H.S. (MD); Racquelle Vellandi, political science, San Juan Hills H.S. (CA).

Applicants undergo rigorous screening process that includes writing three essays and an interview process. Those accepted into the program receive a privately funded $10,000 scholarship distributed over four years to learn about liberty, free markets, the American founding, and moral character through a “Great Books” approach.

“These students have chosen to learn the history of liberty, capitalism and the principles of moral character in America’s premier university-based program,” said C. Bradley Thompson, executive director of the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism. “Beyond gaining a thorough understanding of the fundamental questions in life such as liberty, justice, virtue and freedom, this group will become very close-knit and build lifelong relationships with each other.”

Students new to the Lyceum Program offered a variety of reasons for choosing to engage in a learning experience that is exclusive to Clemson University.

“I see the Lyceum Scholars Program as a unique opportunity to ponder the big questions that already stimulate me, and to look more closely at ideas I have yet to consider,” Catherine Gangemi said. Added Andrew Boyles, “I’ve always been intrigued by that which is held to be good and moral in our society, and I saw the program as the best way to study that.”

The Lyceum Scholars Program, where students read from classic texts about renowned academics in political and economic thought, draws on the inspiration from the Lyceum school Aristotle founded in 335 B.C.

Lyceum scholars receive one-on-one mentorships from faculty Socratic tutors, to discuss moral character and the application of theory to practice, applying the ideas they learn in the classroom to their own lives.

 About the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism

CISC is America’s premiere university-based teaching and research center dedicated to exploring the moral, political, and economic foundations of capitalism. Founded in 2005, and housed within Clemson University’s College of Business, the independently financed Institute is educating a new generation of students about the moral requirements of a free society.

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