FIRE Wins Templeton Freedom Award

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Contact: Greg Lukianoff For Immediate Release:
Phone: 215-717-3473 October 19, 2009

FIRE Wins Templeton Freedom Award and Ford Hall Forum First Amendment Award

PHILADELPHIA, October 19, 2009—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is extremely pleased to announce that it has received two awards for its work defending and sustaining individual rights at America’s colleges and universities. Boston’s Ford Hall Forum awarded FIRE the Louis P. and Evelyn Smith First Amendment Award, while the Washington, D.C.-based Atlas Economic Research Foundation awarded FIRE’s Campus Freedom Network a Templeton Freedom Award for Student Outreach. The Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University is the nation’s oldest continuously operating free public lecture series, while the Atlas Economic Research Foundation is dedicated to advancing institutions grounded in free markets, the rule of law, and limited government.

"FIRE is deeply honored and humbled to receive these two prestigious awards," FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. "We are especially pleased that the awards come as we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of our founding. Thank you to both the Ford Hall Forum and to the Atlas Economic Research Foundation."

The Ford Hall Forum’s First Amendment Award was created in 1981 by the children, nieces, and nephews of Louis P. and Evelyn Smith to honor those individuals and organizations that demonstrate extraordinary commitment to promoting and facilitating the thoughtful exercise of the right to freedom of expression. Previous winners include civil rights activist Rosa Parks and CNN founder Ted Turner.

The Templeton Freedom Award for Student Outreach was established in 2003 through funding from the John Templeton Foundation. The Atlas Economic Research Foundation bestows the $10,000 award, which is named for the late investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton, on two organizations each year that have worked successfully to advance the cause of liberty among young minds worldwide. FIRE’s Campus Freedom Network, which brings together energetic students and faculty members to work to change illiberal and unconstitutional campus policies, is only the second American organization to win the award.

FIRE representatives will be present at both award ceremonies. The Templeton Freedom Award will be presented to FIRE at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation’s 2009 Freedom Dinner & Conference at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Monday, November 9, 2009. The dinner’s keynote address will be delivered by FIRE Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus Alan Charles Kors, while FIRE President Greg Lukianoff will be part of a panel entitled "Engaging the Next Generation in the Project of Advancing Liberty" earlier that day. More information and online registration are available at

The Ford Hall Forum’s award ceremony, as well as a public discussion about the issue of freedom of expression on campus, will be held on Thursday, March 18, 2010, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Suffolk University’s C. Walsh Theatre. Lukianoff and FIRE Co-founder and Board of Directors Chairman Harvey Silverglate will join Harvard professor, best-selling author, and FIRE Board of Advisors member Steven Pinker as well as Judge Nancy Gertner of the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts for the discussion. The event is open to the public.

The Ford Hall Forum is the nation’s oldest continuously operating free public lecture series. Its mission is to foster an informed and effective citizenry and to promote freedom of speech through the public presentation of lectures, debates, and discussions. Forum events illuminate key issues facing our society by hosting knowledgeable and thought-provoking speakers, including some of the most controversial opinion leaders of our times. These speakers appear in person, for free, and in settings that facilitate frank and open debate.

The Atlas Economic Research Foundation links free-market organizations and individuals to the ideas, people, and resources they need to promote a free society. Based in Washington, D.C., and founded by the late Sir Antony Fisher, Atlas believes that economic prosperity and human flourishing are best achieved by advancing institutions grounded in free markets, the rule of law, and limited government.

FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, freedom of expression, academic freedom, due process, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America can be viewed at

Greg Lukianoff, President, FIRE: 212-582-3191; [email protected]
Alex Minier, Executive Director, Ford Hall Forum: 617-557-2007; [email protected]
Yiqiao Xu, Director of Programs, Atlas Economic Research Foundation: 202-449-8449; [email protected]

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