Scholarship offered by Johnson Center

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Written by Whitley Kilcrease

As the cost of higher education continues to climb, Troy University’s Johnson Center for Political Economy has found a creative, educational way to help students cover costs for school.

Students participating in the Johnson Center’s new reading program “Liberty, Markets and the Great Books” reading group will receive $1000 scholarships, supported by a grant from the Adgar Foundation. The program will focus on selected reading from the “Great Books” or books that have had a major influence on contemporary economic and political thought.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Often people hear about political and economic thinkers in class,” Dr. Scott Beaulier, executive director of the Johnson Center, said. “This is a chance to go much deeper and broaden the culture of reading on Troy’s campus.”

The reading group will consist of 12 selected participants based on an application and interview process. All Troy University undergrads are encouraged to apply.

Applications are due by August 24 and selected participants will be notified by August 31. The group will meet on Wednesdays from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. during the Fall 2012 semester with dinner provided. The first session will be held on September 5.

“We are looking for students with a passion for political theory and an innate interest in reading the Great Books,” Angela Crowley, Johnson Center Administrator and Special Project and Development Coordinator, said.

Students interested in the program should visit the group’s website to fill out an online application, which includes a one-page essay answering the question “What book has influenced you the most and why?”

Applicants are also required to submit a letter of recommendation from a non-family member.

Students meeting initial selection criteria will be asked to attend a screening interview with Beaulier and Crowley, though this does not guarantee a spot in the reading group.

“We’re excited about applicants from any part of Troy University,” Beaulier said. “We welcome anyone who is curious, willing to do a little extra work and be compensated for that work.”

Required reading for the sessions will include selections from books and articles such as Karl Marx’s “Capital, Manifesto of the Communist Party” and John Locke’s “Concerning Civil Government” as well as Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, On Political Economy, Emile, The Social Contract, Confessions” and William Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice.”

Discussions on the selected reading will be faculty-led during the sessions by Sorrell College of Business professors Dr. Scott Beaulier, Dr. George Crowley, Dr. Daniel Smith, Dr. Daniel Sutter and Andrea Crowley.

Upon completion of a reading assignment, participants will be required to complete an assignment to show their depth of knowledge of the assigned material.

Participants will also be expected to lead discussions and complete a reflection assignment at the end of the program on how the readings have shaped or changed his or her way of thinking.

According to the website, full attendance and satisfactory completion of assignments are necessary for student to receive the scholarship.

While selected participants will receive a monetary scholarship, the reading group does not offer academic credits.

“We believe this program will greatly enhance our efforts at engaging students in free market, limited government ideas in the next year and for many years to come,” Beaulier said. “We want students to have fun exchanging ideas and discussing a number of Great Books. It’s a great opportunity to earn a little money while learning a lot about some of the great writers in economics and politics,” Beaulier said.

For more information or to apply for the program, contact Angela Crowley at 808-6283 or visit the website at