The Forum | General Education

In Memoriam Peter Schramm

August 21, 2015 by Michael B. Poliakoff

A great scholar, teacher, and patriot left this world on August 16, 2015. Peter Schramm was unforgettable in his passion for liberty and truth and in the excitement he generated through his writings and presentations. His father had survived both forced labor under the Nazis and the Communist takeover of his native Hungary, and he brought the family to America in 1956, explaining to Peter, then age 10, “We were born Americans, but in the wrong place.” That truth was writ large in Peter’s life and work. He served as president of the Claremont Institute and later director of the Center for International Education in the U.S. Department of Education. He was a professor of political science at Ashland University and then in 1995 became executive director of the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs. The center flourished under his wise and energetic guidance, not only hosting an extraordinary series of lectures and seminars but also building the capacity to educate tens of thousands of teachers of American history. Thousands of school children every year now reap the benefit of the Ashbrook Center’s focus on the documents of America’s Founding through the tools and instructional resources the Ashbrook Center shares with its teachers. Peter was an inspiration and ally to ACTA in its efforts to make the study of our nation’s history and free institutions a part of the education of every college student. We mourn his death, but we are comforted by the realization that he has inspired and empowered us to disseminate the knowledge and understanding upon which the future of America, which Peter so loved, ultimately rests.


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

Discover More