The Forum | General Education

In Memoriam: Roger Beckett

September 17, 2018

ACTA mourns the passing of Roger Beckett, 44, who served as the Executive Director of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University since 2013. Mr. Beckett joined Ashbrook’s staff in 1997 and was pivotal in expanding the Center into a national leader in history and civic education.

Mr. Beckett’s bio on the Center’s website recounts that he led the effort to create Ashbrook’s Master of Arts degree in American History and Government as well as a variety of innovative programs that reached more than 17,000 middle and high school teachers – and hundreds of thousands of students.

Several members of ACTA’s team recalled Mr. Beckett’s extraordinary dedication toward strengthening teachers’ and students’ understanding of America’s history and founding principles – particularly by encouraging a close reading of primary texts.

“Roger was a great friend to ACTA, a dynamic, entrepreneurial leader and a patriot uniquely devoted to education about America’s greatness and achievements,” said Michael Poliakoff, ACTA’s president.

“Roger expanded the Ashbrook Center’s legacy,” added Nathaniel Urban, ACTA’s program officer for curricular improvement. “A lot of people will be forever moved by his commitment to putting America’s primary texts in the hands of students and teachers. And many Ashbrook scholars are where they are today because of his leadership.”


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.

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