ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Niall Ferguson to Receive Award at Annual Higher Education Conference

Higher education reform group presents human rights advocate and distinguished historian with 2016 Philip Merrill Award

October 19, 2016 by ACTA

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) will present the 12th annual Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education to Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Niall Ferguson at the Folger Shakespeare Library on the evening of October 28 for their extraordinary contributions to higher education as eloquent proponents of academic freedom and the understanding of world civilization. Named for the distinguished philanthropist and public servant Philip Merrill, ACTA presents the award annually to individuals who advance liberal arts education, high academic standards and the study of Western Civilization and American history.

The first married couple to receive the award, Dr. Ferguson will accept the award in person and Ms. Hirsi Ali via a special video address. U.S. Senator John McCain (via video), American Enterprise Institute Resident Scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, former World Bank President Robert Zoellick and New-York Historical Society President and CEO Louise Mirrer will also present brief tributes to the award winners.

A best-selling author and former member of the Dutch Parliament, Ms. Hirsi Ali has received international acclaim as a stalwart defender of religious freedom and advocate for the rights and self-determination of Muslim women. She is currently a fellow of the Future of Democracy Project at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Ferguson, the biographer of Henry Kissinger and award-winning author of more than a dozen books, is a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the Center for European Studies at Harvard University.

WHO:                  

Human rights advocate Ayaan Hirsi Ali and distinguished historian Niall Ferguson

WHAT:                

Presentation of the Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education at a gala dinner

WHEN:                                

6:30 p.m. on Friday, October 28

WHERE:              

The Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 E. Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003