Continuing a Legacy

Building on the success of the H. B. Earhart Fellowship

Our Inspiration

H. B. Earhart
H. B. Earhart
For the last several decades, a little known foundation has operated largely under the radar of public scrutiny to help fund rising academics orientated toward freedom in their scholarship and teaching. This was the H.B. Earhart Foundation. Their model was unique and the success of their graduate fellowship program was remarkable. But the H.B. Earhart Foundation will soon close its doors, which is the vacuum we intend to fill and expand with FreedomTrust.

The Earhart fellowship program identified individual freedom-oriented faculty in an array of PhD-level graduate programs of social sciences and humanities. The Foundation would then award a number of fellowships to these individual faculty members, which included full tuition plus a stipend for living expenses, to offer to their best graduate students.

The entire model of the program was rooted in trust—trusting the judgment of the faculty who were part of the Earhart Program. Students were eligible for a graduate fellowship only if an Earhart faculty nominated them. Students could not apply directly for any fellowship on their own.   Earhart helped to create a network of freedom educators, each preparing the best PhD students to continue freedom scholarship within the current system of higher education. If not for the work of Earhart, our universities and colleges today would be even worse than they are, hard as that is to imagine.

Earhart Fellows

The list of past Earhart Fellowship recipients and faculty is impressive, and includes several Nobel laureates in economics:

  • F. A. Hayek
  • Milton Friedman
  • George J. Stigler
  • James M. Buchanan
  • Ronald H. Coase
  • Gary Becker

Since the 1950s, more than 2,500 graduate students have received assistance as H. B. Earhart Fellows. This includes support for Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin and their students in the filed of political philosophy. In international affairs, the work of Peter Bauer was funded along with such institutions as the Mont Pelerin Society and the Institute of Economic Affairs in London.

Edwin J. Feulner, former president of the Heritage Foundation, and Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, were both recipients of Earhart Fellowships, as well as James Gwartney, author of one of the most popular college economics textbooks in the country.

Thomas Sowell, arguaby the most influential black conservative intellectual in America, was an Earhart Fellowship recipient. Sowell wrote that the foundation’s support had “made the difference between my finishing and not finishing my graduate work.” Earhart, Sowell added, was one of the few institutions “that helped keep alive certain kinds of scholarship that might otherwise have been buried under the prevailing academic orthodoxy and intolerance,” and “rendered a service not simply to individual scholars but to the nation.”

But all this is soon to end.

Earhart will spend its last dollars in 2015 and retire from its mission.

FreedomTrust Continues and Expands the Work

We propose to carry on and expand the noble work begun by the H.B. Earhart Foundation, under the auspices of FreedomTrust. With adequate capital, Freedomtrust will launch a fellowship program almost identical in structure to the Earhart program.