Project Pericles

Advocate. Facilitate. Inspire.

Building on the Legacy and Innovative Vision of Eugene Lang - Since its founding in 2001, Project Pericles has grown into a vibrant consortium of liberal arts colleges and universities that plays a vital role in promoting civic engagement in higher education.

Our model is unique: Project Pericles works at all levels of the campus. We engage college boards of trustees, presidents, provosts, and other senior staff; Periclean program directors on each campus; faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members.

We work in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community. This gives us leverage to push for institutional transformation and the incorporation of civic engagement and social responsibility across the college experience while engaging, not just a few, but the majority of students on our campuses – either directly through Periclean programs or indirectly by creating a campus culture that thoroughly integrates civic engagement and social responsibility, most importantly, in the curriculum. Through our research projects and publications, we also promote greater awareness within higher education about the value and importance of civic engagement.

Recent News and Updates

Project Pericles' Summer Newsletter is available!

Our latest newsletter offers exciting updates on ongoing programs, such as Creating Cohesive Paths, D4D™ on the Road, and the 2014 Letters to an Elected Official Competition. To read our Summer Newsletter, click here.

Creating Cohesive Paths to Civic Engagement 

Launched in 2013, this cutting edge, three-year project will further enhance our delivery of Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility (CESR) opportunities to students in all majors and will significantly increase the reach of civic engagement programming across the curriculum. With support from the Eugene M. Lang Foundation and The Teagle Foundation, our member colleges and universities are inventorying, mapping, strengthening, and developing more cohesive and integrated civic engagement programs to enable students in all disciplines to incorporate civic engagement into their courses of study.

"This has been a remarkable exercise…. It gives us a wealth of information for future discussion, and will be an important guide as we continue to refine our institutional civic mission (Goucher College Program Director on completing the first of three phases of Creating Cohesive Paths)."

Project Pericles led panel presentations on Creating Cohesive Paths to Civic Engagement at AAC&U and CIC national conferences in January 2014. The presentations offered insight on the topic based on experiences and lessons learned. Read more

Winners of the Letters to an Elected Official Competition

Over the past six years, hundreds of teams from all 29 Periclean colleges and universities have participated in the Letters to an Elected Official Competition. Winning teams have used their awards to take their issue and move it forward. Student leaders and activists have worked on a wide range of issues, including: fracking, education reform, human trafficking, the Dream Act, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and mountaintop removal coal mining. They have met with their elected officials and raised awareness on campus and in the community about their issues. 

This year's winning teams will each receive $500 award. The six winning letters are:

Hendrix College "A Letter to State Senator Joyce A. Elliott (D-AR) Concerning the Establishment of an Arkansas State Bank" by Chirag Lala and Steven Hulsey

Macalester College "A Letter to Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) in support of the Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013 (S. 912)" by Eliza Ramsey, Ben Haltmaier, and Myles Ambrose

New England College "A Letter to U. S. Representative Ann M. Kuster (D-NH) in Support of Providing Resources Early for Kids Act of 2013 (H.R. 1041)" by Mariel Rheingold and Martina Cohran

Pitzer College "A Letter to U.S. Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) in support of the Safe Schools Improvement Act" by Eli Erlick and Nicholas LaCivita

Swarthmore College "A Letter to Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) concerning Human Rights Considerations and Effectiveness of U.S. Sponsored Coca Fumigation in Colombia" by Mackenzie Welch and Jason Mendoza

Wagner College "A Letter to State Senator Diane J. Savino (D-NY) concerning the impact of hydraulic fracking in New York" by Nada Metwally and Adrienne Datta 

We are proud of all the Periclean students on campuses throughout the country who participated in the competition!

D4D on the Road Workshop at Dillard University Praised for its Outstanding Contribution to Civic Engagement

On Saturday, March 15, Dillard University hosted a Debating for Democracy (D4D)™ workshop. 

Project Pericles Program Director, Dr. Gary Clark, said, "the D4D Project Pericles Workshop was recognized today, at a university meeting, for outstanding contribution to civic engagement. A cross-section of the university's administration, students, and faculty attended the D4D workshop. The comprehensive review is "superlative." Our mission [at Dillard] coupled with Project Pericles and Wellstone Action is a serious enterprise. To have a member of our Political Science faculty in attendance, who was Senator Wellstone's former law school student provided the intellectual bridge that made all of us smile."

For more information about D4D™ on the Road workshops and the 2013-2014 calendar, click here

Project Pericles appreciates the generous support of the Eugene M. Lang Foundation, The Henry Luce Foundation, and our Periclean colleges and universities.

Bates D4D Team Uses Award to Fight Tar Sands in Maine  

Jessica Nichols and Kate Paladin, are rallying their fellow Bates students against the dangers of transporting Canadian tar sands through Maine using the Portland-Montreal Pipeline. The pair have been recruiting students to work on the issue and recently sent a letter opposing tar sands transport with over 150 signatures to Governor Paul LePage. Jessica and Kate won an award as one of the five winning teams of the 2013 Letters to an Elected Official competition, and have been working ever since on advancing their issue. Read more

Executive Director, Jan R. Liss, Gives Radio Interview About Civic Engagement

Wednesday March 12, Project Pericles' Executive Director, Jan R. Liss, was interviewed by radio host Mara Dolan of WCAP AM 980 about the role of Project Pericles in promoting civic engagement in higher education. Listen to the interview

For more information about receiving copies of our newsletters and publications, please e-mail Garret Batten.