The Daniel Patrick Moynihan Center for Scholarship and Statesmanship, an endeavor with national reach that cultivates thoughtful citizens who are inspired by the late senator’s example to appreciate the link between ideas and action
From Cicero to Burke and John Adams to James Madison, the convergence of scholarship and statesmanship has produced some of the great insights and great actions in political history. There is no recent exemplar of that tradition, and no greater example of the kind of scholars, statesmen, and citizens the contemporary academy should seek to cultivate, than Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
That cultivation is the mission of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Center for Scholarship and Statesmanship at Assumption University. The Center seeks a renewal of both political and intellectual life as noble endeavors, never more so than when they converge. Liberal education is where that convergence begins. Political life is where it culminates. Today’s students are tomorrow’s statesmen and scholars. The Daniel Patrick Moynihan Center aspires to encourage a convergence between the two.
The journalist Michael Barone described Moynihan as “the best thinker among politicians since Lincoln and the best politician among thinkers since Jefferson.” Moynihan wrote or edited 19 books—more, his friend George F. Will once remarked, than most Senators had read—and hundreds of articles and essays. His scholarship and statesmanship were deeply informed by his Catholicism.
Moynihan earned a Ph.D. from Tufts University and served in the cabinet or sub-cabinet of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford. During interstices in this service, Moynihan taught on the faculty of Harvard University, and he maintained an active and engaged scholarly life throughout his political career. In 1976, New York elected him to four terms in the United States Senate.
Moynihan’s example now awaits a new generation of scholar-statesmen and stateswomen. But they must be cultivated. That is the idea of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Center for Scholarship and Statesmanship.
Apply for the Moynihan Washington Seminar
Join students from around the country in the nation’s capital for a week-long program dedicated to the intersection of scholarship and statesmanship. Participants will discuss Moynihan’s writings and related themes while also interacting with statesmen and women and prominent political thinkers.
The Center is guided by an impressive advisory board – all of whom enjoyed a close working relationship with the late Senator -- including Robert A. Katzmann, Ph.D., Chief Judge of the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (Sen. Moynihan’s teaching assistant at Harvard University); Sen. Moynihan’s former colleague Sen. J. Robert Kerrey; renowned Harvard University sociologist and frequent Moynihan collaborator Nathan Glazer; Stephen Hess, former advisor to Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon and senior fellow emeritus in the Governance Studies program at the Brookings Institution whom Sen. Moynihan served with in the White House; Joel Motley, a former Moynihan aide and now a managing director of Public Capital Advisors, LLC; Wendy Schiller, also a former Moynihan aide and the chair of the Government Department at Brown University; and George F. Will, the Pulitzer Prize-winning and nationally syndicated columnist for the Washington Post who was a close friend of Sen. Moynihan.
"Daniel P. Moynihan was a true scholar statesman, and one doesn’t know which of these terms to put first, they were so wonderfully merged. One hopes the new Moynihan Center will promote this kind of merger among some with political ambitions, and some with scholarly ones.” Nathan Glazer, renowned Harvard University sociologist and frequent Moynihan collaborator
"May the new center honoring Pat Moynihan reflect the joy that marked his life as an intellectual in public service.” Stephen Hess, former advisor to Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon; senior fellow emeritus in the Governance Studies program at the Brookings Institution
“Daniel Patrick Moynihan was a deeply religious secular humanist who cared deeply about the lives of working Americans and the quality of the design of our buildings. Studying him is as good a route to take for those who care about the survival of our families, our communities and our Democracy.” J. Robert Kerrey, former Senator from Nebraska
"Daniel Patrick Moynihan believed that social scientific inquiry was an integral part of a free society, and that knowledge was essential to holding government accountable for its actions, from the local town council to the Oval Office. The Daniel Patrick Moynihan Center for Scholarship and Statesmanship at Assumption College creates an invaluable space where scholars and policy practitioners can come together to assess and debate the crucial issues of our time, guided by Daniel Patrick Moynihan's lifetime body of scholarship and public service.” Wendy Schiller, former Moynihan aide and chair of the Government Department at Brown University
"The social sciences, said Pat Moynihan, cannot tell us what to do, but it can tell us the results of what we are doing. Hence the frequent unpopularity of social scientists. Moynihan, the most accomplished intellectual in 20th century American politics, gave to our democracy the inestimable gift of a good example -- of brave and clear thinking amid the tumults of democracy.” George F. Will, Pulitzer Prize-winning and nationally syndicated columnist for the Washington Post
Sen. Moynihan earned a doctorate from Tufts University, served in the cabinets or sub-cabinets of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford in capacities that included assistant secretary of labor, assistant to the president for urban affairs, and served as Ambassador to India and Ambassador to the United Nations. He also taught at Harvard University and maintained an active and engaged scholarly life throughout his political career. In 1976, New York elected him to the first of four terms in the United States Senate, from which Moynihan retired in 2001. He passed in 2003.