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Stephen Cropped.jpg

I am the founding President of Ralston College, a new university in Savannah, now preparing for launch. 

You can read about that initiative, which has the support of many formidable intellectual and cultural figures, here.

I was born in Alberta and grew up as the eldest of ten siblings on a family farm in Prince Edward Island, Canada. 

I am convinced of the transcendent freedom and innate dignity of the human being. I have a deep sense that the achievements of the past — of art, music, architecture, literature, philosophy — can speak to and illuminate us, and that this cultural inheritance exists for all of us.

I learned a great deal from a handful of remarkable teachers at King’s College (BA), Dalhousie (MA) and Emory (PhD). I’ve also had the privilege of spending time at some of the world’s finest universities (Cambridge, Paris, Harvard).

Grateful as I am for the inestimable gift of my education, I believe that most colleges and universities have lost their way — that they are failing to provide the liberating, self-knowledge-giving experience that many young people seek. I believe that we must found new institutions of higher education that are adequate to the hunger of the young, and I believe the flourishing of a fully human culture depends on such institutions.

My writings and lectures range from the seminal figures of Western culture (Plato, Boethius, and Dante, among others) to the urgent questions of our own polity and cultural life. I have written for the Wall Street Journal (here), the National Post (here), The New Criterion (here), and Quillette (here). My book on Boethius, which considers many questions I regard as fundamental, was published by Oxford University Press and is available here (and coming out in paperback this winter).

I believe that conversation and friendship are among the greatest
joys of life.


If you'd like to follow me as I engage various thinkers in conversation, on questions at the heart of human experience, you may do so here.

If you like, you can read more about me here. I can be contacted at and am on Twitter here.

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