Annette Y. Kirk

Annette Y. Kirk is president of the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal, director of its residential Fellows Program, and publisher of the journals The University Bookman and Studies in Burke and His Time. She also serves as an advisor to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Annette Y. Kirk

A native New Yorker, Mrs. Kirk moved to the village of Mecosta, Michigan in 1964 when she married Russell Kirk. While raising their four daughters and acting as lecture agent for her husband, she founded the Mecosta County Council for the Arts, and served for ten years as Chairman of the Mecosta County Board of Social Services.

Mrs. Kirk was a board member of the Midland Charter Initiative and the Education Freedom Fund, which awarded scholarships to low-income students in Michigan Schools. She served as an advisor to the Heritage Foundation’s Russell Kirk Memorial Lecture Series and was a member of the board of the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.

Annette Kirk received her Bachelor of Arts degree and an honorary doctor of letters from Molloy College. She taught English and Drama in a New York public high school and did graduate work in theater at Queens College, in literature at St. John’s University, and in education at Columbia University.

President Ronald Reagan appointed Annette Kirk to the National Commission on Excellence in Education, which in 1983 published the landmark report, A Nation at Risk, elevating educational issues to national prominence. Since then, she has encouraged our educational and political leaders to consider to what purpose we are educating our youth, and whether true education can exist without a moral dimension.

During her thirty-year marriage to Russell Kirk, they gave joint lectures, campaigned for political candidates, and hosted thousands of students at seminars held in The Russell Kirk Center library where Russell Kirk wrote almost all of his thirty-two books.

Selected lectures by Annette Kirk

A “conservative character [is] suspicious of doctrinaire alteration, respectful toward history, preferring variety over uniformity, acknowledging a moral order composed of human persons, not of mere political and economic atoms subservient to the state.”

Russell Kirk, A Program for Conservatives, 1954

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Highlights

Trump and the Future of American Democracy

Donald Trump’s election changed the American political landscape … hugely. Join Kirk on Campus at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, on Thursday, November 16 at 7:00 p.m., for a spirited conversation with Ross Douthat of the New York Times, Sam Tanenhaus of the New York Times, Mark Bauerlein of First Things, and Hope College’s Jeff Polet, about how the American conservative and progressive movements have been reshaped by the Trump presidency, and what it means for the future. Register for this free event here.

Oct 2017

Budziszewski Lecture in Grand Rapids

The Society for Law and Culture is joining with the Christian Legal Society in sponsoring a lecture by J. Budziszewski titled “Natural Law: Why and So What?” The event will be held at Cooley Law School in Grand Rapids, MI, on Thursday, November 2, 2017, beginning at 5:30 p.m. A professor of government and philosophy at the University of Texas, Prof. Budziszewski is an engaging speaker, perceptive social critic, and prolific author on natural law and other topics. Download the event flier for more details and contact information.

Oct 2017

Historical Marker Project

Thank you! In preparation for the upcoming centennial of the birth of Russell Kirk, friends have successfully funded a historical marker for his birthplace of Plymouth, Michigan. We are grateful to all who participated. Here is a video of Annette Kirk and Andrea Kirk Assaf celebrating the end of the campaign. For more details, visit the GoFundMe campaign site. The project is being coordinated by Bart Smith, a former Wilbur Fellow.

Sep 2017