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

The ... conservative is concerned, first of all, for the regeneration of spirit and character—with the perennial problem of the inner order of the soul, the restoration of the ethical understanding, and the religious sanction upon which any life worth living is founded. This is conservatism at its highest.

Russell Kirk

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Highlights

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Seminars This Spring

For a long weekend in March, Hillsdale College Honors Students gathered at the Kirk Center to explore the theme “Man as Maker in Moral Perspective.” Professor of Classics Eric Hutchinson guided the students on the complex topics of transhumanism and cloning, followed by readings from Ray Bradbury’s science fiction stories. Although the March winds deterred students from an afternoon walk, they rounded out the weekend with piano-playing and singing at the Kirk house.

Hillsdale Seminar March 2018

On April 26–29, the Kirk Center welcomes this year’s recipients of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s prestigious Richard M. Weaver Fellowships for a seminar about Plato’s writings on education, sponsored by The Liberty Fund of Indianapolis. Since 1964, the Weaver Fellowship Program has identified and supported graduate students committed to freedom-oriented teaching at the college level. This year, fifteen students from across the country were selected as Weaver Fellows. Dr. David Corey, professor of Political Science at Baylor University, and Dr. Richard Gamble, professor of history at Hillsdale College, will lead the discussions.

Apr 2018

Buckley Biographer Visits Kirk Library

The Kirk Center was pleased to host a research visit for prize-winning historian and former New York Times Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus. Mr. Tanenhaus is the official biographer of William F. Buckley Jr. He made a trip from Connecticut to Mecosta to read the correspondence between Buckley and Kirk while enjoying the pleasant setting of the Kirk Library. Russell Kirk had a four-decades long friendship with Buckley, both admiring the other’s professionalism and contributions to the revival of the conservative tradition in America.

Jeff Nelson, Sam Tanenhaus, Annette Kirk

Apr 2018

Attention attorneys, judges, law students, and interested professionals: Registration just opened!

The Society for Law and Culture will gather to discuss “Moral Imagination and the Law” on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at the Kirk Center. We are pleased to announce the following distinguished speakers: the Hon. Caleb Stegall, Justice, Kansas Supreme Court; the Hon. Stephen Murphy, Judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan; Clare Neuchterlein, Distinguished Practitioner Emerita of Law, Valparaiso University; and Allen Mendenhall, Associate Dean and Director, Blackstone and Burke Center for Law and Liberty, Faulkner University.

Society for Law and Culture, 2016 gathering

Formed by Maxwell Goss, a practicing attorney and former Kirk Fellow, the Society for Law and Culture is an organization for lawyers, judges, professionals, and academics that aims to strengthen the ties between law and culture and promote a renewed sense of the law as a vocation and humane profession. For more information and to register please see the event site.

Apr 2018