Annette Y. Kirk

Annette Y. Kirk is president of the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal and publisher of the cultural quarterly The University Bookman. She is also director of the Wilbur Foundation residential Fellows Program.

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, restored a one-room schoolhouse, and served as Chairman of the Mecosta Country Board of Social Services.

Mrs. Kirk was a board member of the Midland Charter Initiative and the Education Freedom Fund, which awards scholarships to low-income students in Michigan Schools. She served for some years as an advisor to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and to the Heritage Foundation’s Russell Kirk Memorial Lecture Series. In 2002 she was appointed to 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 Queen’s 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 over a period of forty years.

Selected lectures by Annette Kirk

The survival of any culture, or of the material fabric of civilization, requires vigorous imagination and readiness to sacrifice. By dullness and complacency are intellectual and social orders undone.

Russell Kirk

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Highlights

ISI video draws on Kirk’s thought

The Intercollegiate Review has published a short video with Robert Reilly that was shot at Mecosta last summer. In it, Bob Reilly draws on Russell Kirk’s The Roots of American Order to explain why “America is older than you think.” The video is just two minutes long, but Bob manages to give a thoughtful introduction to three of the four cities: Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome.

Apr 2015

Birzer on Kirk

An interview with Brad Birzer, incumbent of the Russell Amos Kirk Chair in History at Hillsdale College, is the feature article in the most recent issue of Religion and Liberty from the Acton Institute. Birzer discusses his new biography, Russell Kirk: A Conservative Life, due out in the fall of 2015 from the University Press of Kentucky, in which he focuses on Kirk’s intellectual development. You can read the extensive interview at this link.

Mar 2015

Lubbers on the Liberal Arts

Listen or read here as Arend D. Lubbers, Grand Valley State University President Emeritus and longest serving college president in the country, speaks on the importance of a liberal arts education. President Lubbers has been a longtime friend of the Kirk family and The Russell Kirk Center. At GVSU, he arranged for Russell Kirk to be a visiting professor, deliver a commencement address and to receive an honorary degree.

Mar 2015