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During the year 2021, we were reminded how important and how fragile the institutions and traditions of Western Civilization are to the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The duration of the pandemic has shaped schools and institutions, education policy and the everyday lives of the entire world. We are thrilled that the tone and energy of our grantees has not been dampened. Quite the opposite. There are signs of increased hunger for studying the history of liberty and the important questions of moral character in a free society. Students across campuses are looking for positive change, for the knowledge, tools, and authority to improve their own lives. Pairing learners along the path of (re)discovering such fundamentals as appreciation of rights and duties as citizens, perennial ideas from classical works, or virtues of human behavior, our grantees have risen to the challenge to hold events and create new opportunities to study the “Wisdom of the Ancients,” “The American Founding,” “Constitutional Rights,” and political and economic theory. Others have explored with students the meaning and values which contribute to thriving, successful lives.

As the Apgar Foundation has begun planning the sunsetting of its activity, with increased annual giving, we continue to operate by Invitation Only. However, if you know of potential new grantees who are seeking to increase student opportunities to learn about topics within the mission of the Apgar Foundation, we welcome you to email and suggest we consider an invitation. If your mission is consistent with the Foundation’s, let us know in a letter of inquiry how an operating grant can advance your student-centered project.

Programs at the following universities received grants during 2021:
University of Pennsylvania
American University
Xavier University
LSU Foundation
ASU Foundation
Johns Hopkins University
University of North Texas
FSU Foundation
Chapman University
Houston Institute (Rice University)
Open Discourse Coalition (Bucknell University)
Scala Foundation (Princeton University)
Beatrice Institute (University of Pittsburg)
Austin Institute (University of Texas-Austin)
Bur Oak Foundation (University of Michigan).

During 2021, a total of $1,032,750 were granted to 50 different non-profit organizations - ranging from $500-$100,000, including fifteen programs at universities or independently operated tax-exempt entities located near campuses.

Below, please find examples of successful programs in 2021 that are achieving the goals of the Apgar Foundation. They are chosen for their illustrative value:



The Houston Institute was established by patrons of Rice University and the Texas Medical Center to serve every student at Rice University in helping unearth answers at the core of their humanistic inquiry during their college career and beyond. At the Houston Institute, Apgar Foundation supports activities which include non-credit reading groups on great Western works in antiquity and modernity (from 3 weeks to 6 weeks in duration), a dedicated 3-credit course in the Philosophy of Religion, and an upper-level seminar on the Philosophy of Aristotle. Building an intellectual community that seeks answers together through both philosophical conceptions and moral conversation - these bearings can have tremendous benefits in student’s lives today and give access to essential truths about how we ought to live. The Houston Institute’s mission places uniquely teaching students values of truth-seeking and fair-minded engagement with a variety of views holding fast in works of the Western Tradition.


At Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Apgar Foundation provides general support for activities at the Paul McHugh Program for Human Flourishing.

This formal fellowship program resides within the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and focuses on the moral formation of students, the relevance of spirituality, morality, and humanism to medicine, thus supporting a professional identity formation.

Students have the opportunities to explore the ‘big questions’ of what it means to be human, to be a physician, and to lead a good life.


The Open Discourse Coalition provides a physical space for students and professors dedicated to intellectual diversity. ODC holds leverage to openly discuss the need for change in university policies and culture.

Supporting colloquies and lectures, where college students can hear competing views on a variety of topics – such activities provide Bucknell University students with well-grounded, thoughtful, and intellectual viewpoints. The ODC provides support for student research and faculty curricular development, also support for speakers and scholars who will offer mini-seminars for students throughout the academic year.


At the University of Pennsylvania, Apgar Foundation supports the Penn Initiative for the Study of Markets (PISM). PISM strives to raise awareness of the importance of free markets and their philosophical foundations and aims to establish an undergraduate course and degree program developing an exportable free market curriculum which can reach a wide demographic of students. Next to creating educational materials (from High School to graduate school), central to PISM objectives is the mentoring of young scholars who can move to other colleges and universities to contribute to the public discourse on the relevance of markets for our society.