We offer a variety of programs and initiatives to support our mission.

Student Programs

Mancur Olson Scholars

The Mancur Olson Scholars program brings together diverse students to study an important topic of our time. By sharing their own views and hearing the perspectives of their peers, scholars experience the value of free expression and develop scholarly skills. 

Reading groups enhance the university experience by helping students explore important ideas, engage in civil discussion, and develop new skills. 

Scholars are invited to think critically and engage in robust discussion of ideas. Civil disagreement with one another and the text is not only accepted, but actively encouraged. All students who complete the reading group receive a scholarship. In addition, students are given opportunities to network with guest speakers and attend exclusive events. 

The application for our spring 2022 reading groups is now open. The deadline to apply is November 30. 

Apply Now

Upcoming Reading Groups

The Rise and Fall of Dictatorships
Spring 2022 Reading Group
Tuesdays 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Scholars will explore the rise and decline of dictatorships in the 20th century. Students will learn about some of the world's most infamous dictators, their motives and strategies, and the institutional factors that led them to power. 


Challenges in Higher Education
Spring 2022 Reading Group
Wednesdays 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Scholars will explore modern challenges to the higher education system. This reading group examines arguments related to grades, cheating, the cost of education, and how college and the workforce are changing. Students will discuss how to get the most from the college experience.


Current Reading Groups

Why (Some) Nations Fail
Fall 2021 Reading Group
Mondays 4:50 - 6:00 p.m.

Scholars will explore the classic puzzle: why are some countries rich and others poor? Students will examine institutions that foster stability and economic growth and factors that lead to poverty, conflict, and stagnation.

Entrepreneurship: From Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times
Fall 2021 Reading Group
Wednesdays 3:50-5:00 p.m.

Scholars will explore the history of entrepreneurship from diverse regions, cultures, and times. Students will learn about the entrepreneurs who built our world and draw upon these lessons to understand successful entrepreneurship today.

Top of page