Transylvania University takes over Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship

lblackford@herald-leader.comDecember 18, 2012 

Transylvania University will house the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship and plans on making it a program that teaches high school students about the "ideals of enlightened compromise and civil discourse," championed by Henry Clay.

Since 2007, the center has brought college students from across the U.S. to Transylvania and the University of Kentucky for a one-week course about Clay's career of debate and diplomacy. Beginning in 2014, the center will instead focus on Kentucky high school students.

Clay was Secretary of State under President John Quincy Adams, as well as a senator and representative, Speaker of the House, and a three-time presidential candidate. He was called the Great Compromiser.

While the program will now be solely at Transylvania, scholars from the University of Kentucky will continue to participate.

"We are thrilled to be working in association with the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship and the University of Kentucky on this important project," Transylvania President R. Owen Williams said in a news release. "Few Americans from the 19th century are more closely associated with the art of political compromise than Henry Clay. We are delighted to be part of a program that advances greater civility in public discourse, especially given the many challenges in the current political arena."

UK President Eli Capilouto said he was pleased with the continued partnership between the two schools.

Clay had close ties to Transylvania. He taught in the university's law department beginning in 1805 and served on the Board of Trustees on several occasions. In 1833, he oversaw construction of Old Morrison, now Transylvania's administration building.

The center for is a part of the Henry Clay Memorial Foundation, a non-profit organization, located in Lexington, at Ashland, the historic Henry Clay estate.

The search for a program director will begin soon, officials said.

Linda Blackford: (859) 231-1359. Twitter: @lbblackford

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