Hinckley Institute Honors the People–Not the Party


(Daily Utah Chronicle File Photo)


(Daily Utah Chronicle File Photo)
(Daily Utah Chronicle File Photo)

The state of Utah is generally known to be conservative while institutions of higher learning are historically liberal. However, the Hinckley Institute of Politics has made it its goal to remain non-partisan.


Each year the Institute invites a number of speakers to the U to talk to students about the important work they do on a national and international stage.

Jayne Nelson, associate director of the Hinckley, said most of the speakers have clear political leanings, but the Institute works to ensure a variety of political opinions are represented and discussed in their forums.

“We hope that students learn about new aspects of policy issues, new career opportunities and how these policies can impact their lives, national policy or global people around the world,” Nelson said. “We want to show students how they can get engaged regardless of their major, graduate pursuits or career path.”

The list of Hinckley honorees includes well-known Republican names, such as Mitt Romney, John McCain and Barry Goldwater, as well as Democratic names, such as Edward Kennedy, Joseph Biden and George McGovern. Speakers stretch beyond politics to include visits from the Dalai Lama, celebrated authors and revolutionary inventors.

Kendahl Melvin, a Hinckley staff member, said when they are looking for new speakers to invite they always consider the organization’s dedication to fair representation.

“Bipartisanship promotes the sharing of ideas and cultures, which is essential in our increasingly connected society,” Melvin said. “We hope that through Hinckley Institute forums students gain access to knowledge outside of the classroom.”

Last year the Hinckley Institute hosted a total of 116 forums. The most recent was the Siciliano Forum series, “The Future of U.S.-Latin American Relations.”

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