Professor Samuel J. Abrams of Sarah Lawrence College is Awarded Steamboat Institute’s 2019 Courage in Education Award

August 26, 2019

For Immediate Release August 26, 2019 The Steamboat Institute Contact: Jordan Bruneau (202) 734-0542

Professor Samuel J. Abrams of Sarah Lawrence College is Awarded Steamboat Institute’s 2019 Courage in Education Award

Professor Abrams protects viewpoint diversity on campus by bravely calling out the unbalanced growth of progressive events

Steamboat Springs, CO—Today, The Steamboat Institute announced that Professor Samuel Abrams, professor of politics and social science at Sarah Lawrence College, visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and faculty fellow with New York University’s Center for Advanced Social Science Research, was awarded The Steamboat Institute’s 2019 Courage in Education Award for his brave efforts to protect viewpoint diversity on campus by calling out the unbalanced growth of progressive events sanctioned by the university administration. He was presented the award at The Steamboat Institute’s 11th Annual Freedom Conference & Film Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado this past weekend. The Courage in Education Award is granted each year to a member of academia who demonstrates a commitment to open inquiry, free speech, and intellectual diversity – traditional ideals of higher education which have been usurped in recent years in favor of identity politics and free speech restrictions. Past recipients of the award include Wallace Loh, President of the University of Maryland; Brandon Van Dyck, assistant professor of government and law at Lafayette College; and Bruce Benson, President of the University of Colorado. Professor Abrams wrote an op-ed in the New York Times last October highlighting the growth of left-wing administrative programs on the Sarah Lawrence campus while noting the dearth of similar programs from other political perspectives. In response, Prof. Abrams faced an activist backlash including demands for a review of his tenure. Read the New York Times op-ed HERE. “As someone who has been fighting for viewpoint diversity, the promotion of free speech and open-discourse, having the support of the wonderful community of thinkers and change-makers that are part of The Steamboat Institute is invaluable,” said Professor Samuel J. Abrams, professor of politics and social science at Sarah Lawrence College and recipient of The Steamboat Institute’s 2019 Courage in Education Award. “My research and advocacy around free speech has made me unpopular in many circles and fairly isolated is particular communities. Being given the 2019 “Courage in Education” award in recognition for leadership and courage in promoting intellectual diversity and free speech on campus and in advancing conservative thought and policy is extraordinarily meaningful. It sends a message to me and my community of supporters that our work is truly important for the future of higher education and conservative thought and emboldens me to continue this work.”  Abrams continued: “It is crucial that professors and educational practitioners promote reason and debate and make sure that all voices are heard around the table — not just the dominant, extremely loud liberal and progressive views. I cannot thank the Steamboat Institute enough for this award; with the new school year around the corner,  I — along with many others — will continue to work to make sure that both conservative thought and viewpoint diversity remains alive and vibrant in higher education.”  “Professor Abrams embodies the ideals of a Courage in Education Award recipient,” said Jennifer Schubert-Akin, Chairman and CEO of the Steamboat Institute. “For the simple act of calling out his administration for promoting only progressive extracurricular programs on campus, he was subjected to a firestorm of criticism, including threats against his family.  Rather than retreat, Professor Abrams stood steadfast in his beliefs. Leaders such as Professor Abrams are restoring free speech and ideological diversity on campuses across America, enriching the educational experience for their students.”

To arrange an interview, please contact Jordan Bruneau at or (202) 734-0542.


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