The John W. Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise, directed by Dr. Howard J. Wall, was founded in 2013 following a generous gift from long-time Lindenwood Board of Trustees member John W. Hammond.
Hammond, a Chesterfield resident, at that time said, “Lindenwood University’s impact on young people is something I have always admired and been attracted to. This gift is a perfect combination of blending my interests with what Lindenwood does best.”
What the Hammond Institute does best is to foster free enterprise and civil and religious liberty through the examination of market-oriented approaches to economic and social issues. Its mission is based on the view that limited government, such as that laid out in the Constitutional foundation of the United States, is a necessary component of a just and prosperous society. In serving that mission, it serves as an umbrella organization for the University’s Center for Economics and the Environment, its Duree Center for Entrepreneurship, the Liberty and Ethics Center and the Economic Education Center.
Institute programming is open to Lindenwood’s faculty, students and staff as well as invited colleagues in higher education and university friends. The general public also is invited to participate in programming that promotes the ideals of the value of free private enterprise policy around ethics and justice and the value of the U.S. Constitution.
“Our constitution is the rock of this country, and it is eroding,” Hammond said making his 2013 gift. “I hope the institute can help us all see what the framers of the constitution had in mind when they wrote the document.”
The programs from all of the different centers that are purely educational and available to Lindenwood students and the wider community are brought together under the Free Enterprise Academy umbrella. Those programs provide resources for teaching economics and personal finance, an economics course for state lawmakers, entrepreneurial mindset courses, entrepreneurship and economics camps for pre-college students, and early access courses for high school students.
Academy programs for Lindenwood students include research competitions and awards for economics students; a new philosophy, politics and economics [PPE] micro-credential; the University’s Collegiate DECA competition team; reading groups; and a new Student Fellows program.
Wall acknowledged that the many different centers can make the work of the Institute seem overly complicated. Overall, he said, the Hammond Institute, through its programs, is involved in economic research for the state of Missouri and providing entrepreneurship training and economic education.
As an example of those efforts, Lindenwood’s Economic Education Center, under the direction of Dr. Tawni Hunt Ferrarini, provides resources and programs for kindergarten through grade 12 educators, youth organizers and parents in addition to kindergarten through grade 16 students. The Center’s mission is to increase economic awareness and instill appreciation and value for using sound economic reasoning to make choices associated with comfortable and secure living.
Wall notes that Lindenwood’s commitment to free enterprise sets it apart from other universities.
“I think you’d be hard pressed to find programs like this coming from any other university in the region,” Wall said.
To learn more about the Hammond Institute, visit hammondinstitute.org.