The Thomas Jefferson Public Policy Program recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary. Following an on-campus session of its Board of Advisors, over 100 guests attended an evening celebratory event. Attendees included W&M Rector Jeffrey Trammell, W&M President Taylor Reveley, former Program Directors David Finifter (Founder) and Robert Archibald, current and former board members plus program alumni, students, staff and friends. The Rector gave the Keynote Address in his capacity as a founding board member and its first president.
Conceived in 1987 under former W&M President Paul Verkuil, over 370 Masters in Public Policy (MPP) degrees have been granted since the inaugural class graduated in the College Tercentennial year of 1993. The graduate MPP degree also provides joint degree options in Law, Business, Marine Science and Mathematics. The Bachelor of Arts degree is growing rapidly with over 80 Public Policy majors. In addition to the concept of graduate joint degrees, a pioneering innovation is a meld between selected undergraduate and graduate students that enables prestigious Trice Fellows to attain both degrees in only five years. The program operates the Schroeder Center for Health Policy and the Center for Public Policy Research. As epitomized by the College overall, the small Jefferson Program is now a competitive peer with far larger institutions.
Over three centuries, the College, in its essence, has produced distinguished contributors to public policy, including the program’s namesake. Today, that tradition is ingrained by a rigorous crosscutting curriculum that produces superior graduates proficient in quantitative methods plus an interdisciplinary core further enhanced by “real world – hands on” professional internships, client-financed research projects, and opportunities at an associated office in Washington D.C. The superior skillset meets the strong demand for policy analysis of complex issues at all levels of government, non-for-profit organizations and the private sector.
In its first quarter century, the Jefferson Program has benefitted immensely from the intellectual, mentoring and generous financial support of its Board of Advisors.
At the 25th celebration, Director Eric Jensen completed his two term tenure as director. He’ll be succeeded July 1, 2012 by current Associate Director Sarah Stafford, Professor of Economics, Public Policy and Law.