I have the greatest job on earth. There is nothing that makes me more hopeful for the future than to see hundreds of students fill our caucus room and the surrounding halls of Orson Spencer Hall to watch to a presidential debate.
There is nothing that strengthens my outlook for our country’s leadership more than to send off a new batch of interns to Washington, D.C., ready to discover the magic of working on Capitol Hill and begin their lives of public service.
There is nothing that encourages me more about tomorrow than to see students spending all of their waking hours (and well into the night) civically engaged, whether by registering others to vote, walking neighborhoods for political campaigns, or asking stimulating questions during a Hinckley Forum.
These are the kinds of things I experience on a daily basis when I walk through the door of the Hinckley Institute of Politics each morning. I’m sure you would agree: I have the greatest job on earth.
2012 was a phenomenal year for the Hinckley Institute, and I express my deepest gratitude to my staff for their incredible energy and ingenuity, as well as to our resident scholars, community partners, intern host offices, donors, and, of course, our outstanding students. Together, we continually take the Hinckley Institute to higher heights and live out our founder Robert H. Hinckley’s dream to “teach students respect for practical politics and the principle of citizen involvement in government.”
To illustrate, when I became director of the Hinckley Institute seven years ago, I never imagined that we would hold more than 50 forums a year—now we hold more than 100 world-class events across the fall and spring semesters, bringing in the top political thinkers, ambassadors and global leaders, and inspiring members of our community to engage with students and provide the best learning opportunities possible.
Last year we expanded our academic programs to offer more classes, more internships, and more scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students of all disciplines. Our interns and students have never been brighter—they exceed my expectations every day.
The Hinckley Institute has a larger community presence than ever before, and you will often find us presenting to local schools about the importance of youth voting and joining with civic groups to encourage political participation among women and other demographics. This presence extends beyond the Salt Lake Valley to the furthest reaches on the globe through our growing international internship program and expanding media coverage.
So, come be a part of the Hinckley Institute. Help us continue to grow, and I promise that you will become as optimistic about the future as I am every day.
Kirk L. Jowers