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Firing Line

Firing Line Debate Series

The Firing Line Debate Series seeks to model thoughtful and respectful discourse across political lines by bringing in experts with opposing views to debate a wide variety of policy and political topics. 


  • Merit-Based Immigration Policy

  • Fossil Fuel Divestment

  • Abortion

  • Syria Foreign Policy

  • The Retreat from Marriage in America


  • Newt Gingrich

  • Prof. Akhil Reed Amar

  • Ambassador Robert Ford

  • Alexandra DeSanctis

  • Prof. Brad Wilcox

Lecture by Governor Jeb Bush

Speaker Series

Throughout the academic year, the Buckley Program produces a lecture series, free and open to the public, that brings to the Yale campus notable intellectual leaders, politicians, and professionals from across the disciplines.


These speakers draw large audiences from the amongst the Yale and local communities, but they also meet privately with Buckley Program student fellows, affording them unique opportunities to discuss ideas.


Past guests include Ayaan Hirsi Ali, J.D. Vance, Ben Carson, Robert George, Christina Hoff Sommers, Ben Sasse, Carly Fiorina, and Charles Krauthammer.

Arthur Brooks on "The Secret to Happiness"


As part of our effort to promote thoughtful discussion, the Buckley Program sponsors one-day seminars on a wide range of topics. We offer these seminars throughout the academic year.

In March 2015, we launched our multi-day seminar program, allowing students the opportunity to have intensive and fruitful academic engagement with topics and thinkers neglected in their Yale classrooms. Held over three days during winter, spring, summer, and fall breaks, topics and professors have included: 

  • Free Market Fairness with John Tomasi

  • Aristotle on The Good Life with Robert Bartlett

  • William F. Buckley, Jr. and the Rise of Modern Conservatism with Alvin Felzenberg

  • The Federalist Papers and the American Founding with Charles Kesler

  • Tocqueville's Democracy in America with Patrick Deneen 

“The Buckley seminar experience was extremely enlightening and provided an opportunity for debate and discussion about a topic that I have not seen addressed elsewhere on campus.” 

Randal K. Quarles, vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, giving introductory remarks at the 2019 Conference


The Buckley Program sponsors an annual conference each fall. Featuring afternoon panel discussions and a gala dinner, these events attract hundreds of students, faculty, alumni, and other members of the community. 

Past Conference Topics

  • God and Man at Yale: 60 Years Later

  • Whittaker Chambers' Witness

  • The Future of Free Speech: Threats in Higher Education and Beyond

  • The Constitution and the Courts

  • Russell Kirk and The Conservative Mind Today

  • The Road to Serfdom at 75


Disinvitation Dinner

The phenomenon of disinviting a speaker from campus or creating such a ruckus during the speech that someone is effectively quashed is one of the most virulent assaults on free speech on college campuses. In 2015, the Buckley Program decided to turn that practice on its head and instead invite the disinvited to speak in a place of honor. Our annual Disinvitation Dinner has become a favorite event for Buckley Program supporters, students, and new friends.

Previous Guests of Honor:

Henry Kissinger 

Charles Murray

Peter Thiel

Ray Kelly

George Will

Henry Kissinger giving the Keynote Address at the 2019 Disinvitation Dinner

Funded Summer Internships

This highly competitive summer internship program links talented Yale students with enriching summer opportunities. We've sponsored Yale students at National Review, the Manhattan Institute, Gingrich Productions, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, National Review Institute, The New CriterionThe American Spectator, and Forbes Opinion


Thanks to our donors, the Buckley Program is able to provide our interns with a $4,000 living stipend, making this experience affordable to students of all backgrounds. As part of our partnership with Yale's Office of Career Strategy, students can apply to the internships through the Symplicity website.



Each year, the Buckley Program sponsors an essay contest for undergraduates . The winners receive monetary awards.

Previous essay prompts have included:

- Do you agree with Russell Kirk's view of liberal education?

-Where is the American political party system headed after 2016 and why?

-What is the greatest challenge facing the U.S. economy?


Buckley Fellows publish the student-run, online blog, The Beacon, featuring interviews with our guest speakers, student opinions, and  reflections. 

Read Here:

Interview with Christina Hoff Sommers

Interview with Professor Carlos Eire


Since 2015, we have professionally polled American college students throughout the country in order to ascertain their understanding of the First Amendment and how it is regarded, or disregarded, on their campuses. We publish our survey results widely and thus draw national attention to the demise of this critical Constitutional protection. These survey findings are routinely cited in leading American newspapers and opinion journals.

Survey Results:










  • We commissioned a 50th anniversary reprint of James Burnham's Suicide of the West

  •  The Buckley Program provided support for Prof. Alvin Felzenberg's biography of William F. Buckley, Jr.

  • In 2016, the Buckley Program commissioned the publication of Campus Speech in Crisis: What the Yale Experience Can Teach America, a reprint of Yale’s 1975 Woodward Report along with contextualizing commentary by Judge Jose A. Cabranes, Professor Kate Stith, George F. Will, and Nathaniel A.G. Zelinsky.


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