For over 15 years, our mission has focused on civility, discourse, and compromise. Through education and proactive leadership, the Henry Clay Center continues to be a beacon of statesmanship and center of excellence for cooperative national political dialogue.
The Henry Clay Center was founded as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. The mission was dedicated to the education of tomorrow’s leaders in the skills necessary for statesmanship, dialogue, negotiation, and compromise.
The inaugural College Student Congress commenced in 2008 and has since been an annual tradition, persisting to the present day. The organization continues to review and determine its new direction in the role of inspiring current and future leaders in the world of statesmanship.
In 2014, the Henry Clay Center turned its attention to the high school student population. The Center transitioned to developing a new program, inviting younger students to participate in a student congress. This program mirrored much of the College Student Congress’s original design, however, its outreach also assisted high school students in exploring statesmanship as a degree-seeking future. By 2015, the High School Student Congress successfully completed its inaugural year.
Beginning in 2016, the Henry Clay Center began hosting both the College and High School Student Congresses annually in partnership with the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University. Partnering with both local universities greatly expanded the organization’s ability to recruit and inspire future leaders across the nation. Continuing its popular expansion in 2017, the Center introduced an additional program in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the College Student Congress. Upon completion of this program, students working towards a career in statesmanship were provided life-changing internships and a real-world character building experience within the American political culture. The Congresses saw a significant rise in participation and support across all 50 states.
Today, alumni of the Henry Clay Center now number over 1,000 and serve in a variety of professions, including as elected state and local officials, staffers in the US. House and Senate, and corporate and legal professionals in the private sector. Many students are nominated and apply for this prestigious opportunity across the country. And while 2020 was a challenge due to the inability to meet in-person with large groups, the Henry Clay Center continues to grow, thrive, and work together towards its mission and vision. The board members and leadership are excited for 2024 and the organization’s direction moving towards a brighter, more inspired future.