George Wythe University Article

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George Wythe University
GWuniversity seal.png
Motto"Building Statesmen"
TypePrivate, non-profit, classical liberal arts, unaccredited, nonsectarian [1]
EstablishedSeptember 1992
EndowmentNone [2] [3]
Academic staff
23[ citation needed]
Students150[ citation needed]
Location, ,
George Wythe University logo

GEORGE WYTHE UNIVERSITY Latitude and Longitude:

37°38′18″N 113°15′00″W / 37.638279°N 113.250053°W / 37.638279; -113.250053
George Wythe University (GWU) was a non-profit classical liberal arts school in Salt Lake City, Utah which offered undergraduate and graduate degrees in the liberal arts, education and political philosophy. [4] GWU's curriculum borrowed from the Great Books of the Western World published in 1952 by Britannica, and its methodology was based on the Socratic seminar and Oxford tutorial models. [5] The school was named in honor of George Wythe, mentor to Thomas Jefferson. GWU was unaccredited. [6] The college closed in August 2016, and is no longer enrolling students. [7]


George Wythe, the university's namesake


George Wythe College (GWC) was organized in 1992 as a subsidiary of the Institute for Constitutional Education with Donald N. Sills as president. The school opened that fall as a Utah branch of Coral Ridge Baptist University (CRBU). Over the next several years the school awarded bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees across a range of subjects, including Finance, [8] Youth and Family Counseling, [9] History, [10] Near Eastern Studies, [11] Education, [12] and Psychology. [13] In 1997 a steering committee formalized the school's comprehensive academic program, integrating the methodology, motto and mission into a cohesive liberal arts model which it called the Five Pillars of Statesmanship. [14] In 1999, George Wythe Foundation was created to commence fundraising efforts, [15] and by 2000 the college expanded its faculty and administration to include 13 employees plus support staff. [16]

Independence and growth

In January 2002, the college became independent from CRBU through a transfer of ownership to George Wythe Foundation. [15] At this time the school realigned its policies and narrowed its degree programs to the four specific degrees that most closely matched its mission, namely: B.A in Statesmanship; M.A. degrees in Political Economy and Education; and a Ph.D in Constitutional Law. This notably reduced the religious emphasis that existed previously. [15]


In 2006 a master plan was presented for reorganizing under a university model with multiple colleges on several campuses. [17] In August 2008 the school announced the designation of "university" status granted by the State of Utah, and the Board decision to formally adopt the change, as it broke ground on its second campus in Monticello, Utah. At this same groundbreaking ceremony it was also announced that the school's leadership would assume new titles under the university model, with head administrator Shanon Brooks being named university president and chief academic Oliver DeMille receiving the title of chancellor. [18] Temporary remote headquarters were set up in a local historical monument known as the Hyland Hotel [19] and classes were held with 19 students. [20] Intentions for a third campus were announced for Alberta, Canada. [21]

In February 2009 the school announced plans to offer live online classes. This announcement coincided with the resignation of Brooks as president, the appointment of Andrew Groft as the university's interim president, [22] and the cancellation of the chancellor model incident to the retirement of DeMille, due to health problems. It was also noted that the timeline for the Monticello campus would be modified in response to the global economic crisis.

In June 2010, the Board of Trustees appointed Shane Schulthies as University President. By August 2010 all members of the original governing board had resigned and been replaced by new trustees.[ citation needed] In April 2012, the Board of Trustees announced a feasibility study rejecting Monticello as a viable campus site and returned the donated land. [23]

In October 2015, the new administration announced that it had been looking at options for being acquired, which it intends to complete by August 2016. [24]


As a classical liberal arts school, curriculum was based on the Great Books of the Western Tradition but with an additional emphasis on developing the attributes necessary for statesmanship. The purpose "is two-fold: 1) to provide a comprehensive, quality liberal arts education, and 2) to train students to be skilled, principled, and effective leaders who will perpetuate the cause of liberty in the twenty-first century." [25] Class sizes are relatively small with as little as a 7:1 student/faculty ratio. [26] Subjects were studied primarily through original sources and include philosophy, history, mathematics, science, literature, political science, political economy and art. Coursework requirements centered on extensive reading of and problem solving from the classics in each discipline, writing, simulations, oral and written examinations and practica. [25] [27]

To build men and women of virtue, wisdom, diplomacy, and courage who inspire greatness in others and move the cause of liberty. [28]

—GWU Mission Statement

GWU used a liberal arts methodology based on the Socratic seminar and the Oxford tutorial models. Derived from these models, the school referred to five pillars education that comprise a pattern of learning that has produced leaders throughout history. [29] These elements consist of:

  • Classics: GWU uses this term to mean "original works of depth and substance--writing, painting, sculpture, philosophy, music, theory, law, etc.--that engage the student in the great questions of life" [30] and is sometimes used interchangeably with the term Great Books.
  • Mentors: Faculty with topical expertise who lead discussion, offer lectures, and meet with students regularly to offer guidance. Courses are taught seminar style with students discussing texts around a table and the mentor using the Socratic method of asking questions to invite the students to think deeply and reflect about the subject. [31] [32]
  • Simulations: Introduced into American education by law professor George Wythe as the moot court. Simulations give students an opportunity to practice what they have learned in a fictional setting and "consist of mock congresses, moot courts, model UN and various other fictional and real scenarios where students take on roles and work individually and in teams to identify and solve problems." [33]
  • Field Experience: A type of internship used to help students implement their learning in real situations. Students are required to perform three field-experiences in order to graduate. Practica must be approved by the Graduation Committee and followed up by a comprehensive written report detailing what was learned. "Field Experience practica may include substantive jobs, internships, volunteer work, etc." [34]
  • God: As a non-denominational institution, students are encouraged to respect the various religious backgrounds of all students and faculty. Mentors refer to religious texts from various cultures and the Judeo-Christian Bible is a notable classic in the curriculum. The main purpose of this pillar is to establish a respect for moral and natural law, and as a counterweight to hubris in leaders. [35]

Degrees and course credit

GWU offered four degrees: B.A. in Statesmanship, [36] M.A. in Political Economy, [37] M.A. in Education, [37] and Ph.D. in Constitutional Studies. [38]

Undergraduate degrees required 138 credits. Credits earned in both on-campus and off-campus programs count toward graduation. Online studies used the Elluminate interactive software platform to replicate the on-campus classroom experience. This was supplmemented with individual telephone mentoring. [39] Students were required to perform three field-experiences worth a total of 6 credits." [34] Life-experience credit is not accepted. [40]


GWU is not accredited.


The official newsletter of George Wythe University, The Statesman, was an online forum where faculty and guest contributors write on topics of scholarly interest, [41] [42] current events [43] and general news about university operations and policies. In addition, student research and writings were often featured. [44] [45] [46] [47] "The Statesman" also reports on the post-graduate accomplishments of alumni. [48] [49]

Student life

GWU's on-campus student body once consisted of 130-150 students with the male/female ratio approximately even. Roughly 1/3 of students were private school graduates, 1/3 from public school and 1/3 homeschooled. The school sponsored several formal dinners, galas, receptions, lectures, balls and special events each year. [26]

Students typically rented from private home owners or multi-unit housing developments which offer student housing in the Salt Lake Valley. GWU assists its students in locating scholarships, private funding and grants for education costs. [50] Federal financial aid is not available to students due to the school's accreditation status.

Students participate in a week-long competitive team simulation called the Statesmanship Invitational. [51] During this event, students are divided into teams and presented a high-stakes crisis scenario. Roles are assigned and students engage in strategic planning and diplomatic negotiations over the course of several days until an outcome is reached. A day-long debriefing with mentors anchors lessons learned from the simulation.

Every other year, students and faculty travel through Europe for a month, stopping in historic venues for lectures and discussion of classic literature. Optional academic credit is available for submission of related coursework. [52] [53]

Leadership Education Uganda conducts teacher training classes in leadership methodologies using students, graduates and associates of George Wythe University. Student research informed the approach of the project. [54] LEU began with one mentor teaching eight teachers in two schools. In less than one year the program grew to include 10 mentors teaching 160 teachers in 8 schools. [55] [56] [57] [58]



George Wythe University has among its faculty administrators, professors, Mentors, Associate Mentors (graduate students), and adjuncts. [59]



  1. ^ "Brick by Brick Online Order Form". Retrieved August 2, 2008. All Proceeds from GWC Brick By Brick benefit the Monticello Campus construction. GWC is a 501(c)3 organization, so all contributions are 100% tax deductible. Thank you for your support of George Wythe College.[ dead link]
  2. ^ Oliver DeMille (April 20, 2009). "The Tuition Bubble Has Hit". Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  3. ^ Brooks, Shanon. "The First Fifteen Years" (PDF). p. 1. Retrieved April 21, 2009.[ dead link]
  4. ^ "Academics". George Wythe University. Retrieved March 26, 2009.
  5. ^ "About GWU". George Wythe University. Retrieved March 26, 2009.
  6. ^ "Accreditation". George Wythe College. Retrieved June 24, 2009.
  7. ^ "GW.EDU - Academic Calendar". Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Whitehall Ltd Inc - 8-K - For 9/12/96". Retrieved September 10, 2008.
  9. ^ "Family Coaching and Consulting". Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2008.
  10. ^ "MASTER OF ARTS, HISTORY". Archived from the original on April 15, 2001.
  11. ^ "Ancient Mormon Doctrine Scholar". Retrieved September 10, 2008.
  12. ^ "DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY, EDUCATION". Archived from the original on April 26, 2001. Recommended for professional educators: public, home and private.
  13. ^ "David Eric WOOD v. STATE of Arkansas". Archived from the original on October 7, 2006. Retrieved September 10, 2008.
  14. ^ Brooks, Shanon. "The First Fifteen Years" (PDF). pp. 22–23. Retrieved April 1, 2009.[ dead link]
  15. ^ a b c Brooks, Shanon. "The First Fifteen Years" (PDF). p. 36. Retrieved April 1, 2009.[ dead link]
  16. ^ Brooks, Shanon. "The First Fifteen Years" (PDF). p. 27. Retrieved April 1, 2009.[ dead link]
  17. ^ "The Case for a Renaissance, Part II". The Statesman. George Wythe University. September 2008.
  18. ^ "Private college comes of age as George Wythe moves from college to university". Retrieved September 23, 2008. The George Wythe Foundation Board of Trustees and the state of Utah recently authorized George Wythe College to transition to George Wythe University.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "George Wythe College making presence felt". Retrieved July 23, 2008. A visit with Dr. Shanon Brooks, a team of architects, and donors Thursday morning revealed a beehive of activity at their headquarters in Monticello in what used to be the Hyland Hotel. School officials have invited interested educators, donors, and community members to come in and make suggestions.
  21. ^ "Private college comes of age as George Wythe moves from college to university". Retrieved July 23, 2008.
  22. ^ "GWU Press Release". George Wythe University. March 3, 2009.
  23. ^ Accessed May 25, 2012.
  24. ^ "Small Utah college with big political ties is going under". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  25. ^ a b "Academics". Retrieved April 1, 2009.
  26. ^ a b "Student Life". Retrieved April 2, 2009.
  27. ^ "Testing". Retrieved April 1, 2009.
  28. ^ "The Mission of George Wythe College". Retrieved September 6, 2008.
  29. ^ "Methodology". Retrieved April 1, 2009.
  30. ^ "Classics". Retrieved April 1, 2009.
  31. ^ "classroom culture". Retrieved April 1, 2009.
  32. ^ "Mentors". Retrieved April 1, 2009.
  33. ^ "Simulations". Retrieved April 1, 2009.
  34. ^ a b "Field Experience". Retrieved April 1, 2009.
  35. ^ "Classics". Retrieved April 1, 2009.
  36. ^ "Undergraduate". Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  37. ^ a b "Masters Programs". Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  38. ^ "Doctorate Program". Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  39. ^ "Off-Campus Studies". George Wythe University. Retrieved April 2, 2009.
  40. ^ "Policy Changes Related to Academic Credit". George Wythe University. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
  41. ^ Erin Reynolds, March 2008, ["I Must Study Politics: An Essay on the Divine Science"], The Statesman/
  42. ^ James Ure, April 2008, ["Book Review: Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership, Joseph Jaworski], The Statesman
  43. ^ James Ure, February 2008, ["Changing Lanes: How to Get Around the Individualism Roadblock With a Minor Turn in Jurisprudential Policy "], The Statesman
  44. ^ Grant McAllister, June 2008, ["Lessons from Heiligenstadt"], The Statesman
  45. ^ Steven R. Barfuss, June 2008, ["Changing China: How the U.S. Can and Should Seek to Influence China Toward the Rule of Law"], The Statesman
  46. ^ Emily Black, April 2008, ["To the Artist"], The Statesman
  47. ^ Kyla Thomas, February 2008, ["The Eurasian Plateau:Gateway to World Dominance"],The Statesman
  48. ^ February 2008,["From Rural Mexico, to GWC, to Pepperdine School of Law"], The Statesman
  49. ^ Eve Hatton, May 2008, ["GWC Graduate Awarded Full-Tuition Scholarship to Law School: When Mission is Your First Priority"], The Statesman
  50. ^ "GW.EDU - Financial Aid/Scholarships". Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  51. ^ "Statesmanship Invitational". Retrieved April 2, 2009.
  52. ^ "GW.EDU". Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  53. ^ June 2007, "European Field Experience", The Statesman
  54. ^ "Africa's New War - George Wythe University Newsletter". Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  55. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-12-05. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
  56. ^ "Leadership Education in Uganda - George Wythe University Newsletter". Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  57. ^ "Everything I Need to Know, I Learned In Africa - George Wythe University Newsletter". Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  58. ^ "Africa Photo Gallery - George Wythe University Newsletter". Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  59. ^ "Faculty". George Wythe College. Retrieved May 12, 2008.[ permanent dead link]

External links