McConnell Center joins national effort to promote youth participation in politics

(April 28, 2011) LOUISVILLE, Ky. - McConnell Center partners with Harvard University's Institute of Politics to promote political and civic engagement in Kentucky, collect key research and create training opportunities for Kentucky organizations and individuals to promote youth engagement and participation.
McConnell Center joins national effort to promote youth participation in politics

The McConnell Center has partnered with Harvard University's Institute of Politics to promote youth participation in politics.

The University of Louisville’s McConnell Center is participating in a national effort, led by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP), to encourage participation and engagement in politics by America’s young people.

The IOP’s National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement was created in 2003 and currently includes a consortium of twenty-three colleges and universities around the country committed to creating more politically and civically engaged campuses.  Participating schools work on their own campus and collaboratively in three key areas: establishing an ongoing relationship with electoral politics; focusing on career development in public service; and ensuring a foundation in civic education.

“During my tenure as Secretary of State, I witnessed first-hand the McConnell Center’s incredible efforts to promote youth civic engagement in Kentucky,” said Trey Grayson, Institute of Politics Director and Kentucky Secretary of State (2004-11).  “Adding the McConnell Center to the Institute’s National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement was a key priority for me when I became IOP Director this year, and I am very confident our partnership will strengthen efforts to encourage youth involvement in the political process.”

“The Institute of Politics has been a national leader in encouraging young people to public service. With Trey Grayson now providing the lead, we know that the IOP will produce outstanding results that will have a profound impact on our nation,” said Dr. Gary Gregg, McConnell Center Director. “The McConnell Center is proud to be invited to partner with Harvard’s Institute of Politics here in Kentucky.”

In addition to taking action to spur student political involvement on their respective campuses, the group works during the academic year to –

  • Issue specific recommendations for government, media, campaigns, and educational institutions to promote political and civic engagement;
  • Collect and make available key research; and
  • Create new training opportunities for organizations and individuals seeking to promote youth engagement and participation.

The National Campaign’s twenty-three consortium schools are: Allegheny College, Birmingham Southern College, Elon University, Franklin & Marshall College, Harvard University, Louisiana State University, Ohio State University, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Saint Anselm College, Simpson College, Tennessee State University, Tufts University, University of Florida, University of Kansas, University of Louisville, University of Oklahoma, University of Rochester, University of Southern California, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, University of Texas, University of Utah, University of Virginia, and Vanderbilt University.


Harvard University’s Institute of Politics (IOP), located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, was established in 1966 as a memorial to President Kennedy.  The IOP’s mission is to unite and engage students, particularly undergraduates, with academics, politicians, activists, and policymakers on a non-partisan basis to inspire them to consider careers in politics and public service.  The Institute strives to promote greater understanding and cooperation between the academic world and the world of politics and public affairs.  More information is available online at

The McConnell Center at the University of Louisville was established in 1991 by U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and the University of Louisville. McConnell, a 1964 graduate of the university, founded the Center on his belief that “Kentucky’s future depends on inspiring talented, motivated leaders.” The McConnell Center’s mission is to provide a non-partisan, well-rounded education that encourages top undergraduates to become valued citizens and futures leaders of the Commonwealth and the nation. The Center also facilitates public discussion on the major challenges of our time while encouraging an understanding of our shared past. For more information, visit