McConnell Center Mission

Founded in 1991, the non-partisan McConnell Center at the University of Louisville seeks to identify, recruit and nurture Kentucky's next generation of great leaders. Our core principles--leadership, scholarship and service--guide us as we (1) prepare top undergraduate students to become future leaders; (2) offer civic education programs for teachers, students and the public; and (3) conduct strategic leadership development for the US Army.

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, a 1964 graduate of the university, along with UofL officials, founded the Center based on his belief that "Kentucky's future depends on inspiring talented, motivated leaders."

The Center pursues its mission through the following:

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  • With your gift, we can continue to present programming, leadership development and enriching online resources to help our audiences develop a better understanding of the US Constitution and American history while simultaneously encouraging open and free discussion of perennial concerns that inform contemporary politics.

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Join Us at UofL

  • Upcoming Events
  • Apply for our
    • McConnell Scholars Program: renewable scholarship (up to full in-state tuition) to attend the University of Louisville and opportunity to participate in leadership development, funded travel and unique "great books" seminars and discussions; limited to 10 new Scholars per year; applications due Dec. 15
    • Young Leaders Academy: a four-day residential leadership conference for Kentucky high school students (must have completed one year of high school). Accepted participants will stay in-residence at the University of Louisville and receive a scholarship for lodging, food and educational materials.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a political bias to the Center?

The McConnell Center is not affiliated with any party and works hard to maintain its outstanding reputation for nonpartisan educational opportunities. The Center never makes admissions decisions based upon the party affiliation of applicants.

What is Sen. McConnell's role in the Center?

In cooperation with university officials, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell established the McConnell Center in 1991 and generously raised a multi-million dollar endowment to support its programs and scholarships. Sen. McConnell continues to be engaged with the Center by helping us attract the most outstanding leaders in the nation—and world—to speak to the university community. He also gives generously of his time as he meets informally with McConnell Scholars several times each year. The senator, however, plays no role in the governance of the Center, its programs or in the selection of students.