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C.V. Starr Center for the


Study of the American Experience

About the Center

In an old colonial building beside a tidal river, in the heart of a historic American town, there’s a place where scholars and students, eminent authors and national leaders, come together to study our nation’s past and present.

The C.V Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience is a base camp for exploring one of America’s richest and most fascinating regions. Our programs bridge the gap between the academic realm and the world at large, supporting some of the most gifted and innovative writers and thinkers at work today. From our home in the circa-1746 waterfront Custom House, the Starr Center also serves as a portal onto a world of opportunities for Washington College students.

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The Center is committed to supporting and fostering the art of written history, through the George Washington Book Prize, resident fellowships, and other programs. The Center’s staff and visiting fellows frequently publish books and articles on American history in many major publications, from The New York Times and The Washington Post to National Geographic and Smithsonian.

Each year, the Center sponsors a rich array of talks and other free public programs presented by leading American historians. We also uphold the legacy of Washington College, established in 1782 with a mandate to honor its namesake and patron, George Washington, and to keep the “public virtues and patriot-labours” of America’s founding generation alive in the hearts of future generations.

From its inception in 2000 until 2006, the C.V. Starr Center was headed by Ted Widmer, a presidential historian and former speechwriter for the Clinton Administration’s National Security Council. In July 2006, Adam Goodheart was appointed the Starr Center’s second Director.

The Starr Center has been established and sustained with the generous support of the Starr Foundation, the Hodson Trust, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, with project grants from the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, and with the contributions of many individual donors 
and friends.