May 26, 2020 — The Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship and Austin, Texas, businessman Bud Brigham have made a five-year gift to the University of Texas at Austin. The gift establishes the Program for Objectivity in Thought, Action and Enterprise within the Salem Center for Policy at the McCombs School of Business, as well as the Brigham Fellowship for the Study of Objectivism, to be held by the director of the new program.
Dr. Gregory Salmieri, one of the most prominent scholars of Objectivism in academia today and a scholar of Aristotelian philosophy, has been hired as program director by the Salem Center and will hold the fellowship. His appointment begins this June.
The new program will support teaching and research in the areas of policy, values and thinking. It will explore such topics as methods for objective thinking; whether values can be objective; the nature of well-being and its relation to ethics; the moral nature of business and the implications of this for business ethics; and the relationship between economic freedom and freedom of thought. In addition, it will organize conferences and other events connected to the work of Salem Center scholars, and facilitate discussion of policy questions across disciplines with members of government and the general public.
In his role as program director, Dr. Salmieri will organize and contribute to many activities of the Salem Center. He will also teach courses, continue to conduct scholarship on Aristotelian philosophy and Objectivism, and take part in research, education and dialogue around the impact of economic policies on markets and the free enterprise system, which is the focus of the Salem Center.
Dr. Salmieri joins another highly esteemed scholar of Objectivism at UT Austin: Professor Tara Smith. Dr. Smith has been teaching in the philosophy department for many years and is the BB&T Chair for the Study of Objectivism and holds an Anthem Foundation fellowship. The presence of two such experts at the same university greatly enhances opportunities for educating students and other faculty about Objectivism, and for scholarly events about Objectivism or which include an Objectivist perspective.
“We are thrilled that the Salem Center—in particular its director, Professor Carlos Carvalho—recognized the value of the Objectivist perspective to its goals and sought our support,” said Anthem Foundation president Tal Tsfany. “Dr. Salmieri is the ideal candidate to hold the fellowship and lead the new program, and we look forward to seeing the results of this gift over the coming years.
“I would like to thank Bud Brigham for his generosity and vision in joining Anthem to support the program, as well as the many Anthem donors who have pledged to support the gift. I would also like to thank former Anthem Foundation president and current board member Yaron Brook for building the relationships with Mr. Brigham and Dr. Carvalho and others at UT Austin that made this possible, and for advocating that Anthem support the Objectivity in Thought, Action and Enterprise program. He has long argued that a scholar of Objectivism could bring great value to an academic center, and it is fitting that this vision should come to fruition at the university where he received his PhD in finance.”