There are nearly 4000 universities in the U.S.. Many of them have billions of dollars in endowments and histories that go back to well before the country's founding. So you'd be forgiven for thinking that it would be a bit ridiculous to try and compete with those Goliaths.
But that's exactly what the new University of Austin or UATX is doing. The premise, of course, is simple, and it goes like this. While the brand name schools have the money, they no longer have the mission. They have fundamentally abandoned the point of the university, which is the pursuit of truth. The good people at UATX, where I'm proud to be on the board, are not waiting for the broken status quo to change. They're not sitting around criticizing or whining. They are doing.
Just a few weeks ago, UTAX opened its doors to its first students at its inaugural summer school. I was blown away by the students that I met there, and I was honored to lecture alongside teachers like Neil Ferguson, Kathleen Stock, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Rob Henderson and Thomas Chatterton Williams. And today I wanted to share with all of you the talk that I gave at the old parkland in Dallas to that first class of students. It's about the broken moment that we're in as a culture and a country, but more it's about what I think is required of us to meet this moment.