Lawsuit Dismissed

by Board of Trustees on September 23, 2016

The George Wythe Foundation Board of Trustees is pleased to make the following announcement.

With regard to the lawsuit DeMille and Brooks filed against us in December, it has now been withdrawn unconditionally.  This morning an order was issued by Judge Gardner stating, “Plaintiff’s Complaint, and all causes of action asserted therein, are dismissed with prejudice and on the merits.”  This permanently ends their lawsuit and prohibits their ability to raise the claims again.

Meanwhile, our final cleanup report is nearly completed, which will announce the final official validation of George Wythe transcripts and degrees for their legality, integrity and accuracy.  This will occur in the upcoming weeks.


It is with deep sadness that we learned this morning of the passing of Jim Hillyer, a GWU alumnus who many of us knew and loved.  Jim tirelessly served to move the cause of liberty and we’re grateful for all the good he was able to accomplish in his brief sojourn in this life.  Jim was dutifully serving in his second term as a member of the Canadian Parliament and was also a devoted husband and father.  Our hearts go out to his wife Livi, their four children, as well as his extended family and many friends in both Canada and the U.S.  Jim was a committed supporter of the school and a good friend with whom we had remained in close contact.  He will be deeply missed.

Please view the kind and touching tribute held by the Canadian Parliament.




Response to DeMille-Brooks Lawsuit

by Board of Trustees on December 11, 2015

Given the strength of our documentation and protocols when investigating invalid degrees, we were surprised on December 10 to receive a legal complaint of defamation from Oliver DeMille, Shanon Brooks and Monticello College. We are presently seeking legal analysis and will respond with more detail if needed.

On the initial reading, however, the allegations appear to be a bizarre and frivolous attempt to deny and halt our revoking of illegitimate degrees, and to prevent us from keeping the public informed.  In some ways this may descend even below the level of a frivolous lawsuit. To see DeMille and Brooks now seeking to undermine our efforts to clean up their academic offenses shows a stunning disregard for the alumni, who have been leading the work to repair this damage for several years.

Meanwhile, no university revokes degrees for light or fictitious reasons.  Policies are followed and solid documentation is standard. We will not be deterred from completing our final disciplinary actions on illegitimate degrees of the past.  Moreover, identifying the former administrators who participated in or committed these acts is part of basic evidence reporting, and failure to fully disclose this would have weakened and destroyed what is a standard cleanup process.  Our duty is to the students, alumni and the public. The facts of record speak for themselves and we fully expect this lawsuit to be dismissed.

We have also shared the lawsuit filing with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection, the regulators with whom we have worked closely over the years to clean up the problems we inherited.

Meanwhile, our students and alumni continue to need their degrees validated as they enter graduate schools each year, and advance in their chosen fields and public service. As always, protecting the integrity of legitimately earned credentials for the just benefit of alumni and students will remain our top priority.

To summarize, DeMille and Brooks’ new implication that our cleanup has been merely a plot to discredit them is ludicrous.  For our volunteer board, this lengthy cleanup has only occurred as a costly endeavor of personal sacrifice. Our duty is simple—to give an accurate accounting to all George Wythe stakeholders, and to clear those alumni who diligently earned their degrees.  We will continue undeterred and not allow baseless, frivolous distractions to delay our cleanup progress.

Response to Tribune article on George Wythe University

by Board of Trustees on October 21, 2015

Update 10/22/15:  Since receiving our response below, the Tribune has made some minor corrections to their story.

This morning the Salt Lake Tribune published an article on the winding down of George Wythe University. We read with interest and while some of it was accurate, we were quite disappointed in a number of misleading statements that were 180 degrees from the truth. These had both the specific and cumulative effect of painting a false image, particularly of the present situation and future plans.

The facts of record are below with explanations:

We will not merge with a “for-profit unaccredited” school
We were shocked to see the Tribune’s statement that GWU would “likely merge with another for-profit, unaccredited school.” The Tribune was fully aware that this kind of school is the precise opposite of our plans. During our recorded interview we spoke clearly about how important accreditation was to us and our students, including the problems of unaccredited schools. The word “another” also implies that GWU is likewise a “for-profit” school, which we are not, and never have been. The Tribune fully knew this, having even received our IRS form 990. Indeed, we would prefer intentionally closing the school as soon as the cleanup is completed before letting it be acquired by a for-profit unaccredited college. In fact, a non-profit institution with full accreditation has always been our only consideration.

We don’t believe the state should “save” unaccredited schools
The Tribune claimed that we “believe the state should play a role in saving future unaccredited schools.” Quite the opposite. GWU is exploring legislation that would protect students, not schools, and certainly not to “save unaccredited schools.” The legislation would add safeguards that protect the integrity of student records, to help prevent administrative fraud during any years a school is without accreditation.  We were shocked that the Tribune twisted this in reverse, despite even having a copy of draft legislation, and despite our clear conversation about accreditation being a priority.

It was GWU who approached state authorities for help with the clean up, initiating it on our own
The Tribune carefully portrayed all of our actions to clean the school and fix problems as simply corrective actions imposed on us by state regulators. In reality, it was we who approached the regulators  in 2012 to ask for help in solving the complex academic problems with student records, etc., as we cleaned up the messes left by previous administrations (see our 2015 Cleanup Statement). Throughout the cleanup, we have always worked with state regulators in a spirit of problem-solving, not as adversaries.

The attempt to discredit the Board using misrepresentation
The Tribune claimed that two board members, “didn’t make themselves available for a personal credit check as required.” Every board member fully “made himself available” providing all the information for their personal credit checks. Only in the school’s bank processing was there a problem, which required two forms to be re-submitted by our office staff. Those board members were never even aware of this technical problem. Our settlement agreement with the state, which the Tribune has, explains this event, and never suggests in any way that the two board members had any knowledge of the procedural error by the school. There is no basis for the Tribune to imply that any board members refused to make themselves available for anything. Yet they did more than imply it, they even claimed it.

Acquisition discussions have been ongoing for 4 years, contingent upon successful cleanup
The Tribune implies that under the threat of the state forcing a closure of the school we have only recently begun to explore the possibility of acquisition. Yet the Tribune was well informed that we have been on this trajectory since 2011 as the final stage of a thorough institutional cleanup. Discussions with potential acquisition groups have been ongoing, awaiting the completion of this work. This was both explained and delivered to the Tribune in our 2015 announcement which they received before the publication of their article.

The school is not revoking “only a handful of the worst degrees”
The Tribune stated that we are seeking only to revoke “a handful of the most egregious degrees,” implying that some remainder of the most egregious degrees will be overlooked. They have no basis for this supposition of laxity. Three degrees have already been revoked and they ignore this (see our initial cleanup announcement in 2013). Eight more are slated for revocation hearings. In addition, 79 degrees with various problems (mostly awarded before 2001) will receive corrective or disciplinary action, which the Tribune knew. Yet they portrayed the effort as being less than a full cleansing.

GWU alumni already gain admission into graduate schools
The Tribune insinuates that we are hoping that acquisition will allow our students to get into graduate programs. The truth is that plenty of our alumni have already entered top tier graduate programs at Harvard, UCLA and the like, even without accreditation. See a list of examples here. Nearly all alumni who have sought to get into graduate programs have been able to. Those who go on to study law do particularly well, and that has become the primary niche of the school.

Our education is actually quite orthodox
The education at GWU is far from unorthodox, it’s simply a classical liberal arts college in the Great Books tradition. One can find this at numerous colleges across the nation, such as St. John’s, Thomas Aquinas, Columbia College and quite extensively in the honors programs at many colleges and universities. Our main distinction is our mission statement, which alters our application of this approach. We therefore use original sources and the Socratic method “to build men and women of virtue, wisdom, diplomacy and courage who inspire greatness in others and move the cause of liberty.” We promote the search for truth just as our peer colleges do, but we take it a step further to apply it in the modern world to help promote goodness and liberty for all people.

The real story
The Tribune missed a great opportunity. The editors had the chance to set politics aside for a moment and tell a truly remarkable rescue mission. The real story is that the alumni and faculty of a deeply troubled school took over its board in 2009, expelled the founders, revoked degrees, began cleansing the records, and are protecting the students from further harm. Imagine a plane with 300 passengers that had been hijacked and damaged. Today the passengers themselves have gained control of the plane, and are bringing it in for a safe landing. They’re guided step-by-step by those in the control tower — a handful of diligent public servants working quietly as first responders.

This is not something that is often realized by the public, if at all. It’s also a notable example of a struggling private organization and their government regulators solving problems together tirelessly, rather than in opposition. Instead, the Tribune seems to have hoped to create a straw man of sorts, a hammer for bruising their ideological opponents. In their zeal they missed the true story, and a real opportunity for seeing beyond politics. Meanwhile, the once noble profession of journalism in which the public places its trust decays another notch.


GWU’s Final Chapter – The Cleansing of Valid Degrees

by Board of Trustees on October 16, 2015

As the George Wythe University Board of Trustees we are pleased to announce the upcoming verification and affirmation of GWU degrees through the permanent separation of those that are invalid. After six years, the completion of the institutional and academic cleanup of the University’s historical problems is coming to a close. Our detailed internal audit of student records is complete, and final disciplinary and corrective actions are underway. An external review for accuracy will mark the final step. This will leave only the valid degrees to bear the George Wythe name, exonerating the majority of graduates who have worked hard for their legitimate and properly earned credentials.

This public redemption allows the alumni to utilize their degrees without the previous burden of being connected to invalid ones, particularly the substantial number our investigation has uncovered that were issued illegally in the 1990s. This finally paves the way today for a clean public record, plus the acquisition of George Wythe students and records by another institution in order to serve them indefinitely as full service custodians. This will also increase opportunities for students to transfer into other colleges if they choose, while finally putting the George Wythe brand and its history to rest in a peaceful, cleansed and dignified manner — a goal we have pursued since 2011. Having been in discussions with five groups, we anticipate a formal announcement will be made next semester on the final cleanup report as well as a preliminary acquisition announcement contingent upon the successful cleanup. Meanwhile, as corrective actions continue, this minority of alumni affected are in the process of being located and contacted. Finally, new legislation for preventing the kind of fraudulent acts inflicted upon the school by its early administrators will be introduced this coming legislative session, drafted by the board, faculty and students.

The 2011 Question: How to properly retire GWU while best serving the students
When the Board began its intervention in 2009, it was a repair mission to fix the problems at George Wythe University for the benefit of the students and alumni. By 2010 compromises in the integrity of academic records had been discovered, making it an aggressive rescue operation, even requiring the removal of the school’s founders. By 2011, repairs through new policies and practices had progressed, but it became clear to everyone that fatal damage had occurred to the school’s reputation in deeper ways just being discovered by the board, and raising funds for a school saddled with GWU’s administrative history — even though wholly unrelated to current practices — was next to impossible.

Normally a classical liberal arts college with GWU’s mission would have no difficulty raising a few million dollars annually at the very least. Instead, however, the brand’s growing public connection to fraudulently issued degrees under its previous administrations made this unviable. After our newly appointed president, Shane Schulthies, spent the early summer of 2011 traveling to several states to speak with potential donors and other academics, he reported in the next board meeting the feedback he received on the school’s reputation in the donor world: that there was no realistic chance of future funding. This mirrored the online discussion of questionable actions by Oliver DeMille and Shanon Brooks increasingly coming into view. Given this roadblock, President Schulthies proposed that we should file that month to begin the process of closing the school.

The main concern, however, was that an abrupt closure would be devastating to students. At the time, dozens were at various stages toward graduation, and with accreditation paused there were few transfer options — none at all in the Western U.S., and none whatsoever for MA and PhD students. Moreover, closing at that time would leave the valid degrees tainted perpetually with the same status as the invalid ones — calling everyone’s degrees into question indefinitely. This would be a gross injustice to the majority of students and alumni.

Three options: Starvation, Closure, Acquisition
Meanwhile, the board had been conducting an investigation to determine the scope of compromised degrees. It had also begun consulting with a variety of organizations and academics steeped in the classics from other universities, plus a select handful of elected officials. From these conversations it was decided that if the school could complete a thorough student records audit, and clean up all lingering problems in those records, it could prepare itself for merging with or being acquired by another institution. This is by far the most common solution for colleges in distress because it provides a positive and respected transition for students. Combined with the records audit and cleanup it also restores credibility to the majority of alumni degrees as they are proven legitimate.

It was also of interest to these academics that while preparing for such a merger or acquisition, the school could additionally introduce a handful of fresh innovations, prototyping these new concepts during the final steps of our cleanup process. Our successful achievement of all these steps could justify their joining in the acquisition as well.

The first of these innovations had already been started — to weave into several classes a thread of ethical training for conscientious conduct in government and business. Masters level texts introducing case studies of conflicts of interest and ethical dilemmas were explored first under President Schulthies. In later semesters, elements of these and additional resources became a thread that began to run through several classes in each year of a student’s program. The expectation was for this approach to have a more lasting effect than a stand alone ethics class.

Moving the campus close to the state Capitol was another of these innovations. This provided rich opportunities to observe the inner workings of government up close during the legislative session, and to learn the many lessons of leadership in the real world of applied politics. Soon, the leadership ethics module expanded as well to examine the many faces of corruption and especially affinity fraud — particularly when predators seek to exploit ideological similarities. These and other innovations were implemented to test for proof of concept, all while completing the cleanup.

The Key Problem Solvers
Perhaps the most valuable benefit of moving to Salt Lake City was our close proximity to the Utah State Law Library at the Matheson Courthouse, the Legislature, and our authorizing agency, the Division of Consumer Protection. This allowed us to inquire frequently about how to properly resolve the lingering degree and transcript problems. We approached the Division with questions in 2012, and to our pleasant surprise, they took their mission of protecting the interests of the students as seriously as we did. Every conversation during this new phase was positive and constructive. Encouraged by their diligence in finding answers, we pressed on with new zeal for solving the most vexing problems once and for all. With a mutual interest in the welfare of students, their professionalism was vital as we brought the school in for a safe landing. After significant research we finally arrived at the remedies we implement today.

With corrections underway, each year permitted more students to graduate so that fewer would need to be transferred. Before moving to Salt Lake we had already closed the MA and PhD programs to new students, but the non-traditional students who were enrolled part-time progressed at a slower pace. Since graduate level credit is more difficult to transfer, even into an acquiring institution’s programs, these were at the greatest risk of being stranded. After discussing this dilemma with state authorities in 2014, we examined three dozen graduate programs and created two new degrees modeled after programs at Georgetown and the College of William and Mary — an MA in Liberal Arts, and a PhD in American Studies. More streamlined and flexible, these allowed our students to transfer over and accelerate their pace to graduation. These opportunities were a major benefit for these students.

The Final Deep Cleaning
Meanwhile, discussions with potential acquirers continued to hinge on one detail: a completed student records audit and cleanup report. This task proved to be larger and more complicated than originally imagined. Our first pass through the data yielded our 2013 preliminary report announced here. While evaluating degrees we often uncovered surprises, however, which would increase the scope of the audit. By the end, each degree would require investigating and verification on 46 separate questions, always performed by at least two auditors together. Since today the school runs primarily on pro bono and volunteer effort, this detailed work required much more time than expected.

We are happy to report, though, that our internal audit is now complete, and this recent summer we presented our findings to the Division in a special meeting. It should be kept in mind that this was not a requirement made by them, but a plan we initially proposed and then discussed and improved after exploring how thorough cleanups are conducted — deciding that this was best procedure for validating the good degrees earned by students. Although the law states that the Division will hold a copy of student records for ten years, after our corrective actions and the third party both validate the degrees with a clean bill of health, the student records can then pass the scrutiny of a permanent acquirer for indefinite custodial care and servicing.

It should be understood that for private colleges like ours the Division carries the authority previously held by the Board of Regents. Stories occasionally circulate about the Division being over-reactive, overreaching and anti-business. This has not been our experience. Instead they patiently and diligently answered our questions as we solved problems for cleaning up the messes of the school’s early administrators. After our report, they mentioned that they’d never experienced a school approaching them to undertake a cleanup on their own. We attribute this to the simple fact that we are an intervention board cleaning up the prior messes of others. This aligns our goals naturally with the legal mandate of law enforcement in a plain manner — to help innocent student victims recover from many years of deception, and to prevent it from happening again.

Our findings from the student records audit indicate that the majority of degrees (91%) awarded under George Wythe Foundation ownership (2002-2015) are academically and legally sound. Of the 99 degrees awarded under DeMille while the school was under the prior governance of Coral Ridge Baptist University (1992-2001), 74 degrees require either corrective or disciplinary action due to deficiencies mainly consequent to life-experience credit exceeding legal limits. These range widely in severity. They also include seven graduate degrees currently slated for revocation hearings, as well as the three that were revoked in 2012. Of the degrees earned by students on campus, problems were rare during any year or period. The vast majority of administrative misconduct occurred with degrees awarded through the distance program during the Coral Ridge years, which ended in 2001.

Alumni are in the process of being contacted and revocations, disciplinary and corrective actions are currently underway with the affected students. At the completion of the third party verification for accuracy, our final audit report will be presented to the public and the separation of George Wythe degrees from invalid degrees will then become permanent.

Formalizing the Teachout with the State
For six years this has been a tedious, grueling and expensive process, especially with the endowment and majority of the school’s funds having been siphoned away by 2009. Since donations have been difficult to come by, new board arrivals intervening to help with the cleanup have had to use their own funds or have volunteered large amounts of time. Over this period the personal sacrifices by the cleanup board, their families and the staff have exceeded $500,000. With funds winding down toward the end of this process of teaching out our students, at one point last year (2014) they briefly dipped to zero during the summer when the budget is always the slimmest. This triggered a flag in the Division’s processes and so we arranged a meeting to give them an update. After explaining that we needed more time to complete the cleanup and teachout, they formalized a settlement agreement that allowed us to continue for another year. We then reported our finished internal audit and the final corrective paths some alumni will need to remedy their degrees. At that time they extended another year, although most alumni requiring corrections will need less than that. However bumpy the road, we have finally arrived, and George Wythe degrees will soon be free of their struggle.

Occasionally we encounter someone under the impression that the George Wythe brand should continue on. We understand this feeling, but such people have never seen the student records audit or understand the depth of the financial damage the school inherited. They also lack an understanding of fundraising. While this final cleansing will be complete, and degrees remaining with George Wythe will be certified independently as legitimate, the former connection to DeMille and Brooks cannot be erased from the school’s history. The donor world upon which universities depend is naturally sensitive to matters of integrity, and those sensibilities and habits do not change. Nor should one fault those sensibilities. Trust is the most delicate feature of all relationships, even institutional ones.

Anti-Fraud Legislation
Finally, we are also drafting legislation to be sponsored this coming year with very simple measures that would likely have prevented the tampering with transcripts, fraudulent degrees, conflicts of interest and similar misconduct that compromised the integrity of George Wythe by the early administrations and ultimately inflicted injury upon its students. After all, none of this had to happen. Likewise, it shouldn’t be allowed to repeat elsewhere. The state of Utah has every reason to be a model of honesty and integrity. The solutions under consideration are simple and being crafted by our board, faculty and students alike, and partially modeled after laws in other states. The details will be presented in forthcoming announcements.

It should be remembered that the typical students who choose classical liberal arts colleges in the tradition of the Great Books do so for the curriculum itself; the chance to study and discuss deeply. People don’t whimsically devote time to compare Plato and Aristotle, Confucius and Augustine, Hume and Popper, Hayek and Marx and dozens more in the classical canon, and beyond, in order to find shortcuts and avoid hard work. Nor did our students. They sought an educational experience for itself in a community of serious learners, and simply expected proper recognition of their degrees.

The overwhelming majority of GWU students and alumni acted in good faith and can be proud of their education. With it they have advanced to pursue graduate studies at top tier programs and other worthwhile pursuits. It is these students that we have worked so hard to exonerate and protect. We love them and are grateful for their support during these lengthy cleanup years. Their words of encouragement and appreciation have lifted our spirits and given us the strength to persevere. We look forward to sharing further announcements on the final cleansing of their alma mater’s reputation. The historical record will show that students allowed to hold degrees from George Wythe did not cheat, but were honest and diligent. We especially thank those officials in the Division of Consumer Protection, the Utah legislature, the Governor’s office and elsewhere who never gave up on the students.

The George Wythe Foundation Board of Trustees   –   October 16, 2015

Dwight Williams – Chairman
Chandra Brown
Michael Hansen
Fred Hunzeker
Sheldon Shumway
Rhonda Trone


Questions & Answers

If GWU and state regulators’ goals are similar on this cleanup, why does the Division use enforcement action that seems punitive against the school?
Hypothetically speaking, if GWU were to infuse large amounts of cash into its accounts, the primary basis for the settlement agreement could naturally be petitioned. We’re not interested in that. If you ask the Division you’ll find that there are no consumer complaints [as of October 2015] and they have not faulted the school’s academics. But when a school’s finances struggle and dip below thresholds, or if a routine deadline is missed, the Division is obligated to follow its procedures and explain the details. However, GWU as a legal entity must technically still be treated as its history would warrant, irrespective of whether the administrators who damaged the institution no longer remain. For example, the recent settlement agreement directly refers back to a 2011 settlement, citing “misuse of charitable donation funds, and material misrepresentations” uncovered in the state’s investigation into the years 2007-2008 when DeMille and Brooks were running the school. As explained to us, this lingering history perpetually burdens the school with “repeat offender” status, and this will trigger higher scrutiny no matter how we change its future leaders. This illustrates why it’s important to retire GWU fully, along with its ID number, on which both we and numerous state officials independently agree without reservation.

While the Division dutifully follows the law, their actions were thus by no means adversarial to us personally, but merely procedural. We willingly agreed to the settlement as a step toward helping serve our students under their watch. We continue to labor alongside state officials, with nothing changing in our similar goals for students as we complete the cleanup and teachout, and to put this ordeal behind us all by retiring the George Wythe name. In fact, the current settlement is actually an extension of the previous year’s agreement. The additional year was added after listening to our completed student records audit report and learning the number of students still needing time to remedy their degrees or to graduate. The settlement formalizes this beneficial path, which we’ve discussed numerous times with them while planning the next steps.

What happened to GWU’s accreditation efforts?
Although the administration often discussed accreditation from at least 1998 onward, it’s difficult to conceive that it was taken seriously by anyone aware of the life-experience credit being issued by DeMille — assuming they understood accreditation standards. As students increasingly pinned their hopes on accreditation, in 2006 a respected accrediting agency, AALE, was contacted and the first formal discussions were initiated. GWU staff took this task seriously but were only just learning about the standards. Two site visits later, the distractions of mismanagement surrounding the potential Monticello campus had stalled further progress. By 2011 with the existence of improper credit beginning to be realized, it was becoming clear to at least some that it might not be possible without a major systemic cleanup in the student records. As the internal student records audit was performed over the last four years it became quite obvious. If attempting to apply with the GWU name and legal identity, only with the current cleanup completed and a number of years of perfect operation would the possibility even begin to reappear, regardless of the accreditation agency.

How are Coral Ridge degrees going to be separated from George Wythe degrees?
Degrees from the Coral Ridge years certified as valid will retain George Wythe classification while all remaining unrevoked degrees unable to pass validation after remediation efforts will be annotated as such, then reclassified back to Coral Ridge degrees under their original parent organization designation. These records will be separated and stored permanently through an independent archival service. An additional copy of these records will be sent to Coral Ridge Baptist University through its parent organization.

If George Wythe intends to be acquired, why would you agree to teach out your students?
Acquisition has always depended upon our successful cleansing of the student records and degrees. Naturally, this still remains the case. Hence, reducing our numbers as we have since 2011 has been a safeguard for them, and also means less disruption, in any case, both for our students and the acquiring institution. Additionally, unless two programs are perfectly aligned, differences can result in a loss of credits toward graduation. Graduate students stand to lose the most when transferring to another school, even an acquiring one. Consequently, we hope to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone through this process.

Where can I find more information about the Board’s cleanup?
For details on all of our clean up efforts, visit this page.

More questions and answers will be posted in the future.




This is an EXCELLENT email!  I feel so incredibly grateful for your work!  I have been blessed by my education at George Wythe in the past and especially now.  Thank you for picking up this ball and carrying it across the goal line!

– Melanie Ballard, MA student


Well Done!

The work that the board has done on the announcement and supporting documents, explanations and Q&A’s is excellent, and I applaud everyone for their diligence, sacrifice and hard work in compiling this important information for the public

The explanation of why the board chose to clean up and seek merger or acquisition is especially well written, and I am so glad that at last this is an open and public announcement.

– Alumnus, Class of 2004



I wish I had funds to donate to heal a portion of the sacrifice you have rendered in this unselfish cause. I am astounded by what has been going on behind the scenes all this time. As it is I can pray that you will be richly blessed in ways well beyond internal satisfaction.

An enormous THANK YOU from the mother of a former George Wythe student, now twice blessed.

– Parent of a former student


I’m a graduate from 2006. I just want to say thank you for all you are doing to make sure we are acquired by a reputable institution. I did work hard for my degree and since earning my degree I have watched and waited in anticipation for GWU to become accredited. Knowing this will now never happen but that my degree will be transferred to another institution actually brings me much peace. After my graduation I decided to do some research of my own about DeMille and was shocked by the things I found about him. Any removal from his name and his practices is a great thing in my opinion.

Although having a degree from GWU has not stopped me from progressing academically, I’m graduating from BYU in 2016 with my JD/MBA, I will be happy to put my GWU years to rest under an accredited institution.

Thank you again for all of your hard work and efforts in mine and other students behalf.

– Steve Washenko, Class of 2006


Hi! I just read the latest update on the progress with cleaning up GWU. Wow! What a tremendous accomplishment, and at what a tremendous price. Well done!

-Kelli Poll, former student


A Tribute to George Wythe and Statesmanship

I want to say good by to George Wythe Univerisity. Thank you for expanding my depth of mind and person, enlightening me, giving me a library, perspective—an education. I was given more than a comprehensive oral exam, more than a piece of paper; I began to find myself. Thank you for my mentors Lydia, Stan, Erin, Shane, Jennifer, Gary, Dr. Smailes, Mr. Wilson, and many others who devoted time to helping me through my education and expansion of my mind. Thank you to my classmates for giving me perspectives, insights, and understanding, especially with regards to our educational choices. Thank you authors of the past. The learning will continue and you will always be remembered.

– Aurelia Stewart, Class of 2013


Hello from 6000 miles away in Uruguay.  I just read the GWU letter.  I am in awe of the amazing work that has been done. . . . Today, in this letter, I honor you.

– Vicki Jo Anderson, Alumnus and parent of a GWU Alumnus


THANK YOU!!!!! for all your amazing work with GWU. I am continually amazed at your consistency and fortitude and grateful for your efforts to make this all right in the end. My best wishes to you as things progress during the next few months!

– Former student (2003-2012)



Statesmanship Invitational 2015

by Admin on May 29, 2015


As you know, students attend GWU to learn the principles of liberty and virtue, and then how to apply those principles to move freedom forward.

State legislatures play a key role in this, which is why our flagship event, the Statesmanship Invitational, is a realistic mock-legislature at the State Capitol.

As in year’s past our students tackled 40 of the most controversial bills from Utah’s recent legislative session. But this year they were also ambushed around the clock by robust teams of reporters and lobbyists played by other students, as well as local businessmen and lawmakers.

The busy week culminated in a private meeting with Governor Herbert at the Capitol, with final debate on the Senate floor.

The simultaneous overlapping action of media interviews, floor debate and lobbyist pressuring was non-stop.

Staffers at the Capitol commented that the chamber came to life so realistically that it was practically indistinguishable from the actual session just weeks before.

We congratulate our students for a job well done!



We’d like to take a moment to introduce you to our newest faculty member who will be teaching for us this coming semester at the Utah Capitol.  Gordon Jones is a seasoned veteran on the political battlefront for the cause of liberty who will lead our new hybrid class of on-campus and online students — a history class that will participate directly with the Utah Legislature during its seven-week session at the Capitol. This class includes special guests from the legislature as well as liberty promoting think-tanks. Again, this is available to both on-campus as well as online students, including non-traditional students who would like to audit. You can learn more about Gordon below.

Gordon S Jones B&W Headshot.jpg Gordon S. Jones holds masters degrees from George Washington University (M.Phil.) and Stanford (M.A. Ed), and a B.A. from Columbia. He is the co-founder of United Families of America which is now United Families International, an advocacy organization and that fights for preserving the traditional family and family rights both at home and abroad. He has worked for over 30 years in Washington, D.C. at the intersection of politics and public policy. A veteran of Capitol Hill, he served in both the House and Senate as personal and committee staff, as well as in congressional relations for a variety of departments, including the Department of the Interior and the Navy, and for several outside policy and political organizations and think tanks. He has taught political science and constitutional law at the university level for 10 years. In his spare time he enjoys his grandchildren and performing in community theater in Salt Lake City.



ST3510: World History III: Renaissance and Reformation

This course explores the driving forces and key events that shaped Western Civilization through the Renaissance and Reformation, continuing through the first European ventures in colonization that reshaped the cultures and governments of the world. Students will learn how leaders and institutions of this era shaped their societies and how the principles of human nature played out at various levels. students_in_gallery_caption.jpgThey will also learn about the lives of key characters, their strengths and weaknesses, what they stood for and how this translated into their actions and the consequences for society. Students will relate these lessons to modern issues, leaders and events and use the insights they gain to examine the inner workings of law-making at the State Legislature.



  • Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence
  • Hunt, Martin, Rosenwein and Smith, The Making of the West
  • Jacob Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy
  • ST3530 Reading Packet (with selections from Russell Kirk, Will Durant and others)

The registration deadline is Friday December 20thRegister online or contact Jeffery Francom for any questions at 855.586.6570 (ext 105) or


Introducing new faculty member, Dr. Benson

by Admin on December 13, 2013

As we prepare for the beginning of a new semester, we’d like to spotlight another new faculty member, Dr. Bryan Benson.  With fifteen years of experience teaching at the university level, Dr. Benson just completed his first semester teaching at GWU and with strong positive reviews from students.
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Dr. Benson earned his PhD in Political Science from Boston College where he was the recipient of several fellowships and awards. His emphasis has been on the history of Political Philosophy and with particular interest in its classical roots in Plato and Aristotle. He taught political science at Boston College and later at Brigham Young University before joining the faculty at Western Governors University in 2004 where, in addition to serving on various committees, he chaired the Liberal Arts program. His commitment to the cause of freedom has been punctuated with a post graduate fellowship with the Liberty Fund and similar awards.

Beginning in January, Dr. Benson will be teaching Political Philosophy I & II, both daytime and evenings.


ST2310   Political Philosophy I: Classical & Medieval

This course investigates the principles found in the key political writings of the early great philosophers up through the Middle Ages. These establish the foundation for the European and Scottish Enlightenments and the ideas that culminated in the U.S. Constitution. Writings include those of Plato, Aristotle, Polybius, Cicero, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.

ST2320   Political Philosophy II: Enlightenment

This course investigates the principles and ideas found in the political writings of great philosophers from the Renaissance to the mid-1800s. Special emphasis is placed on the influence and fruits of the European and Scottish Enlightenments. Writings include those of Hobbs, Locke, Machiavelli, Montesquieu, Hume, Burke, Blackstone, Kant, Rousseau and Mill.

To register for these or any other daytime classes click here.  For evening classes click here.  Feel free to contact Jeffery Francom for any questions at 855.586.6570 (ext 105) or


April was a month to remember for GWU students.  It began with our week-long simulation block culminating at the Utah State Capitol.  Near the end of the month Commencement 2013 was also held in the State Capitol.  See highlights from each below.




The annual Statesmanship Invitational will take place on April 1-5, 2013.  This year’s event will be facilitated by state Senators and members of the Utah House of Representatives. You won’t want to miss it.  Click here for more details.

The GWU Statesmanship Invitational is a week long simulation which may consist of mock congresses or legislatures, moot courts and various other realistic situations where students take on roles and work individually and in teams to identify and solve problems. Scenarios are developed from historical, current and possible future events. In addition to the skills of researching, writing, communicating and teamwork, simulations help future leaders to prepare for, manage and respond appropriately during actual events.

The Statesmanship Invitational is designed for students at the college level. Advanced students of high school age and older adults are also welcome to participate. Simulation activities typically consume the whole of each day and evening. Details of the simulation scenario will be sent to participants a week before the event. See our website for information on how GWU uses simulations.

Learn more or register for the Statesmanship Invitational 2013 >>