W. Wesley McDonald Memorial Scholarship


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W. Wesley McDonald joined the Elizabethtown faculty in 1980 after earning his bachelor’s degree in political science from Towson State University and his master’s degree from Bowling Green State University. In 1982, he earned his doctoral degree from Catholic University.

McDonald had numerous articles on politics and American conservatism published in scholarly journals and newspapers throughout the years.

In 2004, his critically acclaimed book Russell Kirk and the Age of Ideology, which explores the political and philosophical ideas of one of the founding fathers of the conservative movement, was published by the University of Missouri Press. His interest in the life and thought of Russell Kirk began early in his academic career; he spent 25 years as a friend and mentoree of Kirk. The book spawned a major article in the Chronicle of Higher Education as well as an online symposium and, in October of 2004, he appeared on C-Span to discuss his research and writing.

In April 2013, McDonald and fellow faculty member Dr. Fletcher McClellan discussed politics on Penn Cable Network and, in the summer of 2013, McDonald wrote What Is the Legacy of ‘The Conservative Mind’? for Symposium: the Conservative Mind at 60, a look back at the six decades since Russell Kirk, wrote The Conservative Mind.

McDonald’s research interests included American electoral politics and campaigns, classic films and politics, political novels, history of Western political ideas and modern ideologies.

He had been chairman of the College’s pre-law advisory committee and a faculty adviser for the College Republicans. He also was a member of the American Political Science Association and the Philadelphia Society, and served on the executive board of the Pennsylvania Political Science Association.