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July 2013

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Announcing George Wythe Institute Canada

One Step Toward a Big Dream Come True

By Heather Burton

On September 12th, 2008, ninety-nine people gathered to collectively consider a Big Dream–the establishment of a Leadership Education school in southern Alberta, Canada. George Wythe Institute Canada (GWIC), a private post-secondary institution based on the methods of education common to great leaders of the past and present, is one step closer to becoming a reality.  The inaugural Benefit Gala was held in the Remington Carriage Museum, a landmark cultural centre in the town of Cardston, Alberta. Dining, discussing, learning and musical performance comprised the program for the evening.
Sponsored and organized by LEAFF, the Leadership Education Association of Families and Friends, the Gala centered on the theme “Come Higher,” a phrase derived from a modern parable-book The Dreamgiver by Bruce Wilkinson. In the story, a young man named Ordinary comes to acknowledge a great “dream” he’s been given, one that will provide profound meaning in his life…if he can overcome numerous obstacles, external and internal, along the path to that Big Dream. As Ordinary journeys,  the Dreamgiver provides guidance, encouraging the youth to come higher in order to witness the grand view of what accomplishing his Big Dream will mean to himself and to others.
The George Wythe Institute Canada (GWIC) Benefit Gala was a first formal, public step toward a similar “big dream,” a Canadian satellite campus of George Wythe University. Chairman of the Board of GWIC Allan Burton explains that a George Wythe institution is needed in Canada.
“We have a growing number of young people who wish to prepare themselves for active leadership in homes, communities, businesses, churches, schools, and our nation here in Canada. They need a place where they can learn how to think like leaders, how to make decisions like leaders, and how to take action the way great leaders do. What better place for them to get that kind of education than here and what better time than now?”
George Wythe University has agreed to partner with George Wythe Institute Canada in providing the administration, training and mentoring it will take to replicate the George Wythe philosophy and methods used on their two U.S. campuses and in schools, businesses and homes across North America.
The Five Pillars of the George Wythe approach are classics, mentors, simulations, field experience and God/Truth.  Participating in tutorials, colloquia (group discussion), lecture, coaching, and meaningful testing, George Wythe students are brought closer to becoming “men and women of virtue, wisdom, diplomacy and courage who inspire greatness in others and move the cause of liberty,” the mission of the University. The book A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-first Century by Dr. Oliver DeMille explains the “George Wythe approach” and is recommended reading for those interested in the philosophy of Leadership Education.
Among those in attendance were thirteen Youth Ambassadors, young adults who may someday attend the College. One young man commented, “At first I couldn’t see the value of a Gala…but now I see what a good thing it was. It was great!”
Cat Charissage of Lethbridge, Alberta concurred, describing the event as “an elegant, inspiring, wildly visionary evening.” The evening’s performances included a dramatic storytelling of The Dreamgiver by Debi Watson; an original song composed for the Gala by Eric Proffitt and Wayne Burton; two stirring numbers by the Wake the World choir (Beth Holthe, director); and a video montage by Rebecca Proffitt depicting the world-wide need for effective, caring, committed leaders.
Speakers included Jonathan Dueck, a Canadian GWC Distance Studies student and Andau Character Prize recipient; Allan Burton, Chairman of the Board of GWIC; and Shanon Brooks, President of George Wythe University.  In his concluding remarks, Dr. Brooks quoted Margaret Mead, renowned anthropologist:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
For George Wythe Institute Canada supporters, this is timely counsel for the coming year of action toward their Big Dream.

In a board meeting held August 6, 2008 in Cedar City, Utah, the George Wythe Foundation Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept a proposal by board member Allan Burton to establish a campus or affiliate program in Alberta, Canada.


George Wythe Institute Canada - 2008 Benefit Gala
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