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October 23 & 24, 2024  ●  Malibu, California  ●  Pepperdine University

For information about conference sponsorships, including table sponsorships for your organization, please contact Center Director Joe Garecht at A list of current sponsorship opportunities for the 2024 conference can be seen here.


The K-12 educational reform movement is now decades old, and efforts to reform higher education have been at play for at least as many years. While we have seen significant successes at the K-12 level in the last generation (despite fierce resistance), there is a sense that reform efforts on university campuses have yet to bear fruit. During our fourth annual Givers, Doers, & Thinkers conference, we’ll explore what we’ve learned from the K-12 ed reform movement, and how those lessons can be applied in higher education reform. We’ll ask: Can the majority of campuses be saved? And is it time to take a significantly different approach to reforming higher education?


  • WHEN:  The conference will take place on October 24th, 2024, with a Welcome Reception on October 23rd.
  • WHERE:  The Wilburn Auditorium on the campus of Pepperdine University.
  • DETAILS:  The full conference agenda includes three exciting speakers and five expert panel discussions.
  • HOTEL:  Conference attendees may click here to book a rooom at The Cambria Hotel - Calabasas / Malibu.
Space is limited, so be sure to register today!


Our fourth annual Givers, Doers, & Thinkers conference will gather donors, nonprofit leaders, and scholars from across the country. This conference is your chance to:

  • Network with like-minded people in the world of nonprofits, education, and charitable giving.
  • Learn from expert panelists who will share knowledge and tips on how you can effectively impact schools, universities, and the educational reform landscape.
  • Hear from expert speakers and panels on subjects such as K-12 education, free speech on college campuses, proposals for higher education reform, and how donors can successfully work with college and university partners to create gift agreements that honor donor intent.
Attendance is open to donors; donor advisors; charitable foundation representatives, staff, and board members; and nonprofit leaders. This is a non-solicitation event.


Mark Bauerlein

Mark Bauerlein is an Emeritus Professor of English at Emory University and a Senior Editor at First Things magazine. He also serves as a Trustee of New College of Florida. His books include The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (2008), and The Dumbest Generation Grows Up: From Stupefied Youth to Dangerous Adults (2022). His commentaries and reviews have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Weekly Standard, The Guardian, Chronicle of Higher Education, and other national periodicals.


Hanna Skandera

President & Chief Executive Officer at the Daniels Fund

Hanna Skandera joined the Daniels Fund as a Board member in 2019 and was subsequently selected as President and CEO in 2020. Founded by cable pioneer Bill Daniels, the Daniels Fund transforms communities through grantmaking and college scholarships in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. In 2021, the Daniels Fund celebrated giving away $1 billion since 2000. Hanna is nationally recognized for her expertise in education, having previously served as the Secretary of Education of New Mexico, the Undersecretary of Education of California, and as Deputy Commissioner of Education in Florida. She also previously served as a Senior Policy Advisor for the U. S. Department of Education.


Victor Davis Hanson

Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and chairs the Military History Working Group. He is a military historian, columnist, former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare, and has been a commentator on modern warfare and contemporary politics for various media outlets. He received the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism (2002), and was awarded the National Humanities Medal (2007) and the Bradley Prize (2008). Hanson is the author/editor of more than twenty-four books. His newest book is entitled The Case for Trump (Basic Books, March 2019).


Jeremy Beer

Senior Fellow at The Center for Civil Society & Co-Founder of AmPhil

Fred Clark

Founder, Pacific Equity Management

Dr. Timothy J. Collins

President of Walsh University

Richard Corcoran

President of New College of Florida

Dr. Gene C. Crume Jr.

President of Judson University

Cecilia Diem

Director of Donor Advisory Services at AmPhil

Josh Dunn

Executive Director of the Institute of American Civics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Jack Fowler

Senior Fellow at The Center for civil Society & Senior Director at AmPhil

Joe Garecht

Director of The Center for Civil Society

Panayiotis (Pano) Kanelos

Founding President of the University of Austin (UATX)

Bruno Manno

Senior Advisor at the Progressive Policy Institute

Shaka Mitchell

Senior Fellow at the American Federation for Children

Carl Neuss

Founding Board Member at Alumni Free Speech Alliance

Dr. Jennifer Nolan

President and Co-Founder of the new Catholic Polytechnic University

Nancy Padberg, MBA

President & CEO of Catholic Education Arizona

Pete Peterson

Braun Family Dean's Chair at Pepperdine School of Public Policy

Jenna A. Robinson

President of the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal

Ryan Streeter

Executive Director at the Civitas Institute at the University of Texas at Austin

Cherise Trump

Executive Director of Speech First

Kyle Vander Meulen

Partner and Senior Director at AmPhil

Carol Wallace

Chair of the Pepperdine School of Public Policy Advisory Board

Christy Wolfe

Senior Vice President at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools