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History & Mission

The Henry Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World is the oldest institute at the College. It was founded in 1969 as a result of a conversation between George C. S. Benson, the founding president of CMC, and Henry Salvatori. Its inspiration was Mr. Salvatori's concern for the nature and problems of freedom in the modern world.

In the words of the founding agreement, the Salvatori Center’s mission is to study “the civil, political, and individual liberties of persons living in an ordered society.” The Center is devoted to developing close relations between students and scholars to engage in the study of freedom, particularly as it relates to American Constitutionalism. It seeks to understand and nurture the civic, moral, political, and philosophical underpinnings of democracy in America, including the study of liberal democracy, and the political philosophy that informs it more broadly.


The Center is uniquely positioned to further the College’s mission of promoting responsible citizenship and leadership by encouraging a deeper understanding of democracy and enabling them to affect real-world change.




Burnet C. Wohlford Professor of American Political Institutions & Director of the Salvatori Center

Professor Thomas has authored books such as The (Un)Written Constitution (Oxford University Press, 2021), The Founders and the Idea of a National University: Constituting the American Mind (Cambridge University Press, 2015), The Madisonian Constitution (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), and has co-authored American Constitutional Law: Essays, Cases, and Comparative Notes (West Academic, 2018), as well as numerous scholarly articles on American Constitutionalism.

His works have appeared in more popular journals, such as National Affairs and The American Interest, as well as The Washington Post and

The Atlantic


He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Huntington Library and is the recipient of the Alexander George Award from the American Political Science Association.



Assistant Director of the Salvatori Center

Jennifer has been running all operations, events, budgets, and staffing at Salvatori for the last seven years. 

Before that, she was assistant for CMC’s Departments of Psychology and Religious Studies, and supervisor in the Faculty Support Center. She has been a member of CMC for thirteen years..

Jennifer recently received a Master’s degree in Legal Studies with an emphasis in Non-Profit Organizations. From there, she began pursuit of a Juris Doctor degree, and she recently completed  her first year in law school.



Administrative Media Assistant

Born and raised in Central Los Angeles, Brian obtained his B.A. in Television, Film & Media Studies at Cal State LA. 

He has previously worked at ArcLight Cinemas, collaborating with their Film & Marketing departments on programming schedules and special screenings.

Through film, Brian gained keen interests in thematic explorations of political science, philosophy, sociology, and psychology. 

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