OKLAHOMA CITY – To develop the next generation of state leaders, the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs has launched the J. Rufus Fears Fellowship program, which will equip participants to advocate for free enterprise, limited government, personal responsibility and individual initiative.

OCPA President Jonathan Small said the program is designed to preserve the best aspects of the United States’ heritage and train leaders who will advocate for policies that increase opportunity and prosperity in Oklahoma and nationwide.

“As President Ronald Reagan said, ‘Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same,’” Small said. “The long-range goal of the J. Rufus Fears Fellowship program is to protect our country’s most valuable resource – its commitment to liberty.”

Participants in the program will meet for six sessions, held on Saturdays September to January, where they will learn how to apply the principles of freedom and free markets to real-world problems. Participants will meet successful Oklahoma leaders from politics and business and have the opportunity to network with like-minded Oklahomans working to improve our communities.

Fellows will be given a stipend upon completion of the program.

A limited number of fellowships are available and the deadline for applying is June 21. Those wishing to participate should go to www.FearsFellowship.com and submit their name and email address to receive an application form. Applicants will be asked to provide a statement of interest and letters of recommendation.

Dr. Rick Farmer, a longtime academic with extensive government experience, is the Fears Fellowship director at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.

The program is named in memory of Dr. J. Rufus Fears, a beloved professor of classics at the University of Oklahoma and the David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. During his life, Fears was an acclaimed teacher, scholar, and renowned lecturer. He was a historian of liberty who influenced generations of students to connect the lessons of the past to the political questions of our time.