Robert P. Kirby | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Robert P. Kirby 
Member since Apr 21, 2017



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Re: “Inside the Conservative Takeover of Vermont's Coolidge Foundation

Mr. Heintz contends that Ms. Shlaes alone wants to take Coolidge away from Vermont. Based on Mr. Heintzs article, however, I reviewed the Strategic Planning Process that was conducted in 2009, before Ms. Shlaes was on the Foundation's horizon.

In 2009, the Coolidge board determined that: "We will use our unique location at Plymouth Notch, organizational strengths and passion, to establish funding, strong partnerships, and national recognition for Calvin Coolidge." We also determined to "reinforce national fund raising." We envisioned a Foundation that would ensure that "the nation will be inspired to use Calvin Coolidge as a key to solving relevant national and international issues."

The current activities of the Foundation under Ms. Shlaes and executive director Matt Denhart appear to be following the 2009 Plan closely. The Foundation has drawn national funding without compromising itself.The Foundation has established strong partnerships with esteemed institutions, two being with the Dartmouth Debate Institutes and the White House Historical Association, which co-hosts finalists for the Coolidge scholarship over the summer.

The Foundation has drawn more than a thousand young people to the Notch, high school debaters since Ms. Shlaes and director Matt Denhart came on board. The Coolidge scholarship program, undercovered in Mr. Heintz's article, has drawn 2400 or more solid applicants this year, all of whom write essays about Coolidge. The success of Ms. Shlaes is really amazing to me.
Gov. Douglas comments have the most credibility in the articlethe foundation has matured quite a lot in recent years and I dont see any ideological imprint on anything we do as an organization. The author did not, it seems, choose to interview many others with knowledge of the situation. Vermont did not get a true picture of the merits of the Coolidge Foundation.

Robert Kirby
Coolidge Foundation
( 2009- 2011)

11 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Robert P. Kirby on 04/21/2017 at 4:26 PM

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