About Us

Mission Statement


The mission of the Samuel & Erasmus institute is to cultivate the joy, wisdom, and experience of liberal arts learning—understanding the liberal arts to serve the end of a fulfilled, engaged, and liberated human life.  SEi has an emphasis on students, educators, and leaders in educational institutions, but also seeks to

have an effect in families, in the arts, in places of work, and in communities.


SEi has a focus on understanding the roots of American Culture and the American Experiment and on reawakening a fresh understanding of these foundational issues of Western Humanism: 1. affirmation, friendship, and love, 2. conversation and rhetoric, 3. the virtues of the human heart, and 4. quiet, wonder, and leisure. SEi seeks to cultivate them in the form and function of educational cultures and institutions, including in the first learning “institution”: the home.


SEi’s approach and style is in the spirit of two diverse creative thinkers and writers, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) and Desiderius Erasmus. They shared the qualities of a powerful imagination and a gift for intuitive insight, of a love for freedom and friendship, of a sharp wit and a rich sense of humor, and of the courage to challenge various ideas and conventions of their time.

Vision Statement: the way of ideas, conversation, friendship


SEi seeks to foster a lived experience of its mission in the way it conducts all its activities and achieves its purpose.  This entails a focus on meetings and personal engagement more than on dissemination of information and ideas. And, this entails employing our primary means: the exploration and love of ideas, open and frank conversation, and the trust and affection of friendship.

the name leadership
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SEi is a Federal 501 (c) (3)  tax exempt public charity.  Contributions are tax deductible.