Bobby Reports on First Full Calendar Year of “Retirement” (as He Defines It)
In response to many questions, here is my report on my first full calendar year of what I call “retirement.”
In pursuit of my passion for Free Speech and Civil Discussion, I did the following:
- Designed and taught a “reading group” (a seminar) at George Washington Law School entitled “Fundamentals of Free Speech as Applied to Contemporary Issues.” In seven 2-hour sessions, the class read and discussed the great advocates for free and unrestricted speech (such as John Stuart Mill, James Madison, and Alexis de Tocqueville), some advocates for restricting speech (Herbert Marcuse, Professor Jeremy Waldron, and Professor Louis Michael Seidman), and the case law addressing three current free speech issues: hate speech, campus speech, and disruptive speech. GW has asked me to teach again in the current (Spring 2023) semester.
- Underwrote and attended a two-day program by the Institute for Humane Studies that addressed “Free Speech in the Age of Polarization.”
- Committed, through the Burchfield Family Charitable Foundation, to endow George Washington Law School’s first fully endowed professorship, “The Burchfield Professorship of First Amendment and Free Speech Law.” (See article posted nearby).
- In my role as Trustee at Wake Forest University, began to raise awareness of free speech issues with the goal of persuading my fellow Trustees to endorse the Chicago Statement of Free Speech.
With Karl Rove and renowned real estate investor Steve Wynn, founded three nonprofit organizations: a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections, Inc., a parallel super PAC named RITE PAC, and a 501(c)(3) organization called the Ulysses S. Grant Institute for the Study of Democracy. I also served as President and CEO of each organization for about six months before turning over those roles to Derek Lyons in August. I remain as Chair of the Boards of RITE and the Grant Institute.
Served on the search committee for a new Scout Executive and CEO for the National Capital Area Council, BSA, and am delighted with the selection of Mario Perez to lead NCAC. I also serve as Vice President for Finance (that is, development) for NCAC.
- Traveled with the French-American Cultural Foundation to Paris, and then to the black tie Mozart Festival at Versailles.
- Attended and served as MC of the 50th Class Reunion of T. Wingate Andrews class of 1972
- Joined my high school buddies in the South Carolina low country for “Mancation 2022,” hosted by Walker Smith and Jeff Allred
- Visited daughter Taylor, M2 at Northwester Medical School, in Chicago.
- Worked toward spending half my time at Windmill Point (but I have a ways to go).
Read many articles and the following eclectic collection of books:
- Robert Ehrlich, Original, Unconventional and Inconvenient
- Ibram Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist
- Elijah Wald, Dylan Goes Electric
- William Faulkner, The Rievers
- William Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust
- Vivek Ramaswamy, Woke Inc.
- Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
- Renee Lerner, Jury Trials (manuscript review)
- Jonathan Rauch, The Constitution of Knowledge
- Victor David Hanson, The Dying Citizen
- Arthur Brooks, Strength to Strength
- Jonathan Rauch, The Kindly Inquisitors
- William Bar, One Damn Thing After Another
- Mark Perry, Grant and Twain: The Story of a Friendship
- Lanny Ebenstein (editor), The Indispensable Milton Friedman
- Ben Bernacke, 21st Century Monetary Policy
- Jacob McHangama, Free Speech in History from Socrates to Social Media
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet
- Jonathan Zimmerman, Free Speech and Why You Should Give a Damn
- Ronald J. Daniels, What Universities Owe Democracy
- James Patterson, The Last Days of John Lennon
- Orwell, 1984
- Robert B. Talisse, Restoring Democracy
- David Bernstein, You Can’t Say That
- The Holy Bible
- Alistair Horne, To Lose a Battle: France 1940
I’m always eager to receive book recommendations!
Continued to serve on several non-profit boards.
Also in 2022, my Mom and my ex-wife both passed away.
I look forward enthusiastically to 2023 and the new challenges and opportunities it will bring. Please let me know if you are aware of opportunities to speak about, write about, or support free speech issues.
And for my contemporaries who may be considering retirement, come on in—the water’s fine! Retirement can be whatever you want it to be.