Networking Has Power

When I was a student at Vanderbilt University, a chance meeting changed my life. I went with several other freshmen guys to an event organized to counter an appearance on campus of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden. At the event I introduced myself to the organizer, David Boaz, now executive vice president of the Cato Institute. David invited me to attend an organizational meeting the next day to discuss establishing a Young Americans for Freedom chapter on campus. At that meeting I met David Jones.

My relationships with these two Davids truly affected the course of my life. David Boaz encouraged me to both deepen my knowledge of libertarian ideas and engage in activism on campus and in the community. David Jones made it possible for me to attend a Fund for American Studies (TFAS) summer program in Washington, D.C. where I developed a wider network of political activists and gained experience on Capitol Hill. David Jones died in 1998 and I succeeded him as president of TFAS.

Roger Ream is president of the Fund for American Studies. These remarks were given at AFF’s “Lunch with a Leader” in April 2013.

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