Welcome to The Stubblefield Institute

Where Civil Engagement meets Civic Engagement

The Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communications was launched in 2019 by a generous gift from Drs. Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield to address the vital role communications play in our political culture. The Institute is keenly devoted to bringing divergent viewpoints together in constructive debate and authentic dialogue in order to foster greater civic engagement and responsibility.

Dedicated to informing the public while also educating the next generation of career political and policy communications experts, the Stubblefield Institute also believes the quality and tenor of political discussion can move beyond vitriol and accusation to reason and respect, values informing every functioning democracy since the ancient Greeks.

A non-partisan organization cooperatively founded and managed by both experienced political science scholars and successful practitioners, the Stubblefield Institute is located on the banks of the Potomac River separating Maryland and West Virginia on Shepherd University’s campus, an area steeped in Revolutionary and Civil War history that is only 75 miles from Washington, DC.

On September 13th the Stubblefield Institute presented Civility Awards to six recipients whose efforts remonstrated a willingness to be fair, to work with all sides of an issue or topic. Treat both friends and adversaries with respect, and put policy and problem-solving ahead of partisan or personal gain.  Awardees were selected by a vote of the Stubblefield Institute Board of Advisors: U.S. Representatives Derek Kilmer and William Timmons, the chair and vice-chair of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; Maryland Governor Larry Hogan; nationally acclaimed political journalists David Brooks and the late Mark Shields; and U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne Clark.

The event took place at Top of the Hill in Washington.  Presenting the awards on behalf of the Institute were Scott Widmeyer and Harriet Pearson, with remarks by Shepherd University President Dr. Mary Hendrix.