“There can be no greater need in today’s America than a movement away from the fringes of destructive, overly partisan rhetoric and toward a robust national conversation where respect and thoughtful discourse are once again valued.”

Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield


Listen. Learn. Engage.


The Stubblefield Institute, launched in July 2019 with a generous gift by Drs. Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield, offers an advanced platform for the study of political discourse by addressing the role communications plays in our divided political culture. The Institute also contributes to a more positive dialogue and exchange of political differences.


Seeking to engage both students and the public in bridging our nation’s ever-growing political and cultural divide, the Institute believes the quality and tenor of public political discussion must move beyond vitriol and accusation to reason and respect, values informing every functioning democracy since the ancient Greeks.


The Institute hosts multiple national and state debates across partisan and ideological divides and is committed to critical curricular applications across multiple departments that teach undergraduate students the principles of reasoned discussion in pursuit of political ends. In partnership with Shepherd University, the Institute will also offer a degree that combines political science with communications. This unique degree, offered by only a few universities in the nation, prepares recipients for practical policy and political communications positions.


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


Shepherd University is an ideal Institute that possesses several key assets. Among these is the nationally-acclaimed Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative and Congressional History, the George Tyler Moore Center for Civil War Studies and the 2019 national collegiate championship debate team.