WASHINGTON — The Centennial Institute, Colorado Christian University’s (CCU) public policy think tank, in partnership with The Armstrong Project, named Heritage President Kay C. James as the 2021 recipient of the prestigious William L. Armstrong Award for Visionary Leadership in Service to the American Idea.
The award is named in memory of William L. Armstrong, a former businessman, U.S. senator, and CCU president, and is presented annually at the Western Conservative Summit to a “leader who embodies the values that Armstrong held dear—faith, family, and freedom—and who has made a difference in America’s culture through business, politics, or education.” The award was presented to James by Wil and Kristy Armstrong.
Click here to watch the Armstrong Project’s film about Kay C. James, including an interview and award presentation.
“Kay Coles James, and her lifetime of work in support of America’s founding constitutional principles truly defines the American dream,” said Wil Armstrong, son of the late senator. “Rising from poverty in government housing projects to become president of America’s most important and influential think tank is an almost unparalleled achievement today. But Kay has gone far beyond that and built The Gloucester Institute to share that experience and those values with new generations of top-notch American leaders. They learn from her example, as we all do.”
“I am truly humbled to be selected for this honor,” said James upon announcement of the award. “None of us do this important work for accolades or recognition. Indeed, the greatest reward of public service and a career devoted to the well-being of the American people is the ability to make an impact on government policy in a way that increases freedom, economic liberty, and opportunity for all.
“When I first arrived in Washington and had to endure a very difficult Senate confirmation hearing, I remember sitting in the hearing and facing a barrage of questions. I looked up and saw Bill there looking back at me the entire time. But he didn’t ask a single question. He was just looking at me. Soon I realized what he was doing—he was praying for me. That lifted my spirits like nothing you could imagine.
“Bill’s amazing spirit crossed aisles and ideology, and I knew that I wanted to model my spirit after his. I have always held Bill in such high esteem, and to be recognized by his foundation means the world to me.”
Past recipients of the award, given annually since 2016, include conservative talk show host Dennis Prager, Focus on the Family and “Family Talk” founder Dr. James Dobson, former Attorney General and Counselor to President Ronald Reagan Edward Meese III, legal scholar and professor Robert George and Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby and chairman of the Museum of the Bible.
The Heritage Foundation is the nation’s largest, most broadly supported conservative research and educational institution. Heritage has been leading the American conservative movement since our founding in 1973. More than 500,000 dues-paying members support our vision to build an America where freedom, prosperity, opportunity, and civil society flourish.
The Armstrong Project is a series of initiatives led by entrepreneur Wil Armstrong to preserve the historical record of his father, Senator Bill Armstrong, and to provide actionable resources to help energize a more civil and thoughtful discussion of vital principles important to business, politics, education, and philanthropy. Learn more at thearmstrongproject.org or connect via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.