Dr. F. William Sunderman, a member of the class of 1919, established the Henry M. Scharf Memorial Lecture on Current Affairs in 1977 to honor his long-time friend Henry Scharf. Scharf, a member of Gettysburg College's Class of 1925, was the builder of the Majestic Theater - a venue the Eisenhowers frequented while in Gettysburg. Within the broad focus of "current events," the annual lectures have provided a podium for many distinguished speakers. In 2006, Susan Eisenhower spoke before the screening of the documentary film Why We Fight. The 2007 Scharf Lecture was given by former Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch, now President of the U.S.-China Education Trust. Additional past speakers include 2012 speaker Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, and 2013 speaker Ambassador John Limbert, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran in the State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
Working in partnership with the Eisenhower Institute, the Department of Policy Policy was created in 2010. This major provides students the opportunity to integrate the components of a primary major with a uniquely liberal arts approach to policy analysis. For more on the major, please visit the Public Policy department website. Prior to the Public Policy department, the Seiden/Levi Public Policy Seminar (offered annually and sponsored through independent studies) was the credit-bearing course sponsored by the Eisenhower Institute.
I. W. Foundation has provided an endowment to support an annual seminar in public policy. Offered through the department of political science and coordinated by Professor Ken Mott, the Seiden/Levi Public Policy Seminar is designed to provide a team-taught, issue-oriented, advanced undergraduate seminar, often matching a leader in public policy or media with a Gettysburg faculty member as co-instructors. Occasionally, the seminar has incorporated international travel as part of the experience.
Students are engaged in significant research projects and thesis presentations on contemporary public policy and leadership topics and the Eisenhower Institute offers mentorship, resources, and financial support for these projects.