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Political Science Deparment|College of Arts & Sciences

Milward L. Simpson Fund

This fund supports a series of professional exchanges, thought provoking lectures, student scholarships and graduate fellowships.

Request for Financial Assistance Form


The "general purpose to be served by the Fund is to further, foster and advance education and learning in the field of political science at the University of Wyoming."

The fund was created October 17, 1969, to honor Milward L. Simpson (1897-1993). Simpson, a Wyoming native, was governor of Wyoming from 1955-1959. He was also the first University of Wyoming graduate to be elected governor. He served as a US Senator from 1963-1967. Prior to holding elective office, Simpson was a member of the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees and was the board's president for several years.Milward L. Simpson

Simpson was a spirited politician. The Wyoming Almanac, written by Phil Roberts, David Roberts, and Steven Roberts, (published by Skyline West Press) records this incident in Simpson's career:

"When Milward Simpson was campaigning for election to the U.S. Senate in 1940, he was pelted with oranges at a campaign stop in Hanna. Simpson was not deterred. The former star UW athlete simply hurled the oranges back at the hecklers who had thrown them. Even though Simpson came out even in the orange toss, he lost the election."

Simpson was the father of former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson and UW's former Vice President of Development, Pete Simpson.


The Simpson Fund brings numerous guest speakers to campus. Speakers have come from a wide variety of backgrounds, ideologies and disciplines frequently drawing large audiences from across campus and the surrounding community.  Previous guest speakers have included:

Chris Matthews, MSNBC's Hardball Host and Host of the syndicated Chris Matthews Show
James A. Baker, U.S. Secretary of State, Secretary of Treasury, White House Chief of Staff
Dave Freudenthal, Governor of Wyoming
George Mitchell, U.S. Senator
Alan K. Simspon, U.S. Senator
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, U.S. Supreme Court
Sam Donaldson, ABC News Correspondent
George Mitchell, U.S. Senator
Donald Kendall, Chairman of PepsiCo
Sam Western, Western Identity Author
Casper Weinberger, U.S. Secretary of Defense
Lawrence Eagleburger, U.S. Secretary of State
James G. Watt, U.S. Secretary of the Interior
William S. Cohen, U.S. Senator
Gerald Ford, President of The United States
George H. W. Bush, President of The United States
Jim Geringer, Governor of Wyoming
Michael Sullivan, Governor of Wyoming & Ambassador to Ireland
George McGovern, U.S. Senator
Davis Broder, Washington Post
Paul Simon, U.S. Senator
General George Joulwin, U.S. Supreme Allied Commander Europe (NATO)
Kathy Karpan, Wyoming Secretary of State
Karen Deike, Western Governors Association
Charles Bartlett, Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist
Thomas Strook, Ambassador to Guatemala
Ann Compton, ABC News White House Correspondent
Patricia Limerick, Center of the West - University of Colorado
Charles Levendosky, Editor Casper Star Tribune
Ambassador Richard Schifter, Special Assistant to the President
Boyd Eddins, Wyoming Senate President
April Brimmer Kunz, Wyoming Senate President
Speaker John Marton, Wyoming House of Representatives
Speaker Fred Parady, Wyoming House of Representatives

Current Program

During the summer of 1998, the Department of Political Science committed itself to a multi-year "Milward Simpson Millennium Initiative in American Government." This Initiative is based on our belief that the American system of government and its associated institutions are experiencing considerable difficulty adjusting to the realities of the new millennium. As expressed by measures such as the American people's willingness to vote in national elections and public opinion polls, cynicism about the "system" and its two major political parties is at an all time high. Congress is generally held in low esteem (although individual congressmen may escape the public's wrath) and the presidency has been weakened by almost three decades of recurrent partisan attacks and mutual recrimination.

In order to encourage creative thinking about these problems, this initiative is designed with the following goals in mind:

• To foster and promote deeper understanding of the American and Wyoming systems of government and their operating environment among a new generation of University of Wyoming students and the broader public

• To prepare a new generation of young Wyoming leaders for public service and for the policy challenges that will face our state and country both at home and abroad during the next millennium

• To pay tribute to past generations of Wyoming political leaders who committed themselves to public service during the turbulent years of the 20th century

The keystones of this initiative are the classes "Wyoming Political Identity" and "Wyoming Futures," taught by Dr. Peter K. Simpson in his capacity as the Milward L. Simpson Distinguished Visiting Professor of American Government.  These classes provide students within insight into the political culture of Wyoming, problems confronting the state, and potential solutions through lectures and presentations by visiting scholars and political activists.  In addition, Dr. Simpson has chaired Public Forums on Critical Issues in American Government: Wyoming Leadership, Leading Wyoming in an Age of Public Disillusionment with Politics, and Leadership in a Troubled World.  The Milward Simpson Millennium Initiative in American Government has brought to UW many prominent political leaders, including former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, U.S. Senator George Mitchell, former FBI Director and Director of Central Intelligence William Webster, former U.S. Senator and Secretary of Defense William Cohen, former Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer, former Wyoming Governor and U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Mike Sullivan, former Secretary of State James Watt, former Wyoming Secretary of State Kathy Karpan, former U.S. Senator George McGovern, former U.S. Senator Paul Simon, and many other political and civic leaders.  Further information concerning the Milward Simpson Millennium Initiative in American Government can be obtained by contacting:

Department of Political Science
University of Wyoming
Laramie, Wyoming 82071
Phone (307) 766-6484
Fax (307) 766-6771


For information about donating to the Milward L. Simpson Fund, please contact the Political Science Department to make arrangements.

You can reach us:

phone: (307) 766-6484
U.S. Mail:
    Department of Political Science
    Dept. 3197
    1000 E. University Avenue
    University of Wyoming
    Laramie, WY 82071

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