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The John C. Culver Public Policy Center

An educated citizenry is vital for a healthy democracy

Our programs inspire students to pursue public service careers with integrity and moral courage

The John C. Culver Public Policy Center is dedicated to civic engagement and public service. It was established at Simpson College in 2010 to honor John C. Culver, who served the people of Iowa for 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. His tenure was marked by a tireless pursuit of policies to ensure justice at home and peace abroad, and he is widely respected for his integrity and political courage by both Republicans and Democrats who served with him in Congress.

We strive to honor Culver’s example. The center’s nonpartisan programs educate and inspire active participation in our democracy and encourage young people to consider public service as their life’s work. To schedule a candidate visit, please contact Culver Center Director Seth Andersen at 515-961-1354 or seth.andersen@simpson.edu.

 

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When Iowa leads American politics, Simpson leads by example.

On campus

Public officials, journalists and policy experts meet with students for informal discussions on important public policy issues, and prominent national figures come to campus during a prestigious annual Culver Lecture to deliver an address that is open to the public.

During the Iowa Caucuses, candidate visits and events at Simpson College are designed to educate students, faculty, staff and community members about candidates' qualifications and positions on important public policy issues. The Culver Center welcomes candidates for federal, state and local elected offices, regardless of party affiliation.

And beyond

The Culver Center is a part of the National Campaign for Political & Civic Engagement, a consortium of 23 universities and colleges with programs in politics and public service. This association lets Simpson students engage with a nationwide network of college students focused on political engagement, civic education and career development.

We also honor Iowans who inspire young people in the areas of public service and civic engagement with the annual John C. Culver Award.

2017-18 Culver Fellows

Become a Culver Fellow


Each year, a select group of incoming students with a passion for politics and public service will be awarded a renewable annual scholarship of $2,000 — in addition to all other merit- and need-based financial aid awarded by Simpson College.

Public service may include contributions made within the context of volunteer work, elected office, government service and civic engagement. In addition to the scholarship, Culver Fellows are the student leaders of the John C. Culver Public Policy Center who are involved in all aspects of the center’s work on campus and in the broader community.

Applications for the fall 2019 incoming class are due by February 1, 2019.

Apply for the John C. Culver Fellowship 

For more information on the John C. Culver Fellows program contact:
Simpson College Office of Admissions: 800-362-2454 or admiss@simpson.edu.

Seth Andersen, Director, Culver Public Policy Center: 515-961-1354 or seth.andersen@simpson.edu.

Opportunities for Culver Fellows


Becoming a Culver Fellow comes with many experiences and opportunities for involvement including:

  • Encouraging other students to engage in the political process by becoming informed on issues, working towards solutions, volunteering and voting.
  • Providing input on issues and topics for the center to address.
  • Planning, organizing and publicizing events, as well as, hosting and introducing speakers.
  • Serving as liaisons between the Culver Center and the community.
  • Networking with professionals for personal skill development and internship and employment opportunities.
  • Meeting and hosting distinguished visitors to the Culver Center including elected officials and leaders in policy, public service, and the media.
  • Participating in conferences and programs with other colleges, including the National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement at Harvard’s Institute of Politics.
  • Experiencing a semester-long internship in Washington D.C. as part of the Capitol Hill Internship Program (CHIP).
Culver Fellows Chamber Group

Meet the Culver Fellows

Engaged. Active. Involved. Committed. These are all words to describe both the current Culver Fellows and the growing list of alumni. Introduce yourself to these leaders.

Culver Lecture

The Culver Lecture


The bipartisan Culver Lecture series is one of the highlights of the academic year for the John C. Culver Public Policy Center at Simpson College.

Senator Culver talks about the importance of public service