Thanks to our contributors, ARI is able to show students how Ayn Rand’s ideas can empower them to “live free and thrive” — in a big way.

Last weekend in Atlanta we hosted the Ayn Rand Student Conference (#AynRandCon), which focused on the pivotal issue of free will. #AynRandCon was the largest student conference on Objectivism in ARI history, with 141 students from the United States and abroad, and an overall total of 168 attendees.

Students spent the weekend immersed in Ayn Rand’s philosophy, discussing the Objectivist theory of free will and its implications for their life and for current political issues. The feedback? Students called talks by ARI senior fellow Onkar Ghate, psychologist Gena Gorlin and Facebook engineering manager Brian Amerige “educational,” “inspiring” and even “life-changing.” Attendee Jin Yu Li, a graduate of ARI’s 2016 internship program, had this to say about the conference: “It opened up my mind about what Objectivism is and how to apply it to my personal and career goals.”

AynRandCon 2016 was possible because of the support from the Michael and Andrea Leven Family Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation, Ellen and Harris Kenner, Loren and Kathy Corle, Chris J. Rufer, and many other ARI contributors. Because of the generosity of the donors, all students received scholarships that covered most of their travel costs, allowing us to reach active-minded, ambitious students who could not have attended otherwise.

AynRandCon built on the success of ARI’s annual Objectivist summer conference (OCON), which hit a milestone this summer by attracting a record number of students. One in four attendees was a student. The excitement and the enthusiasm of this group of students at AynRandCon show that momentum is building toward ARI’s goal of igniting a student Objectivist movement.

ARI is intent on smashing this year’s attendance records at the next OCON and AynRandCon in 2017. But we need your help. With your donation, ARI can grow these events to new heights. We can increase participation from students and scholars around the world. We can ignite a student movement.

You can support student scholarships here.