Presidential Scholars

Ages 11–14
Sundays April 15, April 22, April 29, and May 6, 11 am – 12:30 pm
$200 per student ($175 per Member)
A limited number of scholarships are available

Applications due March 23. Click here to fill out application form.

Budding presidential scholars (11–14 year olds) join renowned presidential historians to engage in lively conversations on the challenges, accomplishments, and legacy of this country’s past leaders. Students who are accepted into this program are intellectually curious and rigorous—and looking to dig deeper into the lives and stories of these essential American figures. In a round-table conversation style, historians will meet with students for approximately one hour, leading the discussion, answer students’ questions, and sharing primary sources. At the end of each class, the group will discuss the historian’s interests, studies, and profession. Students accepted into the program must attend all four dates. Upon completion of the program, they will be awarded a certificate.

Please note: You must register for the entire program, which includes these four classes.

George Washington: The Perfect Person for the First Presidency
Sunday, April 15
11 am – 12:30 pm

Carol Berkin is the presidential professor of history emerita at Baruch College & the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and specializes in early presidents and first ladies. Professor Berkin will dive into the history of George Washington’s two terms.


Knowing Jack: What Can We Learn from John F. Kennedy’s Life and Presidency?
Sunday, April 22
11 am – 12:30 pm

Barbara Perry is the director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and a political scientist who specializes in the presidency. Ms. Perry joins us to discuss the life, presidency, and legacy of John F. Kennedy.

Abraham Lincoln and A More Perfect Union?
Sunday, April 29
11 am – 12:30 pm

Sarah L.H. Gronningsater is an assistant professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania and has received fellowships and awards from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, the American Society for Legal History, and the New-York Historical Society. She will explore the history of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Four Freedoms, and World War II
Sunday, May 6
11 am – 12:30 pm

David M. Kennedy is the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University and specializes in early 20th-century American history, integrating economic and cultural analysis with social and political history. Professor Kennedy will talk about the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and how he guided the nation through World War II.

Deadline to apply is March 23.
Click here to fill out the application.
We will notify applicants by end of day March 21 if they have been accepted.

In addition to the online application, please send the following two (2) pieces of mandatory application materials to Please include the student's name and "Presidential Historians" in the subject line.
1) An essay written by the student (up to 500 words) on the following: Who is your favorite president? In your opinion what was his greatest success and what was his greatest challenge?

2) A recommendation letter from an educator describing how the student would contribute to this series of conversations on presidential history.


Presidential Scholars is part of New-York Historical’s Presidency Project and features members of our Presidential Historical Commission, some of whom are N-YHS scholar trustees. Led by the commission, the Presidency Project is a museum-wide educational initiative to explore the role, powers, and responsibilities of the presidency. The Presidency Project aims to survey, examine, and celebrate the U.S. Constitution and presidency through objects, historical documents from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and New-York Historical’s collection, engaging conversations with historians and renowned public figures, family programs, and historical reenactors portraying U.S. presidents.

Creative: Tronvig Group