About Us

The Ciceronian Society was founded in 2021 at Duke University to provide a forum for discussion of conservative, centrist, and libertarian thought, including dialogue around political philosophy, economics, policy, and technology.

Our Mission Statement

The mission of The Ciceronian Society shall be to provide a forum for discussion of political philosophy, economics, and policy, specifically pertaining to classical liberalism, centrism, libertarianism, objectivism, and conservatism. TCS will provide an open room for discussion and debate without judgement nor ideological bias. Topics of interest within such fields, ranging from classical antiquity to the present, shall be discussed, with particular focus on contemporary affairs and policy implications.

The Ciceronian Society will seek to accomplish this mission by holding monthly general body meetings, debates, political engagement events, guest speakers, and opportunities to connect with the broader Duke community.


The values, beliefs, and political orientation of student bodies in many institutions of higher learning can often feel quite monolithic. In the spring of 2021, four Duke undergraduates — Thomas Ross, Marcus Deans, David Gust, and Brooks Robinson –sought to address this phenomenon by establishing an organization devoted to free speech and civil discourse on campus. They called this organization The Ciceronian Society, in the spirit of the principled Roman statesman Cicero. The original founders would go on to become, in the order listed above, the first four presidents of The Ciceronian Society.

In the past two years, The Ciceronian Society has seen an enormous growth in membership, exploding from an initial 8 members to our current size of over 350 members comprised of undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty. We are proud to have hosted some of the largest student-led events in recent memory at Duke, attracting audiences of over two hundred people to see famed economist Dr. Arthur Laffer speak in the Fall 2023 semester and North Korean defector and human rights advocate Yeonmi Park in the Spring 2024 semester.

Looking to the future, The Ciceronian Society remains ever-dedicated to its role as the only student organization at Duke University which upholds and promotes principled Conservatism and Libertarianism, and we are incredibly excited to see what the future holds in store.