OCPA’s J. Rufus Fears Fellowship identifies, inspires and equips young leaders for Oklahoma’s future.  While exploring the ideals of free enterprise, limited government, personal responsibility and individual initiative, we perpetuate the memory of Oklahoma’s greatest scholar.

Overwhelming evidence demonstrates that freedom produces the highest quality of life and overall standard of living.  As the next generation of leaders, Fears Fellows are able to apply the ideals of liberty to 21st Century problems. Fellows meet prominent political and business leaders, read original sources and founding documents, watch Dr. Fears classic lectures, and engage in dynamic discussions of the study material.  They learn how to translate ideals into action.

Through a partnership with OSU, Fears fellows who are enrolled at OSU are able to apply the fellowship toward one hour of undergraduate or graduate credit.  We are working to expand the option to other universities.
Fears Fellowship cohorts is forming in Oklahoma City over the next few months. 
The OKC application deadline is December 4, and session dates are January 30, February 13, February 27, March 13, and March 27. Session are from 10 AM to 1 PM.  Participants receive a stipend.



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Developing tomorrow's leaders

Request an application for the 2020 program.


Dr. J. Rufus Fears was a Professor of Classics at the University of Oklahoma and the David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. Fears was an acclaimed teacher, scholar, and renowned lecturer. He was a historian of liberty who influenced generations of students to connect the lessons of the past to the political questions of our time. The J. Rufus Fears Fellowship honors his memory and continues his legacy.

About Dr. Fears

About the program

Dr. Rick Farmer is dean of the Fears Fellowship at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. He previously served as director of committee staff for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, director of the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission, and Deputy Insurance Commissioner. Dr. Farmer also was a tenured professor at the University of Akron in Ohio, where he was a fellow in the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics. He grew up in Tahlequah and earned a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern State University before earning his Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Oklahoma.

Program Director