About Us

Mission Statement

  

Thomas Jefferson’s legacy embodies confidence in People’s ability to discover and implement principles of freedom---laws of nature-–inscribed on his tombstone:


Author of the Declaration of American Independence,

of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom

And father of the University of Virginia


Observers standing before this inscription can contemplate what meaning these accomplishments written in 1826 hold for their lives today.

 

Universal Moral Idealism[1] coupled with Limited Government, Religious Freedom, and Education make Free Society possible. These ideas represent a Founding Vision of rights and responsibilities never before attempted as the basis of a country.


The mission of the Jefferson Legacy Foundation is to promote an understanding of the relevance of this Founding Vision for America as a navigating instrument for present and future generations.


Given the violence and turmoil in today’s world, it is challenging to sustain idealism about the future. The Jefferson Legacy Foundation maintains that such upheaval arises from a lack of awareness and accord concerning what Jefferson called the “essential principles of our government.”[2] These Founding Principles are Idealistic, and that is why Idealism has been called the “driving power of the American Revolution” and “the guiding star of the American patriots.”[3]  These ideals can be regarded as Jefferson’s living legacy. 



    

[1] “Universal moral idealism” is the general theme of Allen Jayne’s, Lincoln: And the American Manifesto, Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2007.


[2] See the seventeen principles in Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address, March 4, 1801.


[3] Michael Pupin, From Immigrant to Inventor, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1922, 315.

Vision Statement

Founder Sydney N. "Chip" Stokes envisioned that internalizing and sharing Jeffersonian principles provides a touchstone for ideals--the basis of our nation’s political culture.  Understanding this legacy can provide uplift and assistance in resolving many challenges in today’s world.

Board of Directors

  • William D. “Bill” Barker, Jr.
  • Bahman Batmanghelidj, emeritus
  • Natalie Bober, emerita 
  • Brenda LaClair
  • C.W. “Bud” Leeds, III, President
  • Wendy Leeds, Secretary
  • Roberta Somach
  • Sydney N. “Chip” Stokes, Jr.

IRS Charitable Status

The Jefferson Legacy Foundation is a public charitable foundation with the classification 509(a)(3) under the regulations of the Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3). All contributions to the Foundation qualify as tax-deductible.