Friday, July 29, 2011 (Santa Barbara, CA) - Philanthropist and entrepreneur Donald E. Bently, of Minden, Nevada, was honored recently at a special gathering at the Reagan Ranch near Santa Barbara, California. For more than twenty years he has provided leadership and major financial support to The Institute of World Politics.
IWP's President and Founder, John Lenczowski, praised Mr. Bently for "understanding the critical need in our government for ethical leaders who are well versed in all the arts of statecraft." The Institute currently offers Master of Arts degrees in Statecraft and National Security Affairs, Statecraft and International Affairs, and Strategic Intelligence Studies.
Attending the event were Chairman of the IWP Board of Trustees Owen Smith, Reagan biographer Peter Schweizer, supporters of the Institute, and friends of Mr. Bently. They were treated to a tour of President and Mrs. Reagan's former ranch, "Rancho del Cielo," and regaled with the recollections of John Barletta, President Reagan's Secret Service agent and riding companion for 11 years.
According to Dr. Lenczowski, Mr. Bently purchased and renovated three buildings near the White House in the mid-1990s which serve as the IWP campus. Mr. Bently served on the Board of Trustees in the critical early years, and even endowed an academic chair. "Without Don's support and wisdom, I do not know how the Institute could have succeeded," Dr. Lenczowski said. "Through his vision and efforts, the cause of freedom is being advanced in profound ways, since no other school in the nation addresses full-spectrum diplomacy."
The Institute of World Politics accepts both mid-career professionals and recent college graduates. Many are pursing careers in the fields of defense, intelligence, homeland security, and the State Department.
The Reagan Ranch is owned and operated by the Young America Foundation, which also operates the Reagan Ranch Center in downtown Santa Barbara, and provides educational programs for high school and college groups and other organizations.