Page West, the center’s first director and also a faculty member in the university’s Schools of Business, taught an elective class for business school students that used Atlas Shrugged, along with books by Karl Marx, Fredrich Engles, Adam Smith and Edward Bellamy.
Elson said the course focused on “the origins of capitalism, reactions to it over time, and current ideas about it.”
Elson said that with West retiring this year, the course he taught will be continued by other faculty members. “That is currently a work in progress,” she said.
When Elson was hired, Allison said the Wake Forest center’s mission remains “to facilitate an objective discussion of the positives and negatives of a system based on individual rights, free markets and limited government.”
Allison said Elson “is uniquely qualified to lead this effort because of her intelligence, broad background and ability to rationally integrate conflicting perspectives.”
The university centers of capitalism have included Appalachian State, Clemson, Duke, Johnson C. Smith, N.C. State, UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro and UNC-Wilmington.
At UNC Wilmington, the BB&T Center for Global Capitalism and Ethics exists within the Cameron School of Business, said William Sackley, the center’s executive director. The university received $1 million from BB&T.