The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas

Thomas Jefferson Center Alumni Association

In Spring 2019, the Jefferson Center launched its Alumni Association. Upon graduation, those who have completed the Certificate in Core Texts and Ideas are automatically enrolled. We will send you occasional updates on the Jefferson Center and its doings, in Austin and elsewhere.

The mission of the Association is to foster a community among our alumni and to advocate for the distinctive educational vision that the Jefferson Center represents. We will be planning events like book discussions and social gatherings for our alums in different cities throughout the country. The education in the great books and the liberal arts does not end with your graduation (or ever, really), and the Association provides a way to continue it, even after the end of your formal schooling.

If you are interested in helping to organize an event in your city, please let us know.

We also are continually on the lookout for new ways to support the work that the Center is doing at UT. For information on giving, please visit the Support Us page.

We are delighted to have Joey Sorenson as director of the Association. Among the earliest participants in the Jefferson Scholars program, Joey graduated in 2014. Following a successful stint in software sales, he enrolled in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at St. Edward's University. Upon receiving full licensure, Joey plans to launch a psychotherapy practice in Austin, drawing upon the interpersonal and analytical skills he originally honed at the Jefferson Center in the service of meeting the mental health needs of clients in the Central Texas area. As founding Director of the Jefferson Scholars Alumni Association, Joey hopes to build an engaged network of alumni to participate in continued discussion and dialogue on great books and big ideas into adulthood, to mentor current students, and to work to advance the mission of the Jefferson Center and promote its continued thriving into the coming years and decades.

If you are interested in becoming more involved with the Association, or if you would just like to update us on what you are doing, please be in touch. We can be reached by email here, or you can reach out directly to Joey. You can also use this form to give us your current address, and to share any news.

A Message from the Director

Joey Sorenson









Dear friends, 

While we've each pursued different careers, wound up in various cities, and pursued diverse interests and hobbies since our time at the University of Texas and the Jefferson Center, I hope the skills and values inculcated by our great books education has enriched your life through the years as it has mine. As the world seemingly grows more fragmented, louder, angrier, and less interested in hearing differing perspectives by the day, the Jefferson Center's continued growth and success is a glimmer of hope and light in the darkness, as is the student body's growing hunger for the great books education they receive there. 

With this marvelous growth comes responsibility on the part of those of us who have already received the gift of a great books education to ensure future generations continue to have the same, and better, opportunities that we enjoyed. With this in mind, I invite each of you to join me in supporting the Jefferson Center in any way you can -- whether that be your time, talent, treasure, or simply encouragement of a UT-bound high-schooler to take courses where they can learn from the works of the greatest minds and authors in the history of humanity. (After all, it's that or studying from a review board-tortured textbook, right?)

I would love to hear from each of you about what you’ve been doing since graduation. As this Alumni Association is still very young, I especially welcome any thoughts you may have about the shape you would like our group to take. In particular, please let me know if you would be interested in occasional book discussions with other alumni, or if you would like to help organize events or put together a newsletter for the group. 

All my best,


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