About US

Dedicated experts with a proven record of success.

Our mission is to impart an education that will prepare young people to be principled, creative individuals of independent judgment, capable of succeeding and leading in tomorrow’s dynamic world civilization.

Founded in 2005, The Great Connections Seminars of the Reason, Individualism, Freedom (RIF) Institute are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization devoted to fostering active minds and empowering individuals to build lives of creative achievement.
 
In our college-level program, we use specialized methods which strengthen reasoning skills and independent judgment.
 

These include a focus on the objective basis of knowledge in every field, physics to poetry, as well as the relation between abstract ideas and real-world consequences.

We combine these methods with content from world-changing classic texts, modern science and economics, and a special emphasis on reasoning, logic, psychological self-awareness, and practical skills, for a content-rich program.

Students learn to think for themselves as well as implement ideas in the world.

 

 

​“Achievement and success require the vision of the possible and the ability to weather the actual.”

Marsha Familaro Enright, Founder

Meet Our Team

Marsha Familaro Enright

President, Founder, Chairman of the Board,

Lead Instructor

John Joseph Enright

Member, Board of Trustees, Instructor

Malachy Walsh

Member, Board of Advisors, Writing Instructor

Felicia Goglia

Co-Facilitator, Assistant Program Director

Noelle Mandell

Operations Director

Andrew Humphries

Co-Facilitator

Advisors

Roger Baumberger
COO, SternAegis Ventures

Robert L. Campbell
Professor of Psychology

R. Paul Drake
Professor of Space Sciences

Malachy Walsh
Writer, Retired Advertising Executive

Joel Franck
Neurosurgeon

John Tomasi
Associate Professor of Political Science

Michael Strong
Education Entrepreneur

Jay Friedenberg
Professor of Psychology

Lawrence I. Gould
Professor of Physics

Eduardo Marty
Founder, President of Fundación para
Responsabilidad Intelectual

Michael Shermer
Publisher, Skeptic Magazine,
Adjunct Professor of Economics

 

Mimi Gladstein
Professor of English and Theatre Arts

Stephen R.C. Hicks
Professor of Philosophy,
Executive Director of the Center
for Ethics and Entrepreneurship

Chris Matthew Sciabarra
Author, Scholar

Frank Resnik
Retired Vice-Chairman
of Medline Industries, Inc.
(Emeritus)

Board of Trustees

Marsha Familaro Enright
Founder and President, The Great Connections

John Joseph Enright, IV
Owner, John Enright Consulting

Reena Kapoor
Product Leader, Gigster

Jim Kandrac
President and Founder, UCG Technologies

Sable Levy
Co-founder,
Texas Millennial Institute

In Loving Memory

Daniel S. Curran, March 6, 1930-September 30, 2019

Founding Trustee of The Reason, Individualism, Freedom Institute (parent organization of The Great Connections), Dan was always an inspiration to us. He was a self-made man, hardworking, energetic, and immensely generous in material and spirit to his family, friends, and many, many young people.

Impact by the Numbers

0 %
say they were “transformed”
0 %
become teachers and professors
0 %
volunteer later with Great Connections
0 %
maintain contact with us after their sessions

The Story Behind Our Logo

Our logo is based on this sculpture, called “The Atlas Slave” by famed Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti. 

This figure seems partially entombed in stone. Part of him is hidden: undefined and bound. Yet what is visible is powerful, muscular and striving.

Perhaps you’ve felt like this before: like there are parts of you bound, restricted, unfree. Perhaps you know you are capable of more. 

Many participants at the Great Connections have felt this way. It’s one of the things that draw them here. Like you, they’re a work of art unfolding before the eyes of others.

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