Ambassador Michael Skol '63 dedicates half of his estate to the Buckley Institute.

NEW: Ambassador Michael Skol '63 Transfers Half of His Estate from Yale to Buckley

The Buckley Institute is deeply honored to announce that former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela Michael Skol ’63 has reallocated the portion of his estate previously dedicated to Yale University to the Buckley Institute instead.

Ambassador Skol emphasized that he has made this decisions out of loyalty to the Yale he loves so much:

There is a Yale I remember. It’s a Yale that stood for free speech and enduring American values. It encouraged serious debate about important issues and entertained different views. That Yale is fading. And where it has faltered, the Buckley Institute has picked up the slack.

The Buckley Institute has come to embody the ideals of the Yale I once knew and loved. Accordingly, I have joined the God and Man at Yale Society by reallocating my estate from Yale to the Buckley Institute, not because I believe Yale is beyond saving, but because Buckley is the organization working most effectively to restore Yale as it should be.

Ambassador Skol was particularly impressed the wide variety of programs the Buckley Institute offers, the opportunities Buckley provides for promising students, and the positive impact Buckley is having on the campus intellectual climate:

The Buckley Institute’s wide variety of programming and opportunities have made it the largest student group on campus with 783 student fellows, equivalent to more than 11% of the undergraduate population. Numbers like that make an impact on the campus culture.

The Buckley Institute is also working to train Yale students who cherish free speech to stand up for their values on campus and after graduation through the year-long Lux et Veritas Leadership Program. Its annual Washington, D.C. Fellowship brings a select group of students into contact with the country’s major political leaders, top thinkers, and most influential journalists.

And even beyond all of this, the annual Lux et Veritas Faculty Prize gives $10,000 to a faculty member who has been a particular stand out in support of open discussion in the classroom. The Institute has also led in highlighting free speech in the new presidential search with alumni petitions, open letters, and research on search committee bias.

While Ambassador Skol may not recognize the Yale of today, he feels the Buckley Institute is fighting for the legacy that Yale has abandoned:

I look at campus today and no longer know what Yale stands for. But I do know what the Buckley Institute stands for. More than Yale itself, the Buckley Institute is carrying Yale’s legacy of light and truth forward.

As someone who is as loyal to their alma mater as I am, it has been difficult to watch Yale abandon its free speech principles. But knowing the Buckley Institute is there, working daily to build a better Yale, has given me hope – a hope that’s deserving of my legacy gift and yours.

As of April 2024, 28 supporters have joined the God and Man at Yale Society. The Buckley Institute is grateful for this incredible show of support.

To join the God and Man at Yale Society, please let Buckley know of your legacy gift by filling out this form. Send it to the Buckley Institute at 265 Church Street, Suite 404, New Haven, CT 06510. You can also contact Isabelle Hargrove at or 203-745-0571.

Read the full letter here: