Wilfred M. McClay

Wilfred M. McClay

University of Oklahoma


Wilfred M. McClay is the G.T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma and is currently the Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy. 

He previously held the SunTrust Bank Chair of Excellence in Humanities at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Professor McClay also has taught at Georgetown University, Tulane University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Dallas. McClay served on the National Council on the Humanities, the advisory board for the National Endowment for the Humanities, for eleven years. He is a member of the U.S. Commission on the Semi-quincentennial, which has been charged with planning the celebration of the nation's 250th birthday in 2026. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Academy of Education.

His most recent book is Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story (Encounter, 2019). Among his earlier works are The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America (North Carolina, 1994), which was awarded the Merle Curti Award of the Organization of American Historians for the best book in American intellectual history, and Figures in the Carpet: Finding the Human Person in the American Past (2007). 

Professor McClay was educated at St. John’s College (Annapolis) and the John Hopkins University, where he received a Ph.D. in history in 1987.