The Search for America's Top Gentleman


NeW started as a book club for conservative college women. In addition to the book club, many NeW chapters engage in activities such as hosting speakers, holding debates, participating in philanthropic events and hosting the "Gentlemen's Showcase."

Since Agness founded the first chapter of NeW at UVA, chapters have spread to more than 20 campuses, including a NeW chapter at Arizona State University where the Gentlemen's Showcase originated in 2009.

Blayne Bennett, an ASU alumni and the 2010 vice president of ASU's NeW chapter helped spearhead NeW's first Gentlemen's Showcase.

"I was so often hearing women say, 'There are no good men out there,' and I started to think, 'Why are women saying good men don't exist? I know a ton of great guys.' So our chapter of NeW decided we wanted to do something that would highlight the good guys," said Bennett.

March Madness: Gentleman's Edition

In addition to the national Gentlemen's Showcase, NeW chapters on college campuses, such as ASU, are hosting showcases for their own male peers. Most notable is the University of Virginia showcase.

"We wanted to spice up the showcase to make it fit our school culture," said Hannah Wagner, NeW's current chapter president at the University of Virginia. "So we came up with March Madness: Gentlemen's Edition."

After three weeks of nominations, the chapter selected the top 16 nominees and placed them into a March Madness Sweet 16 bracket, similar to college basketball. A gentlemen nominee is placed against another nominee; students then vote for their favorite in each bracket, which determines who moves to the next level.

This year there were more than 50 gentlemen nominees.

"Just having an event like this has spurred a conversation about where all the gentlemen are. What we're showing students is that they're out there, they're active, outgoing, interactive and can be anywhere on the social spectrum from a jock to a punk rocker," said Wagner.

At UVA the competition will continue into April until the final round is complete.

Does Chivalry Exist?

Visit any university around the country and you'll probably find a young woman, or even a young man, who thinks chivalry is dead.

"I'm constantly asking myself if chivalry even exists anymore, could someone just be kind enough to open a door for someone?" asked Crystina Milici, a senior at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, N.Y.

Lizzie Post, the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and spokesperson for the Emily Post institute, said she believes chivalry is not dead; rather there is confusion about what chivalry actually means.

"After the women's liberation movement in the 1960s, men didn't know what was safe to do or how to act," she told "They were told what they learned from their mothers was wrong; thus began this confusion around when and how we want things from a gentleman."

If confusion is to blame for the lack of gentlemen on college campuses today, Post said she believes there is a way women can encourage chivalry's revival.

"You can bring chivalry back by addressing something that you really appreciated a man doing, like praising them for doing something kind or recognizing them for doing something considerate for you or another," said Post.

Is Feminism to Blame?

So why is chivalry in short supply these days?

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