Secular Students

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Secular Student Alliance
Abbreviation SSA
Formation May 2000
Type non-profit
Legal status foundation
Purpose/focus secularism, atheism
Headquarters Columbus, Ohio
Region served 22x20px United States
Official languages English
Key people August E. Brunsman IV, Executive Director
Joe Foley, Chairman of the Board of Directors

The Secular Student Alliance (SSA), founded in May 2000, is an independent, democratically structured organization in the United States that aims to serve the needs of freethinking high school and college students. The Secular Student Alliance is based in Columbus, Ohio. The SSA was formed "to organize, unite, educate and serve students and student communities that promote the ideals of scientific and critical inquiry, democracy, secularism, and human based ethics".[1]

The Secular Student Alliance is an educational nonprofit whose purpose is to educate high school and college students about the value of scientific reason and the intellectual basis of secularism in its atheistic and humanistic manifestations. The SSA also offers these students and their organizations a variety of resources, including but not limited to leadership training and support, guest speakers, discounted literature and conference tickets, and thought provoking online articles and opinions.

As of February 2011, the SSA has over 250 affiliates in North America and abroad, including groups in Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia.[2]

Membership growth

The Secular Student Alliance (SSA) has experienced increasing membership growth since its founding. The number of SSA community college and university campus affiliates has expanded considerably in recent years:[3][4]

  • 2007 - 80 groups
  • 2008 - 100 groups
  • 2009 - 159 groups
  • 2010 - 219 groups


On August 7, 2009, the SSA organized a trip to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. 304 students, atheists, and scientists attended, in order to familiarize themselves with the museum.[1] One notable name in attendance was PZ Myers, who also came to experience the museum firsthand.[5] During the trip, Myers used the social networking site, Twitter, to keep worldwide followers updated.[6]


The Secular Student Alliance holds an annual conference.

Year Theme Location
2000 Minneapolis, MN
2001 Kicking Ass for the New Enlightenment Columbus, OH
2002 Education Against Indoctrination Chicago, IL
2004 Washington, DC
2005 Connecting the Secular Movement with Other Communities Columbus, OH
2006 We're Not in Kansas Anymore Kansas City, MO
2007 Harvard Humanist Chaplaincy 30th Anniversary Gala/Symposium Cambridge, MA
2008 World Humanist Congress Washington, DC
2009 Columbus, OH
2010 Columbus. OH


In July 2005, the SSA created an online newsletter called the eMpirical. It currently has over 16,000 subscribers.


The SSA currently has 8 paid staff [1]:

  • Executive Director, August E. Brunsman IV
  • Director of Campus Organizing, Lyz Liddell
  • Communications Director, Jesse Galef
  • Campus Organizer and High School Specialist, J. T. Eberhard
  • Assistant Campus Organizer, Andrew Cheadle
  • Assistant Campus Organizer, Nick Stancato
  • Development Director, Ashley Paramore
  • Event Specialist, Sarah Moglia

The SSA also takes on paid and unpaid interns each quarter of the year. Previous interns have included:

  • 2009 Fall: Samantha Snyder and Cameron DeHart
  • 2010 Spring: Nate Mauger and Nick Stancato
  • 2010 Summer: Nick Stancato


As of July 2011, the SSA has twelve board members.

  • Joe Foley, Chair, Board Member Since 2006
  • Don Sutterfield, Vice-Chair, Board Member Since 2008
  • Conrad Hudson, Treasurer, Board Member Since 2011
  • Leslie A. Zukor, Secretary, Board Member Since 2010
  • Frank Bellamy, Board Member Since 2011
  • Evan Clark, Board Member Since 2011
  • John Figdor, Board Member Since 2009
  • Katie Hartman, Board Member Since 2011
  • Nathaniel Mauger, Board Member Since 2011
  • Jennifer McCreight, Board Member Since 2010
  • Shelley Mountjoy, Board Member Since 2009
  • Brendan Murphy, Board Member Since 2011


External links