2014 Lycoming College Spring Magazine - page 11

citizens need an education that both
builds emotional connections to others
and fosters habits ofmind that incline us
to be interested in problems beyond our
narrow individual interests. Becoming
connected to one another allows us to
appreciate our common humanity and
accept the premise of equality that lies
at the heart of democracy.Acquiring
disciplined habits ofmind develops our
inclination to understand the viewpoint
of others and our capacity to answer
complex and ambiguous questions.
Together, themind and the emotions
nurture a predisposition to compromise
andfind common ground so that our
societymay, inDewey’swords, “secure
social changeswithout introducing
disorder.”
In “CultivatingHumanity,”
contemporary scholarMarthaNusbaum
makes an argument that can be
understood as building uponDewey’s
work. She contends that our thinking
about citizenshipmust now incorporate a
global perspective.
More specifically, Nusbaum proposes
that preparation for global citizenship
requires cultivation of a narrative
imagination. In herwords, our students
need to acquire “the ability to thinkwhat
itmight be like to be in the shoes of a
persondifferent fromoneself, to be an
intelligent reader of the person’s story
and tounderstand the emotions, wishes
and desires that someone so placedmight
have.”
Through our strategic plan, Lycoming
College is taking steps tomeet the
challenge of educating for 21st century
citizenship. First, we have committed to
recruiting a student body that reflects the
full spectrum ofAmerican society and
includes students from around theworld.
Second, wewill expand opportunities
for students to study abroad. Third,
we are extending the classroom into
the city ofWilliamsport and beyond
PresidentKent Trachte’s inaugurationweekend celebration featured an
enlightening lecture byNancyCable, Ph.D., president of theArthurViningDavis
Foundations, inHonorsHall onFriday,April 4. Her presentation, “TheLiberalArts
College:AnEnduringFuture,” examined the history ofAmerican post-secondary
education dating back to the founding ofHarvardUniversity in 1636, just 16 years
after thePuritans landed at Plymouth.
“If President Trachte had askedme to givemy remarks to you tonight in one
sentence, Iwould have said the following: ‘Liberal arts colleges have a strong and
enduring future because they have endured through the last nearly300 years because
theirmission, purposes, vitality and results are – and have been for centuries – so
essential to crafting educated leaders to create theAmerican, and now global,
common good.’”
She explained that roughly 100 years afterHarvard’s founding, therewas an
agrarianflourishing ofAmerican life andmany towns from theEast Coast to the
Midwest established an academy,much likeLycoming’s early shape as an academy
and a seminary. Shortly thereafter, new forms of college and universitieswere
founded – state universities, agricultural andmechanical colleges known as land
grant institutions – to serve the farming and early industrial sectors of cities and
states. Historically black colleges and universitieswere organized to support the
education ofAfrican-American citizens inmany towns and cities around the nation
and later in the 1950s, community collegeswere born tomeet the needs of local
citizens for local industries.
“Throughout the adoption of these new forms of post-secondary education
throughout the decades, the original liberal arts college has been a centerpiece of
both stability and innovation,” she said.
TheA.V. Davis Foundations have long supported higher education, concentrating
onprivate, four-year, residential, liberal arts institutions that strongly emphasize
teaching, andwhose students choosemajors primarily in the arts and sciences. Prior
to being named the foundations’president in 2013, Cable held various administrative
positions at Bates,Virginia, Davidson, Guilford andDenison.
“I can admitmy bias for liberal arts and sciences colleges and an almost
obstreperous defense ofwhatwe provide for this democracy and for this brave
newworld inwhichwefind ourselves,”Cable said. “Iwould suggest our kinds of
colleges are the heartbeat ofAmerican higher education and the envy of theworld.”
Cable’s full lecture is available at:www.lycoming.edu/inauguration.
THELIBERAL
ARTS COLLEGE:
AnEnduring Future”
By JerryRashid
INAUGURATION LECTURE
NancyCable, president of theArthurViningDavisFoundations
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