2014 Lycoming College Spring Magazine - page 12

“You assume leadership of this venerable in-
stitution at a timeof great challenge, but I am
confident that theLycomingBoardof Trust-
ees has chosenwell.With your ownunder-
graduate foundation in the liberal arts, your
advanced studies inpolitical science, your
experience in the classroom, your previous
administrative leadership positions, the sup-
port of a loving family andmany colleagues
near and far, oldandnew, wishing youwell,
your board shouldhave great confidence in
your success.”
LexMcMillan, Ph.D.,
president,Albright College
Delivered by
JohnWhelan, Ph.D.,
(left)
Lycoming professor of philosophy andUniversity of
NotreDame delegate
by creatingmoreways for students to
engage in community-based learning.
Fourth, our curriculum revision continues
our tradition of requiring an extensive
exposure to the humanities.
Interactingwith an international and
diverse student bodywill helpLycoming
students build connectionswith others –
otherswho represent the variety of
cultures that compose our nation and our
world. Studying abroadwill enhance our
students’ability to understand thewishes
and desires of others – otherswhose
cultural constructs differ from their own.
Working in theWilliamsport community
will deepen our students’understanding
of others – otherswhose livesmay be
quite different from their own. Exposure
to the humanitieswill help our students
develop a narrative imagination – so that
theymight become intelligent readers
of the lives of others. In theseways, we
are renewing our historic commitment to
educating for democracy.
Samuel EliotMorison, the great
historian ofAmerican higher education,
has argued that the aim of theAmerican
college has been “to develop thewhole
person– body and soul aswell as
intellect.”
Morison explains that “It is only
though studying and disputing, eating
and drinking, playing and praying as
members of the same college community,
in close and constant associationwith
each other andwith their tutors that the
priceless gift of character (is) imparted.”
At present, higher education risks
failure in its quest to develop character
and educate for lives ofmeaning.As
BardPresident LeonBotstein has argued,
this risk emerges because too often the
residential environment of colleges and
universities is dominated by the values of
a popular culture that frequently displays
an anti-intellectualism that undermines
the ideals of the liberal arts.
This popular culture contradicts our
commitment to truth seekingwhen it
appeals to dogma rather than reason.
It undermines the democratic ideal of
tolerancewhen it promotes images that
dehumanize human beings. It diminishes
our commitment to preparing graduates
for lives ofmeaningwhen it insists that
the acquisition and consumption of things
is the onlymeasure of success in life.
So it is important to note that our
new strategic planwill also propose
initiatives that signal a reaffirmation of
our commitment to educating thewhole
person and developing character.
We anticipate that itwill include a
new housing systemwhere students and
facultywill be organized into a set of
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