The role of liberal arts in a Wikipedia world: Founders Day address 2012
January 19, 2012 By Diane Johnson
social intelligence and the role of liberal arts colleges in
developing innovative and creative leaders during Centre’s
annual Founders Day Convocation on Jan. 18.
Bowdoin College President Barry Mills discussed technology, social intelligence and the role of liberal arts colleges in developing innovative and creative leaders during Centre College’s annual Founders Day Convocation on Jan. 18.
“[I]n a Google and Wikipedia world with a high degree of access to facts and information, there will be a premium on a liberal arts education that helps students learn which facts are worth knowing, what is reliable and how to interpret these facts,” Mills told the near-capacity crowd in Newlin Hall of the Norton Center for the Arts. “I believe society will come to value our form of education even more because what we do, at our best, is more than simply impart information. We enable our students to develop judgment, perspective and subtlety.”
Mills’ address, “Teaching, Learning and Technology,” was based on his 2010 opening convocation remarks at Bowdoin, a liberal arts college in Brunswick, Maine, and later adapted for an essay in Inside Higher Ed.
During two days at Centre, he also launched the first of a series of campus conversations on “embracing technology” and what that means for the College.
As part of the Founders Day ceremony, Centre awarded Mills the honorary degree Doctor of Laws. He holds a law degree from Columbia University and enjoyed a two-decade career in New York City with the international law firm Debevoise & Plimpton before becoming president of Bowdoin, his alma mater. He also holds a Ph.D. in biology from Syracuse University.
Centre received its charter from the Kentucky legislature nearly two centuries ago on Jan. 21, 1819. In what has become an annual tradition, Centre’s Student Activities Council distributed buttons marking Founders Day.
To read Mills’ complete address, click here.
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Centre College, founded in 1819 and chosen to host its second Vice Presidential Debate in 2012, is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges, at 42nd in the nation, and ranks 27th for best value among national liberal arts colleges. Forbes magazine ranks Centre 34th among all the nation’s colleges and universities and has named Centre in the top five among all institutions of higher education in the South for three years in a row. Centre is also ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News for its study abroad program. For more, click here.