National Phi Beta Kappa secretary to be keynote speaker at symposium honoring Dean Ward
RELEASED: March 2, 2006
DANVILLE, KYJohn Churchill, secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, will give the keynote address for "Educating for Democracy: Liberal Education in the 21st Century," a symposium honoring John Ward as he retires as vice president and academic dean of Centre College.
Centre president John Roush will open the symposium Tuesday, March 7 at 1:30 p.m. in the Vahlkamp Theater, followed by Churchill’s keynote address.
"It's a delight to be a part of an event at Centre honoring John Ward," Churchill says. "For years, Dr. Ward has been dean among the deans in The Associated Colleges of the South, and his influence has reached far beyond this campus. I count myself lucky to be his friend and colleague. It is entirely fitting that Centre should celebrate his distinguished career with a festival exploring the meaning and importance of liberal arts in relation to democracy. I can think of no topic more central to his work, and no topic more important for the future, both of liberal arts colleges and of the nation."
Churchill’s speech, "To Alter or Abolish: Liberal Education, Democracy and the Spirit of Irony," borrows a phrase from the Declaration of Independence for its title, indicating that the ability and the right "to alter or abolish" inadequate forms of government resides among the people. As he explores some of the myths and the frailties of democracy, commenting on its philosophical and its practical nature, Churchill will remind his audience that active participation in a democracy requires much more than their vote.
The event will continue through the afternoon with sessions featuring speakers John Agresto, past president of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M.; Wayne Anderson, president of the Associated Colleges of the South; Larry Boetsch, first president of the European College of Liberal Arts in Berlin, Germany; and Mary Hall Surface '80, playwright, actress and Centre College alumna.Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society. It has chapters at 270 institutions and over half a million members throughout the country. Its mission is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, to recognize academic excellence and to foster freedom of thought and expression. Among its programs are academic and literary awards, lectureships, a fellowship, a professorship and publication of The American Scholar, an award-winning quarterly journal.
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