Concord Circle is voted the Ultimate Utopia; class featured in Associated Press article
RELEASED: March 9, 2006
DANVILLE, KYFamily, education, baskets, baked goods and beer are at the center of the utopian experience, according to results of a Centre College Web poll in which voters from the College community, along with the general public, were asked to choose "the Ultimate Utopia."
The poll is an outgrowth of "In Search of Utopia," a CentreTerm class taught by Milton Reigelman. For their final projects, the 15 freshmen in the class set out to construct their own utopian societies. Five utopias were constructed by teams of three. The three most compelling (by vote of the class) were featured on the College website for all to vote on in the Ultimate Utopia Web Poll.
"In Search of Utopia" was the subject of a recent regional Associated Press article by Lexington AP correspondent Jeff McMurray. To date, that article that has appeared in several print publications throughout the Commonwealth.
The winning utopia, Concord Circle, places great value on harmonious family relationships and a strong educational background. Its economy is based on high quality, niche products, including locally brewed beer, hand-crafted baskets, and freshly baked goods. The annual Blissapalooze Festival, featuring art, music, food, and family activities, allows the utopia to display their community to visitors, as well as bring in additional revenue.
"The Utopia class was an interesting look at life through a perfectionist lens," says Concord Circle group member Vince Kline of Louisville. "Although I don't think the perfect utopia could ever be realized, striving for perfection always leads to improvement."
Elizabeth Pulliam of Louisville, another member of Concord Circle, comments, "Some of the ideas for Concord Circle were drawn from our field trips to utopian communities. The field trips were an excellent way to see first-hand what it was like to be a part of a utopian society."
"I think the beer production was what sealed the deal," adds Mari Rayl of Wichita Kan, the third member of the winning team.
Kline, Pulliam and Rayl will receive a grab bag of utopian goodies, including the classic Fountains of Wayne album Utopia Parkway; dinner on the Communications Office at Lynn's Paradise Cafe in Louisville; and a fruitcake from Gethsemani Abbey (one of the utopian communities visited by the class).CentreTerm, Centre's unique January term, has brought a great deal of national and even international attention to the College. Two years ago, Assistant Professor of Religion David Hall's "Basketball as Religion" made national headlines, being spotlighted on National Public Radio and as a nationally syndicated Associated Press story. Stodghill Professor of Modern Languages Ken Keffer's class "The Art of Walking" was featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education and was named one of the "Top Ten Odd College Courses" in Microsoft’s Encarta online encyclopedia. Last year, Beau Weston's "Cafes and Public Life" was the subject of international interest, appearing in publications in virtually every corner of the globe, with a combined circulation of more than eight million.
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