The Joy of Struggle: Commencement 2014

St. John’s College Annapolis, Class of 2014

On Sunday, May 11, St. John’s College held its two hundred twenty-second commencement ceremony in Annapolis. The commencement speaker was Andrew J. Krivak, an alumnus of the Annapolis Class of 1986, and a National Book Award Finalist for his first novel, The Sojourn. One expects to hear a great deal of laudatory rhetoric at a commencement ceremony. Commencement speakers have...
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Choosing St. John’s

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Another academic year is coming to an end, and at St. John’s, as at every other college and university in the nation, commencement time is quickly approaching. Commencement is a bittersweet occasion. A way of life is coming to an end, an academic cohort is disbanding, good friends and classmates scattering to the four winds. At the same time, life...
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Spring: Sparta and Athens on the Severn

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Spring in Maryland brings the students out of winter hibernation at St. John’s College and the neighboring United States Naval Academy—our Athens and Sparta on the Severn River. The two schools enjoy the local reputation of the rival Greek city-states because St. John’s is thought of as a liberal-arts school, while the Naval Academy is thought of as an officer-training...
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Renewal and Liberal Education

Crocus flowers blooming through the snow covered ground at St. John's College Annapolis Campus

It is been a long winter in the eastern United States, including here in the mid-Atlantic. It’s late March as I write this, and we are just starting to see the tops of daffodils and crocuses that usually appear a month earlier. Delayed spring means delayed renewal. Everyone feels it—the desire to get outside and breathe in some warm air,...
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I Love Numbers

St. John's seniors celebrate at President Nelson's home after turning in their essays.

The day after the Super Bowl, I read in our local newspaper that the Naval Academy ordered 4,500 pizzas for its 4,000 Midshipmen on Super Bowl Sunday—3,000 from Papa John’s and another 1,500 from Ledo’s. Massive! Then it turned out that Papa John’s provided no less than 25,000 pizzas to football lovers across Anne Arundel County between 5 and 7...
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Doing Well or Doing Good?

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Corporate scandals over the last two decades, followed by the crash of the economy in 2008, have brought about widespread skepticism toward America’s corporate leaders. Almost daily there are calls for new legal and regulatory reforms directed at businesses, especially banks and investment firms. Some corporations have even begun to reassess their own business practices. The skeptical position can be...
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Why the World Needs St. John’s College (Part III)

St. John's College, Annapolis, MD

The first post in this series argued that the world needs St. John’s College for its graduates—well-grounded people who are fully capable of adapting to and mastering changing conditions because they are self-reliant in the highest degree. The second post highlighted several of our graduates, and described the wide diversity of lives they have cultivated since receiving their degrees. Now...
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Happy Thanksgiving! The Blessings of Fruitful Fields, Healthful Skies, and Liberal Learning

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At the approach of our national Thanksgiving holiday, I wish to express the thanks of the entire College Community to our alumni and friends, our students, faculty and staff, for their generous support of this College and for their confidence in this endeavor. This year is the 150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Proclamation of Thanksgiving as a national holiday, delivered...
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