Beginnings

Change the world—and for the better!

At thousands of college graduation ceremonies this May and June, commencement speakers will be exhorting graduates to “Go forth and change the world” or “Go forth and make a difference.” The commencement speaker at graduation in Santa Fe last week, long-time tutor Eva Brann, decided to subject those sentiments to scrutiny—and, in the process, explain […]

Beginnings Education Higher Education Liberal Education Seminar

Seeking Meaning? Try Starting with the Elements

The study of mathematics here at St. John’s begins with Euclid’s Elements, the wonderfully inventive book that takes us from the simplest beginnings of geometry to the highly complicated construction of five Platonic solids. Studying Euclid engages us in an activity that brings geometrical objects into being even as we recognize them for what they […]

Beginnings Choosing St. John's Education Higher Education Liberal Education Seminar Students

Two Steps to Narrowing Down Your College Search

How does one begin a college search? Nowadays I often encounter high school students as young as sophomores who are starting to think about where they might go to college. Many of them—and many of their parents—want advice about how to wade into the ocean of information about colleges and universities that is already inundating […]

Beginnings Higher Education

A Word of Welcome

The 2015-16 academic year is about to begin, and I’d like to take this opportunity to extend a special greeting to the new students who will be joining us for the first time. I still remember my early days as a freshman in Annapolis—now nearly 50 years ago! I remember the friends I made in […]

Beginnings Education Higher Education Liberal Education Students

5 Things to Do When You Get to College

Congratulations to graduates in the Class of 2015. Graduating high-school students often ask me how college will differ from high school. And what I say usually seems to come as a surprise: In college, you should start thinking much more seriously about happiness. “What does college have to do with happiness?” you may be thinking. And who […]

Beginnings Liberal Education Students Value and Affordability

Hiring Grads: What’s Going On? Part III

In Part I and Part II of this four-part series, we have been discussing the competing demands that business makes on the nation’s college graduates: on the one hand, hiring managers expect specialized workers to fill immediate needs; on the other hand, top executives expect independent, self-determining workers to adapt to change and take initiative. Now we ask, Why […]

Beginnings Students

Finding a Place in a New College Community

How do students know when they fully belong to a community? It is different at different colleges. At St. John’s, as a student once told an inquisitive visitor, it happens around the time all the Freshman read Plato’s Republic, between eight and ten weeks into the first term. I don’t know whether all our students agree, but […]