A Liberal Arts Revolutionary

Paul Stern

At Ursinus, students are used to pondering four questions. Across the nation, peer institutions are constantly faced with one big one: Why are the liberal arts valuable?

In Paul Stern’s own words, liberal education has always required a public defense. And while it is constantly being challenged, a compelling case continues to be made for an impactful education that benefits every aspect of a student’s life.

Stern, a professor of politics, co-organized with professors Rebecca Lyczak and Stephanie Mackler the very first Revolutions in Liberal Education colloquium, a Teagle Foundation funded endeavor held on the Ursinus campus that brought together a who’s who of the nation’s top liberal education scholars and defenders—and it garnered national media attention. They discussed at great length the purposes for the liberal arts, the challenges it faces, and the practices that sustain it.

Perhaps the proof is right here in Collegeville. For three years, Stern also co-led a summer program for high school students (and would be first-generation college students) that introduced them to the inquiry-driven Common Intellectual Experience.

Yes, the world faces many challenges today, but there’s good news: The liberal arts are part of the solution.

Paul Stern