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JMU News

09/08/2003

JMU CONFERENCE TO EXAMINE IMPORTANCE OF LIBERAL EDUCATION

HARRISONBURG — Three prominent scholars will participate in the Franklin J. Matchette Foundation Lectures on Liberal Education Thursday and Friday, Sept. 25-26, at James Madison University to explore the nature and purpose of a liberal education in a modern democratic society. Each of the free public lectures will be held in Grafton-Stovall Theatre.

Dr. John Trapani Jr., dean of the Division of Humanities at Walsh University in Ohio, will discuss "The Very Important 'Uselessness' of Liberal Education" at 2 p.m. Sept. 25. His presentation will support the need for a liberal arts education, generally defined as an education providing the student with a broad cultural background rather than specific professional training. A 3 p.m. panel discussion on liberal learning featuring Trapani, Dr. James V. Schall of Georgetown University and Drs. Lee W. Congdon, Linda Cabe Halpern and William J. Hawk of JMU and moderated by JMU history Professor Philip Riley will follow Trapani's lecture.

Dr. Daniel N. Robinson, a philosophy faculty at Oxford University, an adjunct psychology professor at Columbia University and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association's Division of the History of Psychology, presents "Inclined to Greek" at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 26. Robinson is the author of 17 books and the editor of more than 30 volumes. Among his works is the classic "An Intellectual History of Psychology." He was principal consultant to Public Broadcasting Service for the award-winning series, "The Brain," and to PBS and the British Broadcasting Corp. for "The Mind."

At 1 p.m. Sept. 26, Schall, a professor of government at Georgetown University and a Roman Catholic priest, will present "Taking Care of One's Own Wisdom." Schall is the developer of "Another Sort of Learning," a Web-based extension of his same-titled book, which guides readers to books and essays on an array of topics to foster individual study.

The Franklin J. Matchette Foundation Lectures are cosponsored by the JMU College of Arts and Letters and the JMU Classical Studies Program.

For more information, call conference organizer Dr. Anne M. Wiles, JMU professor of philosophy, at (540) 568-6304 or send e-mail to wilesam@jmu.edu.