One of my most interesting academic classes occurred on the subject of writing at the University of Chicago on a visit in early March. It was a sample of the education at a college where students unabashedly proclaim themselves as inquisitive and self-deprecating and willing to engage in discourse. Eighty percent of these students who “love to learn” continue to graduate school within 5 years of graduation. Chicago, a liberal arts school, features a strong core curriculum and teaching that follows the Socratic method. As a staff member once told me, Chicago alumni are people who can be identified by their tendencies to ask questions directly and their respect for well-formed answers.
My visit with a group of fellow counselors took us on a tour throughout the university where we toured its beautiful grounds and enjoyed the amazing view of Chicago and Lake Michigan from atop the new Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, which I had last toured a few years ago prior to its opening. The center hosts concerts, screenings, performances, exhibitions, lectures, conferences and workshops through the music, visual arts, performance arts, art history, film, creative writing and poetry programs on campus.
UChicago is a selective institution. This year, 11% of early action applications were admitted, with an additional 4% via regular decision, of which 1% were students deferred from the early pool. Although long known for its strength in economics and the sciences, programs of study run the gamut from English Language and Literature to Chicago Studies to Geophysical Sciences to a bevy of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations to Statistics. The university has recently opened an Institute of Politics spearheaded by alum and political journalist and policy advisor David Axelrod.
One last thought…. Do you know why the photo accompanying this article shows a statue of a football player? Hint: It has to do with the most honored award in college football.
Copyright 2015. Betsy F. Woolf. All rights reserved.