|THE KEENE STATE COLLEGE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS||VOLUME XX NUMBER 2 Winter 2005|
The Good Life
"The liberal arts are practical – they prepare students to function well in a complex world."
In his interview for Keene State Today, KSC President Stanley Yarosewick explains why this college is important among the more than 3,000 institutions of higher education operating in the country today. With its distinction as New Hampshire's public liberal arts college, Keene State embodies the notion that an education can prepare undergraduates to live well – certainly in the sense of professional success, but also in ways to make that success meaningful within a good and happy life.
The "liberal arts," from the Latin, are "skills proper for free persons" – very different from a popular conception of the term as the study of the lofty and obscure. Surely scholarship of the abstract or arcane can be an essential part of a college's curriculum, but KSC undergraduates study the arts, humanities, and sciences not only for the sake of scholarship but also as a very practical foundation for problem-solving, communication, understanding cultural differences, interpreting their environments, and making their way in the world as productive and responsible citizens.
The liberal arts are not more "pure" than focused professional study, but they make that study richer – just as participation in professional life can offer an exciting context for history, geology, calculus, English 101, and the rest of what the liberal arts curriculum offers at Keene State. In our next few issues, this magazine will look at a few of the ways the liberal arts inform the educational experience of all KSC students.
What Stan Yarosewick believes about this institution, he tells us, is that there is no true line between what we learn for our jobs and what we study for personal enrichment. In our pursuit of the good life, we draw on both, together, all the time.– Michael Matros