Head of Phi Beta Kappa to speak at SUNY New Paltz
NEW PALTZ -- John Churchill, the secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation's oldest academic honorary society, will be speaking at the State University of New York at New Paltz at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, in Lecture Center 102. His presentation will relate the ideals of the liberal arts to the thought of Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the great philosophers of the twentieth century.
Churchill's talk, "Explanations Come To An End Somewhere: Wittgenstein and Liberal Education," helps us to understand what is profoundly wrong with some contemporary impatience with the liberal arts tradition and allows us to view liberal education with fresh eyes. Wittgenstein's later work provides us not so much with a foundation for understanding liberal education as a way of understanding humanity.
"In a period in which higher education is subject to ever-increasing diversions and mindless bureaucratic exercises, it is important to remind ourselves of the importance of the liberal arts as the true foundation of higher education," said Eugene Heath, chairman of the Philosophy Department. "We are indeed honored to be hosting Dr. Churchill and we extend an invitation to the wider community of the Hudson Valley to join us on Feb. 8."
Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, and has 270 chapters on college and university campuses and over a half-million current members. Its purpose is to advocate and recognize excellence in the study of the liberal arts and sciences. As secretary, Churchill is the society's chief executive officer and the head of its national office.
Churchill was born in Hector, Arkansas, and was reared in Little Rock. He was educated at Rhodes College, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar, and Yale University, where he was awarded the Ph.D. in 1978.
Before assuming his current role, Churchill was vice president for academic affairs and dean of Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, where he also served as professor of philosophy and twice as interim president. In the 1970s he served as assistant American secretary to the Rhodes Scholarship Trust, and has been active since that time in the selection of Rhodes Scholars.
Churchill's visit is sponsored by the Philosophy Department and funded by College Auxiliary Services. More information is available by contacting Eugene Heath, at (845) 257-2981 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note to editors: A photograph of John Churchill may be downloaded from the SUNY New Paltz Web site at www.newpaltz.edu/news/images/churchill.html.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.