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Alger and Dr. Schneider celebrate value of liberal education
Dr. Carol Geary Schneider and President Alger, Madison Vision Series
On October 16th, Dr. Carol Geary Schneider joined the efforts of the Madison Vision Series in reflecting on James Madison’s ideals in the 21st century. As president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, Schneider’s goal is to advance and strengthen the roots of a liberal education for undergraduate students.
President Alger is a long-time friend and colleague of Schneider. In introducing her, Alger expressed the gratitude he felt that Schneider would be speaking on “Liberal Education and Student Success: Making the Connections, Mapping the Pathways.” Enthusiastically, he remarked that it was wonderful to be joined by such a great thinker and leader in higher education—and one that would be discussing the foundations of liberal education that JMU promotes fervently.
Following Schneider’s presentation, she and President Alger joined JMU faculty, administrators, special guests, and generous donors to the university at a reception. The event served as an opportunity for some of the minds behind JMU’s framework to come together and reflect on the significance of Schneider’s presentation. Professors, administrators, and donors spoke about the culmination of their collective efforts in establishing JMU’s strong roots in liberal arts education and how it will continue to move forward and grow in the 21st century.
Senior Jacob Mosser, Student Representative to JMU’s Board of Visitors, spoke with several attendees about one vision he has for student engagement at JMU. His vision is for students of all disciplines to complete extensive research-based and practical projects that combine many elements of liberal education. From there, he suggested that JMU invest in some of the top projects, assisting students in taking their work to the next level by converting them into real non-profit organizations, start-up companies, advocacy groups, and more.
Dr. David Brakke, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, shared his enthusiasm about Schneider’s presentation. As Schneider and President Alger agree, “Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics do not have to compete with a liberal education,” Brakke said. In fact, they are very much complementary. He discussed the importance of all students framing their science and math degrees around writing, creativity, critical thinking, ethics, and problem solving.
The reception also gave President Alger the opportunity to express his gratitude toward the many donors and supporters whose gifts to the Madison Vision Fund sponsored the event. With the support of donors, faculty, and administrators, James Madison’s and President Alger’s visions for higher education are able to come to life. Schneider praised JMU for its General Education program and for serving as a pioneer in what liberal education should look like in the undergraduate experience. She thanked President Alger for his vision to keep JMU at the forefront of the liberal education ideal.
Dr. Schneider’s presentation was the second of many lectures in the Madison Vision Series. The series is funded by donors to the Madison Vision Fund and sponsored by the JMU Office of the President and JMU Outreach and Engagement’s Madison Institutes.
The next lecture will be held on Wednesday, November 13, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in Grafton-Stovall Theatre. It will feature WorldCom Corporate whistleblower and internationally recognized expert on ethics and leadership, Cynthia Cooper.