Fiorina to answer 'Why study liberal arts?'

by Janet Smith


Portrait of Carly Fiorina with blue jacket
Carly Fiorina

What is the value of a liberal arts education? A powerful businesswoman who launched her career from the foundation of a B.A. in medieval history and philosophy will offer an answer at James Madison University Wednesday, April 9.

Carly Fiorina, chair of Good360, the world’s largest product philanthropy organization, and former president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co., will speak from her personal experience and as a strong advocate for undergraduate education. Fiorina currently serves on the JMU Board of Visitors, the Harrisonburg Va., university’s governing body.

Fiorina has also established Carly Fiorina Enterprises to focus on powerful levers for unlocking human potential, which include championing entrepreneurship and innovation, building leaders and organizational capacity, engaging women and targeted philanthropy.

Her presentation, “Foundations of Ethical Reasoning,” builds on recent calls to action for American universities to return their focus to undergraduate education. Educational leaders including Hunter R. Rawlings III, president of the Association of American Universities, are applauding leaders at public research institutions who understand their main responsibility is teaching students, not seeking prestige.

According to a 2013 article, “Fiorina credits her formal study of the dramatic transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance as providing a contextual frame for her understanding of the digital revolution.”

Fiorina will speak at 3:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall Auditorium on the JMU campus. Admission is free and open to the public. Fiorina’s presentation is part of the Madison Vision Series: Contemporary Issues in an Engaged Society, an initiative of the Office of the President in conjunction with the Madison Institutes of JMU Outreach and Engagement.

In addition to her undergraduate degree earned at Stanford University, Fiorina holds an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland and an M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management.

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Published: Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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