Monday, June 18, 2018

#169 / Found In A Footnote

I am reading a new book containing essays by Hannah Arendt. Published in 2018 by Shocken Books, this collection of essays is titled, Thinking Without A Banister: Essays in Understanding 1953-1975

Among other essays, the editor has included a "Letter To Robert M. Hutchins," who is pictured above. In a footnote found on the very first page of Arendt's letter, the editor has added some information about Hutchins, because not everyone reading this new collection of essays will necessarily know anything about him. 

In describing Hutchins, the editor quotes what Hutchins once said about the purpose of a university. I think Hutchins' observation is worth passing on. What Hutchins said reminds me of Page Smith, another great educator, and the first Provost of Cowell College at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The quote from Hutchins, in fact, well states the original ambition of UCSC, and since I have just attended a couple of graduation exercises this past weekend, in which a number of my UCSC Legal Studies students took that official "walk across the stage," celebrating and memoralizing their undergraduate accomplishments, it seems appropriate to highlight what a university education should be all about:

The purpose of  university is nothing less than to procure a moral, intellectual, and spiritual revolution throughout the world. 

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