Presentation Ponders Why We Go to College

author Johann Neem

This fall, the Humanities Institute and New Student Orientation offered a special presentation by  Historian Johann Neem, author of "What is the Point of College? Seeking Purpose in an Age of Reform."  Did you miss it?

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His talk explores why it is we go to college, what college is for and how a college education ultimately contributes to the greater good and civic society. 

We don't often contemplate why we go to college. What, in other words, is college for? Is it to prepare us for a career? For life? Is it to teach us skills? Or to teach us how to be critical thinkers? Is it to socialize, to meet new people and have new experiences? To live in a new place? Is it all of this combined? And what, specifically, is the purpose of a liberal arts education, where students, regardless of major, are asked to take classes in core fields such as history, English, philosophy and other humanities-related disciplines. Neem helped students think about why they are here, what they can learn through a liberal arts education and how they can get the most out of the outstanding liberal arts education offered at UM.