The New York Times columnist Frank Bruni visited Temple last week to speak on the importance of a liberal arts education.
Bruni, who majored in English and American Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during his undergraduate years, urged attendees to consider the value of studying disciplines outside of their focus. Polarization can often occur as a result of divided areas of study, he said. We agree.
“The liberal arts is ultimately about context and … the yardstick of possibility,” he told the audience.
STEM and business programs are on the rise and gaining support as students see a need for those positions to be filled in their industries and a profit to be made.
We’d like to encourage students to remain diverse in their studies and thinking while pursuing their programs. Required courses like Intellectual Heritage, where students read and talk about a range of historical texts, are a good start, but students shouldn’t shy away from expanding their knowledge of the world around them.
The College of Liberal Arts, which hosted the event as its annual Leonard Mellman Distinguished Lecture, has 35 majors and 36 minors, ranging from economics to philosophy.
We’re glad to be part of a university that has strong programs across the board and leads in medicine, business and technology. But Temple has also turned out respected artists, psychologists and historians who have all contributed to society.
As journalists, we see the importance of many kinds of careers in Philadelphia. We urge students to keep open minds and try to learn about a variety of subjects in their time here.