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Contact: Karyn Brown
STARKVILLE, Miss.âMississippi Stateâs Institute for the Humanities celebrates its 10th anniversary Oct. 15 and 16 with a special symposium.
Part of the universityâs College of Arts and Sciences, the institute primarily serves the departments of communication, English, classical and modern languages and literatures, history, music, and philosophy and religion, as well as the Cobb Institute of Archaeology.
The symposiumâs featured speaker will be John Churchill, secretary of Phi Beta Kappa, the worldâs oldest honor society for the liberal arts and sciences. âReasons, Values and Imagination: A Case for Education in the Liberal Arts and Sciencesâ will be his topic at 3:30 p.m. on the 15th.
Participants also will hear from historian Roger Geiger at 9 a.m. on the 16th. An award-winning scholar and researcher on 20th century universities, he will discuss the place of humanities at MSU and other land-grant institutionsâone of his major areas of study.
Free and open to all, both symposium presentations take place in the Bettersworth Auditorium of historic Lee Hall.
Geigerâs program will be followed in the auditorium with a 10:30 a.m. panel discussion examining current academic perspectives of the humanities, as well as their prospects for the future.
Also open to all, the panel discussion will involve Stuart Rockoff, executive director of the Mississippi Humanities Council; Joseph Ward, University of Mississippiâs Arch Dalrymple III Professor of History; and Christopher Snyder, dean of MSUâs Shackouls Honors College.
The Institute for the Humanities was established in 2005 with MSU English professor Gary Myers as its first director. Myers, who later served as arts and sciences dean, is credited with helping expand and enhance engagements in research, scholarship and creative work within the campusâ humanistic disciplines.
Myers retired from MSU several years ago to become vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Young Harris College in Georgia.
R. Gregory Dunaway, the collegeâs current dean, said Myers will be attending the anniversary celebration.
âWe are very fortunate that the architect of the institute and my predecessor as dean of the college will be on hand for this celebration,â Dunaway said. âHis vision is responsible for the great work that the institute has been able to accomplish and certainly shares in its successes.â
Dunaway said land-grant institutions like MSU often are not known for their humanities programs. âAt Mississippi State, however, we are incredibly fortunate to have outstanding humanities programs staffed with nationally renowned faculty scholars who are providing amazing educational opportunities for our students,â he added.
Dunaway praised the Institute for the Humanitiesâ decade-long efforts to âstimulate academic discourse, provide a platform for creative endeavors and, in general, enhance the intellectual and cultural climate at MSU.â
Current institute director William Anthony Hay said the humanities âchallenge students to appreciate worlds different from their own and understand perspectives they may not share.
âBesides teaching critical thinking and sharing a cultural inheritance, humanistic study cultivates empathy,â Hay said.
A complete symposium agenda is available at www.cas.msstate.edu/events/institute-humanities-10-year-anniversary-symposium. For other information, contact Hay at 662-325-7095 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information on institute is found at www.ih.msstate.edu.
With more than 5,200 students, 300 full-time faculty members and 24 academic majors offered in 14 different departments, the College of Arts and Sciences is MSUâs largest academic unit. For more, see www.cas.msstate.edu .
MSU is Mississippiâs leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.