Dear Middlebury Students, Faculty, and Staff,
The goal of the American Enterprise Institute Club is to promote open and academic debate and discussion of a wide range of issues. In the past we have brought several speakers to campus and via Skype. To further the debate, we hold regular discussion meetings often centered on current events or the research and scholarship of Middlebury faculty.
On Thursday, March 2nd we are cosponsoring, along with Political Science department, a lecture and discussion with distinguished public intellectual Dr. Charles Murray at 4:30pm in Dana Auditorium. Dr. Murray, a political scientist by training and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, will be discussing his 2012 work Coming Apart. This critically-acclaimed book explores class divisions in the United States, placing particular emphasis on the White working class. This work is particularly prescient given the recent political change in America. Moreover, examining and engaging with a wide variety of thoughts and ideas is an essential part of what it means to pursue a liberal arts education. In this pursuit, we must as an institution encourage robust discussion and expose the Middlebury Community to diverse thoughts, opinions and understandings on the important topics of today.
This lecture represents our answer to the challenge that President Patton put forth to the Middlebury Community in her inaugural address. It will allow “us to have more and better arguments, with greater respect, stronger resilience and deeper wisdom.” We believe that this is an argument worth having that will enable us to work towards the common good. Intellectual diversity has a rich tradition at Middlebury College. In his 2007 Baccalaureate address, former President Ronald D. Liebowitz discussed the essence of a liberal arts education. “Liberal education,” he said, “must be first and foremost about ensuring a broad range of views and opinions in the classroom and across campus so that our students can question routinely both their preconceived and newly developed positions on important matters. Such deliberation will serve as the best foundation for enabling our graduates to contribute to the betterment of society.” It is important that the Middlebury Community have the opportunity to hear, consider and respond to important ideas.
In that regard, we would like to extend an open invitation to you, the Middlebury Community, to participate in this event. Your presence will help to ensure that this is a thoughtful and academic discussion of ideas. In addition, it will demonstrate Middlebury’s commitment to diversity of all kinds. We truly hope that you will accept this invitation.
Members of The American Enterprise Institute Club, Middlebury College