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January 14, 2014

With the sticker price for college soaring, the public has grown skeptical of the value of higher education in general and liberal arts in particular.

John Kuykendall, president emeritus of Davidson College, suggests that the 'danger' in a liberal education is not making the most of it. Kuykendall argues that George Washington Scott and the other founders of what was then Decatur Female Seminary knew exactly what they were doing establishing a 'school of high character' in 1889.  

In this video from WGBH's Forum Network,  Kuykendall says liberal learning requires doing something with what we learn, and that it implies that we focus not so much on making a living as in making a life.

"Lack of certainty is the very nature of the venture of life, and I'm convinced it's also woven into the fabric of liberal learning," he says. "You never know where it's going to take you."

The Forum Network is a public media service of WGBH that collects thousands of video and audio lectures from the world's foremost scholars, authors, artists, scientists, policymakers, and community leaders, made available to the public for free.

confronting cost, higher education, davidson college, liberal arts

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