In a letter to Hugh L. White in 1810, Thomas Jefferson suggested that a university should best be fashioned so that “the whole arranged around an open square of grass & trees would make it, what it should be in fact, an academical village.”
Tomorrow morning, I am going to get in my minivan and drive to a true “academical village,” otherwise known as Carleton College. I can’t think of a term that better describes that place than the one coined by Jefferson. Carleton is in a remote location (an hour south of Minneapolis), is itself tiny (the school has about 2100 students), and is a breeding ground for intellectuals. Every time I’ve gone there, I’ve been so impressed with how the kids are intelligent and thoughtful without being obnoxiously competitive. It’s a wonderful environment to learn values and to wrestle with ideas.
I am thrilled to say that one member of the Carleton College class of 2015 is Rebecca Kathryn Spiro. She has always made her parents proud for so many reasons, and it will be an honor to see her graduate this Saturday.
So here’s to you, Rebecca. And here’s to all the other graduates of the class of 2015 – no matter what school you go to, take a bow! The Empathic Rationalist salutes you.