November 8, 2017

Cornerstone conference focuses on the liberal arts

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts will explore the contemporary relevance of studying the liberal arts and offer strategies for increasing enrollments with “Reviving the Liberal Arts: A Cornerstone Conference” on Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov. 14 and 15).

 “Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts is a new Purdue certificate program designed for all undergraduates.” said Melinda Zook, professor of history and the director of the Cornerstone program. “The fundamental goal of this program is to reach students across campus, providing these students with the opportunity to take Liberal Arts courses connected to their specializations, allowing them to see their field, be it engineering, technology, management, or health care, from the perspectives of humanists and social scientists through a focused list of thematically aligned courses. Cornerstone reimagines liberal education and expands the reach of our disciplines to more students across the university.”

This conference will discuss the importance of a liberal arts education for all students and include two workshops for faculty and graduate students.

Mark Roche, professor of German language and literature and concurrent professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, will present the keynote on Tuesday (Nov. 14). “Making the Case for Liberal Arts” will be 5:30 p.m. in Lawson Computer Science Building, Room 1142. The talk is free and open to the public.

Roche is the author of “Why Choose the Liberal Arts?,” “Why Literature Matters in the 21st Century” and “Realizing the Distinctive University.”

Those interested in attending other sessions can RSVP online by Friday (Nov. 10). One of the featured talks is Mark Bauerline, professor of English at Emory University, who will speak 9:45 a.m. Wednesday (Nov. 15). Bauerline’s writing has been published in The Wall Street JournalThe Weekly StandardThe Washington Postand The Chronicle of Higher Education. His latest book, "The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future; Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30" was published in May 2008.

The event is sponsored by the Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts program with support from The Teagle Foundation.

Cornerstone  seeks to enhance the educational experience of all students through its faculty-taught courses. The 15 credit hour certificate program adds depth to majors across the university with a series of themes that teach students to view areas of study through the lens of the humanities and social sciences. A new two-semester sequence seeks to redefine the first-year experience. These faculty-taught courses will cultivate exceptional communication skills and develop an appreciation for the need to examine a diversity of opinions and develop as lifelong learners. It fosters the creative thinking that makes good business and industry leaders positioned to make a transformative impact on the world and their communities. 

Writer: Kelsey Schnieders, 

Purdue News Service contact: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, 

Source: Gabby Hlavek, Director of Marketing and Communication,

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