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Hiram Convocation Celebrates Ethics, Liberal Arts

Opening Convocation at Hiram College (Source: Hiram College)

Hiram – The installation of two faculty members to endowed chairs in ethics, and liberal arts was the focus of convocation ceremonies to start the fall term Thursday, September 1 at Hiram College.
Along with the initiation of the Class of 2015, Colin Anderson, associate professor of philosophy, and Rick Hyde, professor of theater arts, were installed in the George & Arlene Foote Chair in Ethics, and the Howard S. Bissell Chair in the Liberal Arts, respectively.

The tradition of academic chairs began in Elizabethan times, when chairs were a luxury. Most people sat on wooden stools, benches or cushions on the floor. But when a teacher was raised to a position of professor, he was presented with an actual chair as a symbol of his elevated status in the world of learning. Now, academic chairs are endowed faculty positions, made possible by the generosity of donors who are committed to sustaining excellence in teaching and scholarship.

In his installation speech, Anderson said Hiram has a unique responsibility, as a residential liberal arts college, to spread ethics education beyond the classroom in order to educate the whole person.

“Hiram has the higher purpose of ethics across the whole curriculum, but also beyond the curriculum,” he said.
In turn, Hyde told the students that while factual knowledge and being a good student are good goals, it is more important to learn the lessons to be learned from going beyond just the facts.

“We remember the story we tell, not the facts,” he said.

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