In an era when some institutions are phasing out humanities programs, Endicott College has solidified its commitment with the creation of the Center for the Humanities.
Thanks to the generosity of Endicott Trustee, Steven Tadler, and wife, Joyce, whose daughter, Kathryn ’17, graduated from Endicott with a degree in psychology, the College has raised the profile of humanities with the new Center.
“The purpose of the Center is to strengthen the humanities at Endicott through a range of initiatives, including a Distinguished Speaker Series, a writer-in-residence program, professional development opportunities for faculty, and scholarships for prospective students who want to major in fields such as English and history,” says Mark Herlihy, associate dean of the School of Arts & Sciences and chair of humanities.
An exciting aspect of the Center is the high-profile speakers who have visited campus as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series. Jill Lepore, a world-renowned author, staff writer for The New Yorker, and a Harvard University history professor, gave a very timely lecture titled “The Rise and Fall of the Fact” in February, while Kate Bolick, an editor at The Atlantic and professor of writing at New York University, discussed her New York Times bestseller, Spinster, in the fall. Endicott’s Distinguished Professor of English, Charlotte Gordon, also gave a lecture that drew from her book, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley, as part of the series.
When it comes to academics, all Endicott students benefit from the Center, as humanities courses satisfy requirements for six of the eight general education categories. Says Herlihy, “In these classes, students develop informed opinions about societal and global issues and come to appreciate the value of being a reflective, well-rounded, and engaged citizen.”
As a whole, the Center’s establishment marks a major milestone for Endicott’s humanities programs, which are bucking the national trends in English, history, and similar programs.
“Our renowned internship program has helped our humanities majors see that their oral and written communication skills, and their ability to think critically and creatively, are highly transferable skills that employers in almost any field value,” says Herlihy.
Herlihy adds that this success extends to post-undergraduate life, as well, where Endicott graduates have gone on to become attorneys, teachers, and professional writers; work in local and state government, museums, and for-profit and nonprofit organizations; and receive advanced degrees from colleges around the world.
“We are enormously grateful to the Tadler family for their support and generosity,” says Herlihy. “The Center allows us to do many things that we could not do otherwise and its programs will benefit Endicott’s students and faculty, and enrich the intellectual and academic life of the College in general.”
To learn more about the humanities at Endicott, visit endicott.edu.