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Thomas Jefferson on the purposes of a university, Part 2

… the Commissioners were first to consider at what point it was understood that university education should commence? … And this brings us to the … higher branches of education, of which the Legislature require the development; those, for example, which are …
To develop the reasoning faculties of our youth, enlarge their minds, cultivate their morals, and instill into them the precepts of virtue and order;
To enlighten them with mathematical and physical sciences, which advance the arts, and administer to the health, the subsistence, and comforts of human life;
And, generally, to form them to habits of reflection and correct action, rendering them examples of virtue to others, and of happiness within themselves.
These are the objects of that higher grade of education, the benefits and blessings of which the Legislature now propose to provide for the good and ornament of their country, the gratification and happiness of their fellow-citizens, of the parent especially, and his progeny, on which all his affections are concentrated.

Report of the Commissioners of the University of Virginia, Aug. 4, 1818

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
The previous post (4-27-12) gave the first three purposes of a university education, drawn from this report. Today’s post gives the final three, to:
4. Develop critical thinking, for intellectual and moral growth and understanding
5. Learn the sciences which promote the arts and contribute to human comfort
6. Form habits which make them good examples to others and bring happiness to themselves
These six objects will
– Benefit the country generally
– Please its citizens, promoting happyness and health
– Be a particular blessing to the parents and their children

Thomas Jefferson has a purpose for everything,
even your audience! Invite him to speak.
Call Patrick Lee, 573-657-2739

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