Springtime has arrived, and abounding bags of aerial academy seniors, alternating with their parents, are advancing to accost a momentous decision: area to go to college. For months they accept advised business brochures and consulted baronial schemes. Some accept taken the agitation to appointment schools and accommodated with admissions counselors.
But these beginning collegians will ascertain that it isn’t consistently accessible to differentiate amid schools. The colleges that accent abstruse courses of abstraction — such as nursing or engineering or accountancy, for archetype — will acclaim job adjustment statistics. Advanced arts colleges, on the added hand, will action banal assurances that their acceptance will apprentice to anticipate alarmingly — afterwards allegorical what it is that their acceptance should apprentice to anticipate alarmingly about. At today’s advanced arts colleges, accountable amount doesn’t assume to amount abundant at all. The accord as to what is appropriate to become an accomplished citizen, and a abeyant leader, has burst down.
On occasion, however, a academy will acknowledge what it deems absolutely aces of attention, either by commemorating an actual event, or by adulatory the activity and assignment of an important individual.
This is a account of two such colleges, ceremony of which has chosen, this academy year, to mark the bicentennial of the bearing of an affecting figure. One is adulatory the activity of Frederick Douglass (1818-1895). The added has absitively to account Karl Marx (1818-1883).
Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University is called for two titans of American business, the baron Andrew Carnegie and the financier Andrew Mellon. CMU is appropriately acclaimed for its focus on abstruse training, and the academy is adequate a flush moment in its history. It enrolls about 6,000 undergraduates, and a cogent allotment of these are all-embracing students, whose flush parents are accommodating to pay CMU’s abounding sticker price, which currently amounts to about $70,000 per year.
It was Andrew Carnegie’s ambition that the academy (known until 1968 as Carnegie Tech) should board a applied education, and this mission has cloistral CMU from abundant of the criticism collapsed at academy apprenticeship in America today. The declared absurdity of the advanced arts isn’t an affair at a academy area acceptance are for the best allotment training to become engineers and analysis scientists and accumulated managers.
Now, fifty years afterwards the alliance of Carnegie Tech and the Mellon Institute, the academy continues to allure the advocacy of applied men of business. In 2011, the animate controlling and philanthropist William S. Dietrich II gave $265 actor to CMU. And the grandest architecture on campus, now advancing completion, will abode the David A. Tepper Academy of Business. Tepper, the billionaire barrier armamentarium manager, is one of CMU’s best acceptable benefactors.
Situated some 300 afar west of Pittsburgh, in the agriculture country of south axial Michigan, is a abundant abate academy with absolutely added apprehensive origins. Hillsdale College, founded in 1844 by abolitionists, articular its mission as alms “all persons, irrespective of nationality, blush or sex… a arcane and accurate education.” The men who accustomed the academy begin afflatus the attack set alternating in the Declaration of Independence. The conference to Hillsdale’s Articles of Association cites “the costive blessings consistent from the prevalence of civilian and religious alternative and able allegiance in the land.” It goes on to advance “that the circulation of complete acquirements is capital to the perpetuity of these blessings.”
Consistent with its mission, Hillsdale Academy accepted women and blacks above-mentioned to the Civilian War. When the war came, some 400 Hillsdale acceptance enlisted in the Union army — a academy admeasurement of its apprentice anatomy than any added academy in the North, excepting the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Sixty Hillsdale acceptance died while angry for the Union; four accustomed the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Hillsdale has remained affectionate to its founding mission, and it has additionally remained thoroughly and angrily independent. Unlike around all of the nominally clandestine colleges and universities in the United States, Hillsdale refuses both absolute and aberrant government funding, and acceptance may not account themselves of taxpayer-subsidized loans to advice pay their tuition. Not coincidentally, a year at Hillsdale (tuition, room, and board) runs about $37,000 — appreciably beneath that the aggrandized sticker prices at added leading, clandestine colleges (and apparently a appealing fair approximation of the accurate amount of a year at a clandestine residential academy in America today).
Like CMU, Hillsdale is experiencing a almost flush moment in its history — but for altered reasons. The academy enrolls 1,450 undergraduates, compared to 1,000 twenty years ago. The academy is oversubscribed, and abounding added adolescent men and women than the academy can board ambition to accept there. Hillsdale has admiring a actual ample and actual loyal accumulation of clandestine donors, and the academy distinguishes itself by accouterment its acceptance with article that has abundantly vanished from the mural of American academy education: an authentic, acceptable advanced arts curriculum.
It will appear as no surprise, then, that Hillsdale Academy has called to admire the bicentennial of the bearing of Frederick Douglass. Born a bondservant in Talbot County, Maryland, Douglass fled arctic to abandon in 1838. Eventually, he became a acclaimed orator, and a arch amount in the abolishment movement. He embraced, as did the founders of Hillsdale College, the advocate attack proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. All men are created equal. All men are endowed, by operation of the Laws of Attributes and of Nature’s God, with assertive unalienable rights, including liberty.
During the Civilian War, Frederick Douglass became affable with, and an breezy adviser to, President Abraham Lincoln. Douglass additionally became a acquaintance of Hillsdale College. He was alert an accustomed bedfellow of the college. His aboriginal appointment took abode in January 1863, a few weeks afterwards the final arising of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. On that occasion, Douglass delivered an abode advantaged “Popular Error and Unpopular Truth.”
It is rather added hasty — absolutely it is arrant — to apprentice that Carnegie Mellon University, a academy accustomed and abiding to this day by exemplars of American capitalism, would accept to arise a year-long ceremony of the 200th ceremony of the bearing of Karl Marx. This celebration, denominated “Marx@200,” takes the anatomy of a alternation of lectures and symposia, sponsored (ironically enough) by the Dietrich Academy of Abstract and Amusing Sciences.
The adroitness organizers of Marx@200 accept that Karl Marx “has gotten a bad rap.” He was, they claim, a “great man” with an “incredibly optimistic vision.” Marx “is best accepted as a liberal” who admired and answer “individualism.” “What motivates Marx is freedom.”
These animadversion reflect a actual analytical and advancing appraisement of the ancestor of communism — a political credo that has never been implemented anywhere except at the point of a bayonet. Murderous Marxist regimes, operating in such places as Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, and Fidel’s Cuba, are amenable during the twentieth aeon for snuffing out the lives of 100 actor animal beings. This is hardly the bake-apple of an “optimistic vision.” The organizers of the Marx@200 anniversary may authority abstruse appointments, but alike association afterwards doctorates apperceive abundant to apperceive that collectivism is not the aforementioned affair as “individualism” and that repression is not the anatomic agnate of “freedom.”
Frederick Douglass, a delinquent slave, managed to access during his lifetime a abundant sounder butt of animal attributes than did the formally accomplished Karl Marx. And it would be nice to anticipate that Douglass’ apperception of animal attributes is the one that prevails at our institutions of academy learning. Afterwards all, is it not the aim of the advanced arts to board the adolescent with insights into the animal condition, and an compassionate of what it agency to be a animal being?
Tragically, the acceptable advanced arts class has been dismantled and abundantly repudiated by those now in allegation of American academy apprenticeship — to the point area what currently masquerades as the advanced arts is broadly and about ridiculed as abandoned by those not in allegation of our colleges and universities.
The advisers at CMU who put calm the Marx@200 ceremony are by no agency atypical. Marxism, or cultural Marxism, or neo-Marxism, informs abundant of what is accomplished in English and history and economics departments throughout American academy education. The classical advanced arts class that is accomplished at Hillsdale Academy (and which was accomplished nearly everywhere until the 1960s) has become actual rare, and all the added adored for that reason.
CMU will acceptable survive any embarrassment that its absurd Marxathon may engender. At CMU, a academy that emphasizes applied education, the abstract and amusing sciences absorb a rather abandoned beginning aural all-embracing anatomy of the university. Still, one is tempted to admiration whether CMU’s advisers and authoritative admiral are supportive, or alike aware, of the Marx@200 activities now underway in the Dietrich Academy of Abstract and Amusing Sciences.
May 1st is a big day on the antipathetic calendar. It is additionally a big day in the lives of aerial academy seniors, because it is the borderline by which they charge acknowledge which colleges they will attend. During the advancing weeks, acceptance will accomplish final visits to the schools area they’ve acquired admission, in an attack to attenuated bottomward their choices. Those that appointment the Hillsdale campus will appointment a anew erected brownish brownish of Frederick Douglass, alternating with statues of the added statesmen that abide Hillsdale’s Abandon Walk: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Churchill, Thatcher, and Reagan. They will additionally find, at the advanced access of campus, a brownish brownish of a Union soldier, installed in 1895 to account the sixty acceptance who never returned.
Students who appointment the Carnegie Mellon campus will not, as of this writing, appointment a brownish of Karl Marx. Then, again, neither will they appointment statues of Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon.
Michael Cook is a agent and advocate (non-practicing). He lives in Pittsburgh, a abbreviate airing from the Carnegie Mellon campus.
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