Topic: An Alternate Rhetorical Idiom for Liberal Education

Christopher B. Nelson, president of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, is a national spokesperson for the liberal arts. A founding member of the Annapolis Group, a consortium of over 120 of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, Nelson has served on numerous boards, including the Council of Independent Colleges and the Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities Association. Currently he is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the Aspen Wye Seminars. An active participant in the national conversation on higher education, many of Nelson’s opinion essays have appeared in The Washington Post and The Huffington Post. The current focus of his writing is the value of liberal education as an excellent grounding for career and professional development and, most important for an open-minded pursuit of lifelong learning. 

On February 3, 2015, Nelson was presented the 29th Annual Henry Paley Memorial Award by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). The award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated unfailing service to the students and faculty associated with independent higher education and a commitment to advance educational opportunity in the United States. Nelson’s comments on education and learning, delivered on the occasion of the award, follow. 

Christopher B. Nelson. “Remarks Upon Receiving the Henry Paley Memorial Award