Topic: Virtues of a Liberal Education

Frederick Crosson (1926-2009) was the Rev. John J. Cavanaugh Professor of Humanities in the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame (IN). His scholarship engaged a wide range of interests. Among his publications are essays on formal logic, rhetoric, information theory and phenomenology, religion and natural law, intentionality and atheism, and the concept of teaching in St. Augustine. His professional activities included 25 years with the Phi Beta Kappa Society as Senator (1982-2000), Vice-President (1994-1997) and President (1997-2000); a position on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Jurisprudence (1989-98); and service as a consultant-evaluator for the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges (1970-98). Among his peers, colleagues, and the greater collegiate educational community, Crosson was known as a master teacher in the seminar method.

In 1997, Frederick Crosson was awarded the Charles E. Sheedy Award for Excellence in Teaching at the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Notre Dame. His acceptance speech reflects on what constitutes liberal education, teaching by questions, and ‘speaking to the heart of the learner’. Excerpts from that speech are reproduced here as they appeared in the Chicago Tribune on October 30, 1997.

Frederick Crosson. “Virtues of a Liberal Education”