History comes alive:  Union celebrates 216th Founder’s Day

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By Hanna Squire

Today at 12:45 p.m. in Memorial Chapel, Union College’s students, faculty and staff will come together to commemorate Founders Day.

This year marks the 216th anniversary of the granting of the college’s charter by the state on February 25, 1795.

Prior to the event, a Schenectady piper from the Schenectady Pipe Band will lead the formal procession of faculty in academic regalia to Memorial Chapel.

This year, Founder’s Day will center around the 40th anniversary of co-education at Union and will highlight the unique contributions of women. This subject was also mentioned by last year’s keynote speaker, Founder and President of the Posse Foundation Deborah Bial.

Noted author, philosopher and advocate for the liberal arts Martha Nussbaum will deliver the keynote address at Founders Day.

Nussbaum will discuss Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities, her most recent book,  in which she makes a powerful case for the importance of the liberal arts at all levels of education.

Nussbaum’s book addresses the importance of reconnecting education to the humanities during a time when the United States, in particular, is using education as a means to create future generations of economically productive members of society. She comments on the positive and negative educational developments around the world with the hope that students will become well-informed and compassionate citizens to their countries.

Nussbaum is a Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics in the Philosophy Department, Law School and Divinity School, an Associate in the Classics and Political Science Departments and founder and Coordinator of the Center for Comparative Constitutionalism at the University of Chicago.

Additionally, the is the author of numerous articles and books including Captivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education, Sex and Social Justice, and Hiding From Humanity: Disgust, Shame and the Law.

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