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December 01, 2008

Nov. 30: First Lady Laura Bush, Afghanistan's Ambassador Said Jawad, Ted Turner - Meet the Press, online at MSNBC- msnbc.com

I went to a liberal arts college and despite Garrison Keillor's chiding about that, or maybe more specifically, English majors (that wasn't mine luckily, I was International Political Economy), I have no regrets about the choice or about the education I received. The world is increasingly interconnected and interdisciplinary so it only makes sense to understand the world from different perspectives and be able to analyze issues through the different lenses that one develops with a liberal arts background.

There's no need to defend a liberal arts education because it speaks for itself...and because there are many far, far smarter people than myself who've tackled this question already. My alma matter's current president, Richard Celeste, is a great spokesperson and leader of the liberal arts college education. He's done phenominal work promoting Colorado College and the liberal arts so this post is for him and for all of the great professors who put up with me during college, especially when I wasn't prepared or hadn't studied enough (finishing my Senior thesis almost killed me but it made me realize how far I could push myself before breaking-- my only fear now is have I reached that same extreme in pushing myself in my career...).

From Nov. 30th's episode of Meet the Press, here's Ted Turner, quickly mentioning how valuable his liberal arts education was to his success (I'm no huge fan or opponent but the guy has been extremely successful, no matter how you measure it): emphasis added

MR. TURNER: Well, he, he, he really wanted me to go to business school. He was very practical. And--but Brown was a liberal arts college, and he knew that when I went there. Even the economics courses I took were economic theory. They weren't how to balance, balance books and the sort of thing I would have gotten if I'd have gone to, say, Wharton or, or to a business school. That--but that's where he decided later on, where, where I ought to be. But I was already at Brown. It was really an attack on a liberal, liberal arts education. And there are reasons why, there are reasons why I, I had a liberal arts education, and I was extremely successful in business. And I think I would have not been as successful if it had not been for my classical background, because I learned about Alexander the Great and Pericles and Aristotle, and I think it made me a better businessman.

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