As we enter more fully into what promises to be a spectacular spring 2015, I am reminded that much of what we do in the College helps our students learn how to learn. With support from our alumni, faculty, and staff, we invite our undergraduate and graduate students to engage fully in the intellectual and social life of a Holy Cross education. All of us are invited to raise perennial questions of faith and reason, of ethical concerns, and of meaning and practical wisdom about what the good life entails, that is, what the Greeks called “sophia.” And we don’t stop with questions. Faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences teach many of the 39 credits that comprise the University’s Core Curriculum to every undergraduate student, regardless of one’s major or professional school discipline. This ensures that every undergraduate student shares a common “U Portland experience” — a unique and integrative multi-lens perspective through which students can critically experience the integration of faith, culture, science, humanities, and the arts. Our commitment to the spiritual, ethical, and intellectual development of the whole person remains the heart or “core” of what we mean by a Catholic and Holy Cross liberal arts education in the College.
In the College of Arts and Sciences we strive to form men and women who will provide ethical leadership to the nation, who will offer hope to our world, and who will engage the joys and sufferings of our age through a faith that seeks justice. For over a century the College of Arts and Sciences has remained a very special place in which to grow in body, mind, and heart. We expect our graduates to respond effectively and compassionately to complex social, economic, and cultural issues and to have a capacity that envisions a more just world.
We will challenge you as never before to become an ethical leader in your family, local and regional community, professional field, and beyond. We invite you to imagine how you might better promote the common good through the transformative power of human creativity, moral discernment, and love.
Whether studying here on the Bluff or at the University’s campus in Salzburg or in one of our other signature Study Abroad programs, you, too will come to experience what thousands of UP alumni already know: in the College of Arts and Sciences, the world is our classroom.
I am grateful that you are a part of our CAS community, and I invite you to explore our CAS News blog and let us know what you think.
Michael F. Andrews, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
McNerney-Hanson University Endowed Chair in Ethics and
Professor of Philosophy