O’Donovan advocates a diverse education

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April 19, 2001

In a speech last Tuesday in the ICC auditorium, University President Leo O’Donovan, S.J. said Georgetown is in the process of reviewing the curriculum to ensure the current structure allows for a complete liberal education.

In order to achieve an understanding of an accelerating global economy, O’Donovan said all students must study writing, math and foreign languages.

“If I had my way every student would be required to take science courses,” O’Donovan said.

O’Donovan said Georgetown should provide the opportunity to learn how scientists think and conduct experiments.

Individuals should learn to look at “how world knowledge can be transformed to personal knowledge,” O’Donovan said.

The Georgetown curriculum and faculty encourage human reflection, though some lessons must be learned independent of academics, O’Donovan said.

“We have tried at Georgetown to recruit talented black students, teachers and administrators,” O’Donovan said. According to O’Donovan, a diverse student body is conducive to learning lessons that cannot be taught in the classroom.

O’Donovan said he envisions the student body to be representative of the American population.

Students activities and public service are as important to the Georgetown experience as material taught in the classroom, O’Donovan said.

Some of the lessons that are taught by interacting with a diverse student population or a volunteer activity “are worth a semester’s tuition itself,” O’Donovan said.

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