“Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind.”
~ Samuel Johnson (1751)
The power of natural curiosity cannot be underestimated. As children, we unleash our inquisitiveness when we ask questions without giving serious thought to possible answers. This seemingly random inquiry can be associated with immature thinking and thus is sometimes dismissed. An unfortunate consequence is that we may downplay and disinherit curiosity, resulting in characteristics of a less-than vigorous mind, to turn Samuel Johnson’s quote slightly.
The university established on the foundation of the liberal arts seeks to help students achieve and cultivate those “characteristics of a vigorous mind.” A Drury University education stimulates curiosity and inspires students to ask the questions: “Why?” or “Why not?” and to do so in the context of each person’s personal growth, in the context of one’s professional standing and in the context of the community in which one lives.
In the end, these three contexts offer the framework that defines the Drury University mission and the objectives of a Drury education:
- To cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought;
- To foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and
- To liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to life in a global community.
These objectives reinforce the power of curiosity and hone the talents of inquisitive and thoughtful alumni. Drury graduates embody the above goals. They are eager to pursue their personal growth as problem solvers and as community builders. I hope you enjoy the conversation in this issue of the Drury Magazine as we offer perspectives on the complementary features of curiosity and the liberal arts.
~ David P. Manuel