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Travel as Transformational

In our large national study of higher education, we ask students—and others connected with colleges and universities—whether college can or should be a “transformational experience.” Recently, we have asked informants whether they themselves can name a transformational educational experience of their own, either within or beyond traditional schooling. Often, when asked about transformational experiences, informants […]

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The End of Final Clubs

As a member of the Harvard faculty, I’ve been asked for my opinion about the recommendation to phase out the College’s “final clubs” over the next few years. On a theoretical or philosophical level, there are justifiable arguments on both sides. Those in favor of maintaining such organizations invoke freedom of assembly. Those in favor […]

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Higher Education Today: Lessons from History and Challenges for the Present

In the mid-1830s, Greek letter social clubs (fraternities) were launched in the small colleges of New England. In 1845, a scant decade later, the president of Amherst College wrote a letter to the president of nearby Williams College in which he mused, “Would it be desirable to have the societies cease in our colleges?”[1] As […]

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