De/Reconstructing Your World at Juniata College

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Speaker: Henry Thurston-Griswold
Occasion: Opening Convocation
Date: 25 August 2003


This Opening Convocation address to incoming freshmen challenges students to test their world view and to open themselves to the transformative possibilities of a liberal arts education. Thurston-Griswold utilizes Juniata’s successful recruitment campaign of THINK, EVOLVE, ACT to frame the process through which students question their ideological schemata and construct a more nuanced and complex—although always provisional—view of the world and their place in it.

Freedom of Conscience: What It Is and Why We Should Care

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Speaker: William A. Galston
Occasion: The William G. & Mary A. Nyce Lectureship in Politics
Date: 13 September 2003



 In a liberal democracy, Galston argues, the state is simply a means to certain specific ends. One of these is the ability of individuals and groups to live in ways consistent with their understanding of what gives life meaning and purpose. Galston examines the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of religion in cases involving the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and conscientious objector status, and concludes that the only legitimate restrictions on expressive liberty are those necessary to secure the institutional conditions of its exercise.

Conscientiously Objecting to War




Speaker: James M. Skelly
Occasion: Baker Institute World Affairs Lectures
Date: 18 September 2003



Drawing on the personal experience of the author, who became a conscientious objector while on active military service, this article critiques the concept of conscientious objection. The author argues that because conscientious objection is a category of the State, it presents significant obstacles to those who are not well educated or philosophically inclined, and as such is primarily designed to manage dissent against war by those facing military service. The article concludes by suggesting that any opposition, including physical revulsion to the realities of warfare, should be a valid basis for a refusal to serve in the military.

Seeing and Believing: Surviving and Thriving

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Speaker: Stanley O. Ikenberry
Occasion: Commencement
Date: 11 May 2003


In this commencement address, the president emeritus of University of Illinois reminds students that risk is part of life. To have a life that matters graduates need to overcome risk by building on their liberal arts education with the virtues of courage and coniviction to live out their values which will improve their world.

Apathy, Passion, and Alexander Supertramp

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Speaker: Emil Nagengast
Occasion: Opening Convocation
Date: 28 August 2000


In this lecture Emil Nagengast praises the passion of Alexander Supertramp. Too many students, Nagengast asserts, enter college with a "practical" vocational orientation. The purpose of a liberal arts education is to help students to see that college is much more than preparation for a comfortable entry level job. With this speech Nagengast challenges Juniata College students to attack their education with the same passion that drove Alexander Supertramp to push himself beyond the limits of socially acceptable behavior.

Transatlantic Relations Since the Iraq War

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Speaker: Heinz Kreft
Date: 21 October 2003



A senior German diplomat assesses European - United States relations in the wake of differences over the war in Iraq. While concerned about the implications of a "coalition of the willing," he believes that agreement over fundamental issues will keep NATO and broader transatlantic relations stong.

The Problem of Slavery Studies Today -- "How Many? Where? When? and Why: The Numbers Game"

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Speaker: David Sowell
Date: 15 March 2004



The “African Diaspora” consisted of the sale of at least 11,000,000 people and their relocation into the Americas. This article traces the origins of these people, the timing of their forced migration to the Americas, and the nations that were responsible for the slave trade.

Look In, Look Out, Look Around

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Speaker: Jim Borgardt
Occasion: Spring Awards Convocation
Date: 27 April 2004


Einstein’s synthesis of the phenomena of gravity, embodied in 1915 in his General Theory of Relativity, can be viewed as a metaphor for a worthy aspiration: developing the skill of seeing through established beliefs and dogma and critically examining and developing one’s own system of convictions. Einstein’s ability to do this led to his toppling of 200 years of Newtonian physics – the benefits of living and immersing oneself in another culture through a study abroad experience offers equally important personal revelations for students in cultivating their own thinking and worldview.


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