“171 students, 12 horses and zero textbooks:” Visit from Associate Editor at America Magazine Leads to May Cover Story

In late February, Ashley McKinless, an associate editor for America Magazine, made the long trek from New York to visit Wyoming Catholic College. It was a bit of an adventure making it to Lander (as is so often the case during Wyoming’s winter months), but once she arrived in town and began to experience Wyoming Catholic for herself, she was greatly impressed by what she found in the small-but-vibrant campus of Wyoming Catholic.

The isolation, the raw landscape, the open sky—none of these are incidental to the education on offer at Wyoming Catholic College. They are a part of the curriculum.

They also make for a dramatic backdrop.

The WCC Experience was a dramatic departure from Ashley’s own college experiences at the University of Virginia, but she was fascinated by what she saw, recognizing the way in which the College’s (famous) technology policy and outdoor program manifest the College’s intellectual and spiritual culture.

The technology policy and the outdoors program are the most concrete manifestations of what Mr. Baxter calls “a thirst for the authentic, for the raw, for the real” among the students and faculty of W.C.C.

In the classroom, this looks like direct engagement with the original texts that have shaped the Western and Christian world. The curriculum is inherited, not chosen. …

[The College] tries to create a space where students are willing “to entertain the notion that a bunch of atheistic scientists might actually have something good to say. We’re going to discuss big ideas with the gloves off…which is going to be really challenging. We’re going to discuss literature that isn’t Catholic—in the nude, so to speak.”

The College community is in complete agreement: Ashley has done a remarkable job of capturing what it’s like to be a student at Wyoming Catholic College. And while the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily fractured this extraordinary community, her writing has reminded all of us of the value of the extraordinary project we’ve undertaken here in Lander. We look forward to the opportunity to sharing in the Wyoming Catholic College Experience again, as soon as possible.

Read the entire article HERE, or look for the May 11th edition of America Magazine.

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