“If the purpose of education is to create truly free people, then this little college is providing a beautiful gift.”
I’ve met a lot of young people throughout my years in education, but these students were different. …exceptionally grounded, joyful, and focused. I was twenty minutes into observing an Art History class when it dawned on me why these students were so exceptionally clear-headed.
They were unplugged.
Students who come to Wyoming Catholic College agree to give up their cell phone. Not just during class, but all the time. …Giving up cell phones is a radical move, so I had to ask some students about it. Every single one used the word “freedom” in describing their experience at WCC. If the basic purpose of education is to create truly free people, then this was a beautiful gift this little college is providing.
Perhaps it is this beautiful gift—this ability to be disconnected from the technological chaos, to be present to the places and people around them, and to find wonder and beauty in reality—that was behind our bucking of national trends on college enrollment numbers. The National Catholic Register (as noted here) found us exceptional when we welcomed our largest Freshman Class ever to Lander this fall. Perhaps it’s why First Things’ Rusty Reno, whom we are pleased to host as our Commencement Speaker this coming May, has decided to hire graduates from institutions like ours, rather than “The Ivys.”
It is a wonderful gift we give them—this love of reality and of the truth. As I reflected in a recent essay, “Our students do not bestow intelligibility on the mountain landscapes or the night sky, but they discover it. Their wills do not determine what exists, but that fact is an opportunity for piety toward what is good and true and beautiful.” The recovery might take time, but it is this kind of grounded freedom that will change our nation and our church, not the cultivation of grievances.
We cannot give them this gift without your help. As the year draws to a close, please consider supporting the beautiful gift this extraordinary “little college” is providing its students.
Dr. Glenn C. Arbery, President