I'm one of those rare birds with Mt. Carroll-Waukegan Shimer experience. I will never forget moving the library. It snowed -- a lot that year. (I graduated 1975, taught 1978-80). I also attended an informational meeting at the college 11/27. I am disposed toward the move to Chicago as a means to keep this 152-year-old institution alive because:
-- enrollment has flattened at 110 students. (Don Moon cited this figure at meeting). That's really not a whole lot of people with which to have a college experience nor is it a good way to increase visibility or a base of alumni financial support.
-- the future is not good for liberal arts colleges in general unless they are distinctive, a word Bill Rice used that made sense. Shimer's Great Books curriculum & discussion method is distinctive but it doesn't mean anything if no one knows about it. The pairing of liberal Shimer & techno IIT is unorthodox, which certainly boosts the distinctive factor.
-- most idealistically, Shimer shaped my life forever. I met at Shimer five of my closest friends, whom I have known for more than 30 years. I would like other people to have this unique developmental opportunity, particularly because our country and world need people who know how to think, see interrelationships and analyze. Plus everybody needs loyal friends.
Count me in.
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