Previewing The Ducharme Veritas Lecture

The Ducharme Veritas Lecture, The Liberated Imagination: Toward and Adequate Understanding of Complexity, is the name of the lecture that will be given by Dr. Malone, on February 22.  This lecture is given twice a year; Fall 2014 was the first year that this lecture was presented.  

The Ducharme Veritas Lecture is a lecture directed towards the Liberal Arts education and how our University is different from others, in that students here learn about all aspects of knowledge. This way of thinking allows for people to grasp a wide range of knowledge through a multitude of ways.  We have to learn how to stop thinking narrow mindedly and be able to come up with various solutions in order to solve problems rather than only being able to come up with one solution.  The Ducharme Veritas Lecture will discuss how we have the ability to expand our knowledge and grow together as a community through this magnificent way of learning called the Liberal Arts education.  I sat down with Dr. Malone and chatted with him about the lecture, what he will be discussing, and how this differs from other works that he has done.  

Dr. Malone explicitly believes that, “the key idea of a Liberal Arts education is the fact that it gives us the ability to understand the world from multiple angles.”  “By studying math, science, history, social science, etc. you have many ways of seeing the world,” it is a “multi dimensional way of thinking.”  I asked Dr. Malone how he came across this topic and he replied by saying, “Father Donohue talked to me about the lecture and asked if I could be the one to present it.”  He is not quite sure why he was chosen to present this lecture, but is passionate about the Liberal Arts education and felt honored.

This lecture will bring to light, the value of understanding the world.  Dr. Malone believes, “most people have a narrow view of thinking and this way frees you to think about things in multiple ways.” He claims it gives us “the ability to distance ourselves and step back to get the big picture.”  He explained to me, “since I am retiring and this will be my last year, I wanted to step back, and I’m kind of thinking back and reflecting on my time here.”

“I have written a book on communications and on anthropology (a cultural evolution),” however these books were geared specifically to one type of learning and field and he loves the idea of being able to think and learn from multiple aspects rather than focusing solely on one concentration.  

His summary of what he plans to share with the attendees is that, “our world is complex; it cannot be understood from a single perspective.  We must be able to see and imagine from many angles at the same time.  Fortunately, that is just what a liberal education trains you to do.  So when you ask yourself, why do I have to take this class; the answer is, so that you can see and understand things from many different perspectives.”

Dr. Malone loves how a Liberal Arts education allows students to be able to think in numerous ways and be able to interpret information from all aspects of the spectrum.  This lecture will be one that all should attend.  He hopes “not to keep us in our seats for too long,” while still being able to talk about “imagination, distanciation, self-awareness, global warming, rapid social change, and Pope Francis’ Laudato si.”  The Ducharme Veritas Lecture will cover every angle of our academic curriculum and really shine light on our Veritas program and Liberal Arts education.    

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