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Spencer W. Kimball, "Climbing the Hills Just Ahead: Three Addresses"

I am constantly impressed with this beautiful campus. I am awed by the power of the administration and faculty, and as I see the thousands of students, I want to sing, "Behold! A Royal Army." The uniqueness of Brigham Young University lies in its special role--education for eternity-- which it must carry in addition to the usual tasks of a university. This means concern--curricular and behavioral--not only for the "whole man," but also for the "eternal man."

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Kevin J. Worthen, “BYU: A Unique Kind of Education”

There are at least two key ways in which we are already distinctive from most other universities. And when you put these two features together, I believe they make us truly unique in ways that are consistent with our prophetically approved mission.

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David Epstein, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters, and scientists. He discovered that in most fields—especially those that are complex and unpredictable—generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see.

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Other Resources

Brooks, David. This is How Scandinavia Got Great. The New York Times, Feb. 16, 2020. Almost everybody admires the Nordic Model. Countries like Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland have high economic productivity, high social equality, high social trust and high levels of personal happiness.
Bok, Derek. Higher Education in America. Princeton, 2013. Overview of the enterprise, with Part II focused on undergraduate education and a useful final section on current problems undermining higher ed.
Bok, Derek. Our Underachieving Colleges. Princeton, 2006. Explores the changing meaning of “liberal education,” and makes the case for reform on the basis of skills such as critical thinking, moral reasoning, living in a more global society, etc.
Chopp, Rebecca, Susan Frost, Daniel H. Weiss. Remaking College:  Innovation and the Liberal Arts. Johns Hopkins, 2014.  Anthology mostly directed to liberal arts college leaders.
Delbanco, Andrew.  College:  What It Was, Is, and Should Be. Princeton, 2012. Traces the origins of higher education in the United States to religious roots. In a wide-ranging discursive essay,he argues that colleges have lost a sense of higher purpose. One exception may be the commitment to the ideal of preparing students to live in a democracy.
Gutmann, Amy. “What Makes a University Education Worthwhile?” in The Aims of Higher Education: Problems of Morality and Justice, eds. Harry Brighouse and Michael McPherson. Chicago, 2015. Previously published in Carnegie Reporter 7, No. 3 (Winter 2014).
Menand, Louis.  The Marketplace of Ideas. W.W. Norton, 2010.  How the history of American higher education created the dilemmas we face in general education and liberal arts.
Roth, Michael S. Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters, Yale, 2014. Series of historical lectures with a recap of current controversies.
Zakaria, Fareed. In Defense of a Liberal Education. Norton, 2016. Personal history.