What did you enjoy about being a student at Templeton Honors College?
Anthony Barr ('19)
Major: History and English
Currently: Masters Student at Pepperdine School of Public Policy
Templeton provided me with an incredible community in which to engage in deep learning and robust conversation. I will always cherish the memories of sitting outside with dear friends and beloved professors, discussing great texts. And thankfully, because those friendships continue to endure, I get the distinct pleasure of still reading great texts with people who are dear to me.
What were some of its best features?
I think the sheer breadth and depth of the honors college reading list is incredible. We began with the ancients, the Greek tragedies and philosophical dialogues, and gradually worked our way through the centuries, reading primary texts in conversation with the texts that came before them, seeking to understand what Homer, Plato, Dante, Shakespeare, John Locke, have to say about the world we live in today. Another great feature is the kinds of papers we were asked to write in the honors college: original arguments that we came up with, about areas in the text that we found personally compelling, as the product of our own honest engagement. The Honors College provides a place to not only to learn what others have said and thought, but also to develop your own thinking.
How did Templeton help prepare you for your chosen career path?
Templeton made me a better writer, and as it turns out, pretty much every career path rewards those who write well. In addition, by emphasizing the joys of learning for its own sake, Templeton cultivated my sense of wonder, and my drive to know and learn more. As I dive into the world of public policy, both the sense of wonder and the drive to know are helping me to ask better questions, and to seek more creative solutions to some of the most pressing problems of the 21st century.
How did Templeton help shape you intellectually, personally, or spiritually?
Clarity and insight are both hard won. I look back on my time in Templeton and I realize how influential the honors courses were in sharpening my thinking, and deepening my understanding of God, others, the world, and myself. The Honors College was also a place that set a high bar for virtue, and that provided me with professor-mentors who model virtue in their teaching and in their lives outside the classroom. Finally, the Honors College was a place where the diversity of Christian religious belief and practice and the plurality of religious traditions allowed me to have a more expansive view of what Christianity is, and what it means to be united by a shared love for Christ despite many significant theological disagreements.