One of Assoc. Prof. Agnes Callard’s earliest memories as a first-year UChicago student was attending the Aims of Education address—in which a faculty member reflects on the purpose and definition of education with first-year College students—and the lively discussions that followed in her residence hall. So the renowned philosophy scholar was “maximally excited” when she was invited to deliver this year’s address, a revered tradition for College students since 1961.
“There’s something important about the fact that it happens before your classes, because it suggests that your intellectual interests need not be confined to your classes,” said Callard, AB’97. “It’s quite momentous.” This year’s address, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 22 in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, will be webcast on Facebook Live and the UChicago News website.
Callard said she is also looking forward to the post-Aims colloquia with students in her old residence hall, which she led many times as a UChicago faculty member. As excited as I am to give the address, the real action is in discussion,” Callard said. “When you’re a first-year student, you get to college, but you’re not really doing anything intellectual for the first week you’re there. So there’s this sort of pent-up energy of like, ‘when is the learning going to start?’ And I feel like that discussion is the first moment of it.”