Providing access to education and opportunity is the mission of all American public institutions of higher education. Far from being elitist, the Humanities are central to that very democratic mission. No privileged educational, economic, or social background is required for success in any of our fields — just energy and effort, an open mind, and curiosity about one’s fellow humans. No expensive equipment is needed. This helps put degree attainment well within reach of first-generation, minority, working class, and immigrant students whose means may be limited and prepares them for as yet unimaginable future economic, social, and cultural conditions.
Our alumni already are hard at work — as librarians, community organizers, legislators, small business owners, corporate executives, lawyers, development officers, non-profit leaders, craft brewers, military officers, ministers, journalists and educators. These highly productive citizens and taxpayers were positioned to seize career opportunities because they had earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a Humanities field, not in spite of it.