Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Haverford is an excellent liberal arts college. It is also the arch-rival of my alma mater, so I am obliged to look askance at it. Nonetheless, I have to admit that it is an excellent liberal arts college. It has a restrained beauty, a strong Quaker tradition of reaching common understanding, and a honor code culture that is deeply embedded in student life. The plain stone Pennsylvania architecture is deep in the Gruntleds pre-verbal understanding of what true beauty is.

As the great sociologist E. Digby Baltzell argued years ago in Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia, Quaker culture militates against individual superiority over others. This was confirmed, indirectly, by Haverford's unusual motto: Non doctior, sed meliore doctrina imbutus, which roughly translates, "Not more learned, but steeped in a better learning."

Endub will give it another look.

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