On November 17th, the Graham School celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults at the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center. Over 200 students and alumni, past and present—some in their fourth decade of study with the program—were present to mark this important date in the history of a program heralded throughout the evening for its singular commitment to the education of adults.
As the cornerstone to the evening’s program, Basic Program Instructor Adam Rose presented an impassioned survey of the program’s unique history and place in the educational life of the University of Chicago and the United States more broadly. Titled “Only in Chicago, Only at the University of Chicago: The Basic Program at 70,” he traced the Basic Program’s origins to the 1930s, when University of Chicago President Robert Maynard Hutchins and his colleague Mortimer Adler pioneered the Great Books program at the University, a course of study founded on rigorous text-based analyses of the founding principles of the Western tradition.
Please visit this page to review the evening’s highlights containing photographs and an article recounting the evening’s events including Mark Nemec’s (Dean of the Graham School for Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies), Fred Beuttler’s (Associate Dean of Liberal Arts), and Zoë Eisenman’s (Chair of the Basic Program) remarks.