A University of the First Class: Don Graham

On the occasion of the Alcalde’s 100th anniversary, we asked Longhorns what “a University of the first class” means to them.

A University of the First Class

 Don Graham

PhD ’71
Professor, English

FC_Don_Graham_01It’s fascinating to me that the first injunction in the resolution to found a university of the first class, back in 1876, is the “promotion of literature.” To make UT reach that goal, the University should require four years of literature: one in classical literature, one in world literature, one in British literature, and one in American literature. Imagine: 52,000 souls reading the same great books from Homer to whomever. Think of the shared knowledge of great literature, think of the vocabulary enhancement, think of the cultural richness that would flow from such reading. We might not change the world, but we would certainly have a better understanding of its complexities. And we’d return to a traditional meaning of texts and perhaps, just maybe, put our obsessive texting aside in favor of great text-ing.

Read more takes on the phrase “a University of the first class” here.

Illustration by Sean McCabe.




No comments

Be the first one to leave a comment.

Post a Comment