Preserving and enhancing the Core

The founders of the Core curriculum believed that a modern university should educate flexible minds to welcome intellectual exploration. In challenging our youngest students to engage with profound texts, fundamental questions, and the broadest domains of knowledge early in their education, the Core continues to contribute to and confirm the intellectual seriousness of the College and the University. The Core is critical to our ability to recruit students of high academic ability—students with a special UChicago-like dedication to the life of inquiry and scholarly discourse.

To enrich the College’s culture of analytic rigor and interdisciplinary learning, we must uphold and strengthen the Core. Your generosity will enable the College to maintain the Core courses as vibrant intellectual and cultural communities both in and beyond the classroom; strengthen the teaching practices of all faculty associated with the Core, including the Society of Fellows and Core chairs; provide support for the Core staffs to enrich the in-classroom work of the Core with off-campus excursions to cultural institutions and social and political organizations; and provide concrete support for the professional development of younger faculty to dedicate themselves to the Core.

An integral component of the Core curriculum is the civilization studies sequence. With your support, sequences taught abroad—by our own faculty—in cities including Beijing, Oaxaca, Pune, and Vienna, allow hundreds of students to contemplate classic texts in the very culture they are studying, while gaining invaluable cross-cultural understanding. Meanwhile, the Center in Paris enters its second decade as home to the most in-demand study abroad programs, spanning astronomy to social sciences.

In this era of rapid change and proliferation of ideas, support for the Core and its global reach ensures that we continue to offer the best undergraduate education. Your gift instills in students the skills that make intellectual engagement with uncertainty possible and helps them cultivate a love of learning and a willingness to think as rigorously and flexibly as our global world demands.