College to celebrate Founders Day Feb. 24

Publication Date
Martha Nussbaum

Martha Nussbaum

Noted author and philosopher Martha Nussbaum will deliver the keynote address at Founders Day Thursday, Feb. 24, at 12:45 p.m. in Memorial Chapel. The event commemorates the 216th anniversary of the granting of the College’s charter by the state.

Nussbaum will discuss “Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities,” the title of her most recent book.

Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, is a passionate advocate for the liberal arts and the author of numerous books and articles. In “Not for Profit” (Princeton University Press, 2010), Nussbaum laments:

“Nations all over the world will soon be producing generations of useful machines, rather than complete citizens who can think for themselves, criticize tradition, and understand the significance of another person’s sufferings and achievements. The future of the world’s democracies hangs in the balance.”

For a complete biography, click here.

Nussbaum’s appearance comes at a time when Union is highlighting women and their unique contributions to society to celebrate the 40th anniversary of co-education at the College.

Also at Founders Day, Shelly Stearns, a history teacher at Flagstaff (Arizona) High School, will receive the Gideon Hawley Teacher Recognition Award. Stearns was nominated by Keilah Creedon ’14. The award, named for the 1809 graduate of Union who was New York state’s first superintendent of public education, is given to secondary school teachers who have had a continuing influence on the academic life of Union students.

Past speakers at Founders Day have included Deborah Bial, founder and president of the Posse Foundation; Pulitzer Prize-winning author James M. McPherson; Paul LeClerc, president and chief executive officer of the New York Public Library and a former professor at Union; and Ira M. Rutkow ’70, a surgeon and author whose writing has focused on the history of American medicine.