Home Page Image
  We are grateful to the University of Mississippi for hosting this Web site.

Visit the Membership page to join SOPHIA

Coming soon... (Click here to donate to SOPHIA)


SOPHIA Symposium:
"Should Everyone Go to College?"

The University of Mississippi Lyceum"Should Everyone Go to College?" is the question guiding SOPHIA's 2013 symposium in Oxford, MS. The event will take place on Friday, November 1st from 3-6 pm on the first floor of Bryant Hall on the Oxford campus of the University of Mississippi. We will have four distinguished panelists to open our discussion. Next we will have a question and answer period. After a brief intermission during which refreshments will be served, we will conclude with a final conversational session to talk about the difficulties in advising young people and their parents about higher education.

News Article about the Symposium
Contact Information



Recently, President Obama has called for all Americans to pursue at least one year of college, be it through technical or vocational programs or at two- and four-year liberal arts educational institutions. Critics like Governor Romney have argued that college is highly expensive and is neither desirable for all citizens to pursue, nor financially wise, given fiscal constraints. While there will be those who believe as the President does that all should go to college and receive some support in that effort, others will argue that to make such a case is to apply the values of socially advantaged people to those who are disadvantaged. For disadvantaged citizens, economically-speaking, some scholars argue that taking on debt for programs that may or may not be financially beneficial would burden poor people with even greater difficulties.

There are also different levels of meaning to the President’s call. For one, there will be challenges with regarding to having all Americans be able to afford some college, both on the side of the states, which support public institutions of higher education, and on the part of citizens. For another, students are variously well- or ill-prepared for college, and thus public institutions would need to determine to what extent which institutions will enable those who are insufficiently prepared for college to obtain the remedial education that they need in order to proceed with further study.

Our purpose is to welcome and consider contrasting and carefully considered points of view, which examine not only the surface question of our symposium title, but also its underlying assumptions. To help us clarify related questions and concerns, we will have four panelists, including:

Dr. Amy Wells Dolan, thumbnail photo.
Dr. Amy Wells Dolan, Associate Dean of the School of Education at the University of Mississippi,

Dr. Tommy Curry, thumbnail photo.

Dr. Tommy Curry, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M University,

Dr. Bertha Manninen, thumbnail photo.

Dr. Bertha Manninen, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Arizona State University, and

Dr. Chris Surprenant, thumbnail photo.

Dr. Chris Surprenant, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of New Orleans.

The event will be hosted in historic Bryant Hall, which you can find here, and which you can see here. The event is free and open to the public, and will provide some refreshments and food.
Dr. Eric Thomas Weber, thumbnail photo.

Dr. Eric Thomas Weber of the Department of Public Policy Leadership will moderate the event.

SOPHIA is grateful for the generous support of the Mississippi Humanities Council, the American Philosophical Association, and the University of Mississippi's Office of the Provost, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, College of Liberal Arts, Department of Public Policy Leadership, and Lecture Series Committee.



We will have visitor parking passes available in Bryant Hall. If you park along the Circle next to Bryant Hall or along University Avenue, connected to the Circle, you can come and get a parking pass to put in your car.


Contact Information

If you have comments or questions about SOPHIA or about this particular event, or if you have any accessibility related needs, you can contact Dr. Eric Thomas Weber, SOPHIA Treasurer and Program Organizer for our "Should Everyone Go to College?" symposium. You can contact him via email at etweber@olemiss.edu or by phone at 662.915.1336.


  Webmaster, Copyright 2011, SOPHIA.