The Lyceum Scholars Program at Clemson University, SC

The Lyceum Scholars Program at Clemson University, SC


[Music] The Lyceum Scholars Program is America’s premier academic program that uses a Great Books approach to exploring the moral, political, and economic foundations of a free society. The Lyceum Scholars Program is open to any major and every year we offer $10,000 scholarships to incoming freshmen at Clemson University. In the Lyceum program, we teach that ideas matter, that ideas have consequences, that ideas are the driving force of history. In a world of political correctness, we want to expose students to the ideas that are disappearing from college campuses, the ideas that created Western civilization and the United States of America. We want our students to explore the big questions: what is virtue? What is justice? What is freedom? What is the best form of government? I’ve learned how to ask tough questions that I wouldn’t have known how to ask before and all in all what it’s done has helped me create a framework that I can stand on of the values that I really understand and values that I believe in. We want to stimulate thinking and encourage rigorous debate but we’ve also created a unique social and intellectual community within the larger Clemson family, a kind of college within a college. For me, it was always difficult to find people who are genuinely interested in big ideas, concerned with finding truth or really just exploring ideas and we’re all very young, about 20 years old, but it’s so cool to see other people my age also struggling with the big questions of life so there’s really an atmosphere of camaraderie. The Lyceum great books program explores the history of liberty, capitalism, the American Founding, and the principles of moral character. Lyceum scholars take eight classes together as a cohort, that’s one class each semester over their four years at Clemson. In their freshman year, scholars take Introduction to Political Theory and a course called Wisdom of the Ancients, which explores ancient Greek and Roman moral thought. Wisdom of the Ancients is so awesome because you’re reading all these stories that are thousands and thousands of years old and growing up you always hear about Plato and Socrates and Aristotle but now we’re actually getting to experience it which no one really these days gets to and I feel so excited every day to be able to see what do these really old wise men teach me today. In their sophomore year, scholars take a class on the political thought of the American Founding and a course in American political thought and In their junior your, scholars take two courses in constitutional law and in their senior year, they take a course on the political theory of capitalism and the capstone course called Wisdom of the Moderns, which covers modern moral and political philosophy. Additionally this course of study constitutes a minor in political science at Clemson University. The most unique and important aspect of Lyceum Scholars Program are the Socratic tutors who are faculty members associated with the program who meet one-on-one with Lyceum scholars. The purpose of the Socratic tutor program is twofold: first, to help the scholars translate the abstract theory that they’re learning in class into practice in their daily lives whether it’s reading the ideas of Plato Aristotle or Cicero or America’s Founding Fathers and second, we want our students to think seriously and deeply about questions of moral character and about their own moral character in particular. We believe there is a crucial connection between moral character and a free society. Rather than just learning you know this is the nature of justice and and this is what truth is, I can apply that language into my everyday life and say this is what justice is and this is how I can you know be a just person in my life. I think that’s the greatest benefit of the Socratic tutors. The kind of student that we’re looking for in the Lyceum Scholars Program is one who is serious about ideas and serious about having a positive impact on American life and culture. If you are this kind of student, if you take ideas seriously, and if you take yourself seriously, we want you to apply to the Lyceum Scholars Program. Be a part of the idea revolution.

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