The Ruane Center for the Humanities, the College’s signature academic build- ing, opened for classes in September. The three-level, 63,000-square-foot building is the new home for the Development of Western Civilization Program, the Liberal Arts Honors Program, and the English and history departments. Highlights include a 50-foot-tall Gothic tower entrance, a spacious Great Room with an outdoor terrace, a dozen seminar rooms, two large lecture halls, a 50-seat tiered classroom, a mid-sized flexible classroom, and an outdoor classroom. The Ruane Center was made possible by a leadership gift from Michael A. Ruane ’71 & ’13Hon., former chairman of the Board of Trustees, and his wife, Elizabeth.
> History Programs and Degrees

History Programs and Degrees

The Department of History and Classics offers a bachelor of arts in history, a bachelor of arts in classics, and minors in both disciplines.

History Major

Our mission is to encourage a sensitivity to the past in order that students might better understand the present and prepare intelligently to deal with the challenges of the future. Moreover, the department seeks to train and instruct students in historical method, with emphasis on doing the work of history with the greatest possible objectivity, resisting personal and social prejudice and ideological fashion. History courses are intended to develop in students a basic grasp of both European and American civilizations and to provide students with opportunities to gain knowledge and understanding of non-Western civilizations. The department emphasizes an appreciation of the Judaeo-Christian heritage in keeping with the character and mission of the College as a Roman Catholic and Dominican institution. It also promotes an understanding of democratic tradition and practice and their relation to the responsibilities of citizenship and humane development of the nation and the world.

History/Secondary Education Major

The bachelor of arts program is designed to provide in-depth training in history for those seeking careers as high school history teachers. Students are expected to fulfill all the requirements of the history concentration and to follow a program of courses established by the Secondary Education Program for secondary teacher preparation. The combination of history and education courses meets the requirements for certification of history teachers in the state of Rhode Island and most other states.

Classics Major

In Classics, students wrestle with deep and fundamental questions that have shaped humanity, and studying the wellspring of Western thinking gives them a wider perspective and deeper understanding of the problems and opportunities that confront modern society. As the original interdisciplinary field of study, students can approach Classics through a range of courses and interests — archaeology, art, art history, history, language, literature, philosophy, religious studies, and theology. Studying in the Classics enables students to engage with all of these disciplines and trains students to make connections.

The authors studied in Classics have engaged and challenged students for centuries — even millennia — and still have tremendous relevance to understanding humanity in the modern world. The epics of Homer, the tragedies of Sophocles, the philosophy of Aristotle, the oratory of Cicero, the prose of Livy, the poetry of Virgil, and the ideas of Lucretius continue to confront students with fundamental questions about what it means to be human and to live a good life. The study of the Classics teaches analytical thinking, a solid memory, close attention to detail, and the ability to see the ‘big picture’ and small details at the same time.

See Also