President Hrabowski gave the keynote address at Maryland Arts Day last week. Maryland Arts Day is an annual event hosted by Maryland Citizens for the Arts, a statewide arts advocacy organization.
In his address, Dr. Hrabowski examined the role of the arts in finding our value as human beings. “The way we think about ourselves as a society, the language that we use in discussing who we are, the values that we hold will shape who we are,” he said. “I posit to you that the arts intersect with our very souls.”
Dr. Hrabowski also spoke about the importance of the arts, drawing on his childhood experiences of balancing his love of mathematics with piano lessons. He said, “I didn’t understand that one could love math and love music. Because too often still today, we teach kids that they’re one thing or the other and the whole point of the arts is that it is to create whole citizens who understand you can do many things. I want every child to know and feel and embrace the artist within herself.”
Click here to find our more information about Maryland Arts Day and to watch a video of Dr. Hrabowski’s remarks.
On Thursday, President Hrabowski attended the second White House Summit on College Opportunity. The summit gathered together hundreds of college presidents and heads of foundations and non-profit organizations, as well as President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Biden.
Dr. Hrabowski participated in a panel on innovation, along with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Arizona State President Michael Crow, Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative Founding Director Candace Thille and Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun. In the panel, Dr. Hrabowski focused on the need for institutional culture change in order to develop and implement truly effective higher education innovations that support student success. “One of the challenges is that we sometimes pit one culture against another,” he says. “Math and science are part of the liberal arts. We need people who can think broadly, put technology in perspective.”
Watch video of the Summit below. Dr. Hrabowski’s panel begins at 59:50.
Read coverage of the Summit below.
Tracking the Second White House Summit (The Chronicle Storify)
At Second Higher Ed Summit, Obama Administration Mixes Praise and Accountability (Inside Higher Ed)
White House summit calls for using data to boost graduation rates (The Hechinger Report)
White House summit seeks to boost college graduation rates (Christian Science Monitor)
The CollegeBound Foundation kicked off their “What College Means to Me” series with a video featuring President Hrabowski. The CollegeBound Foundation works in Baltimore City and encourages students to attend college.
The video followed Dr. Hrabowski around campus as he discussed what he learned in college. “College taught me… to think independently and to figure out what I really believed and what was important to me in life,” he said.
Dr. Hrabowski also counseled students who are unfamiliar with postsecondary education to visit a college campus and see themselves there. “I want you to believe in yourself,” he encouraged. “Nothing is more important than your belief in yourself.
A recent editorial in The New York Times examined the lack of diversity at technology companies in Silicon Valley. Technology giants, such as Google, Facebook and Apple, have admitted to having low numbers of women and minority employees and are now working to improve diversity in the workplace.
The editorial suggests that one way to address the problem is to recruit employees from universities that focus on helping women and minorities graduate with degrees in technical fields. President Hrabowski discussed how UMBC helps underrepresented groups excel in science and engineering. “[UMBC] produces many women and minority graduates in science and engineering disciplines,” the editorial stated. “Many find jobs with federal government agencies and East Coast technology companies, because the university has strong relationships with those employers.”
Click here to read “Silicon Valley’s Diversity Problem” in The New York Times.