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Community College of Rhode Island

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Ray Di Pasquale Ray Di Pasquale

Knight Campus
Room 3328
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400 East Ave.
Warwick, RI 02886

Fax: 401-825-2166
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President Di Pasquale's Liberal Arts Celebration address

April 6, 2015

• Good afternoon and welcome to CCRI's Liberal Arts Celebration.

• As part of our All College Week, our first ever Liberal Arts Day is a source of pride for CCRI and I'll tell you why.

• But before I do, there are two people who I need to recognize, because without their efforts, this day would not have happened.

• A big thank you to foreign language Professors Deb Notorianni-Girard and Carol Panaccione. Their undying effort to highlight the importance of CCRI's liberal arts curriculum comes to fruition here today. Their vision of bringing the liberal arts curriculum into focus as an important part of what CCRI represents is becoming a reality and events like this will no doubt become more common over the coming years.

• I share their commitment to liberal arts here at the college.

• And what better time to shine a focus on our first Liberal Arts Day? As CCRI continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary, we are reminded that liberal arts have always been a cornerstone of a CCRI education.

• The Association of American Colleges and Universities defines a 21st century liberal arts education as "an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. It provides students with broad knowledge of the wider world - science, culture, and society - as well as in-depth study in a specific area of interest. A liberal education helps students develop a sense of social responsibility, as well as strong and transferable intellectual and practical skills such as communication, analytical and problem-solving skills, and a demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-world settings."

• Further, the AACU says, "The broad goals of liberal education have been enduring even as the courses and requirements that comprise a liberal education have changed over the years."

• Our charge at CCRI is to prepare our students for whatever they may face once they leave here. Our goal has always been to develop well-rounded students who are not only highly proficient in their fields, but who have the ability to think critically, problem solve and present the soft skills necessary to be successful in whatever endeavor they attempt.

• We strive to expose our students to different experiences and thoughts and by doing so, to open doors to new disciplines and pathways that they might otherwise have missed.

• David Kearns, CEO of Xerox, said, and I quote, "The only education that prepares us for change is a liberal education. In periods of change, narrow specialization condemns us to inflexibility - precisely what we do not need. We need the flexible intellectual tools to be problem solvers, to be able to continue learning over time."

• Over the last 50 years, CCRI has had a proud tradition of producing these students and that will continue.

• So, be sure to take advantage of the great resources in this room and at all of CCRI's campuses and have a great rest of the day!

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Last Updated: 3/6/18