MTSU’s College of Liberal Arts is making a visible push to spread the message about the tremendous upside of students getting a liberal arts education.
Dr. Karen Petersen, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts, spearheaded the recent launch of a new branding effort for one of the university’s largest academic colleges. The new theme promotes the idea that the Liberal Arts encourages students to “Explore, Engage, Enrich, Earn — Explore your world. Engage your mind. Enrich your life. Earn a living.”
“We’re connecting those things that we do in Liberal Arts — the exploratory part, the enriching and engaging part — back to the idea that when you pick up all of those things, you take them into the workplace with you when you graduate and build a successful career across a lifetime,” Petersen said.
The development of the campaign’s concepts “was a faculty- and staff-driven effort to define who we are, so that everyone else outside of Liberal Arts, including the other (academic) colleges on campus and the broader community, understand the value of a Liberal Arts education.”
The meaning of “liberal arts” doesn’t always register with the wider community, she added, even though the disciplines within Liberal Arts — the arts, humanities and social sciences — “form the foundation of all of higher education.”
Because much of the university’s general education program is housed in Liberal Arts, almost every MTSU student takes a course within the college, which is home to more than 2,500 students majoring in fields within 11 academic departments.
“The branding campaign is an opportunity for us to tell our story, to talk about the value that Liberal Arts adds to the experience of all of the students on campus and even beyond campus,” Petersen said.
Petersen was joined by MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, liberal arts faculty and staff as well as alumni, administrators and supporters at a reception held Monday, Oct. 9, inside the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce on Medical Center Parkway.
MTSU has dedicated gallery space on the chamber’s first floor showcasing student and faculty artwork as well as displays from the Albert Gore Research Center and information about the university.
Meredith Kerr, development director for the College of Liberal Arts, noted how the college enhances the community through the MTSU Arts program, featuring public performances and events showcasing art, dance, music and theatre. The college also sponsors notable guest speakers and academic lectures open to the community throughout the year.
— Jimmy Hart (firstname.lastname@example.org)