‘Wisconsin Idea’ explored

Most of us have heard of the Wisconsin idea. If the concept is a little vague or you are wondering when it originated, a presentation at UW-Sheboygan will help answer those questions.

On Tuesday, November 14 at 7 p.m., a lecture titled, John Bascom and the Origins of the Wisconsin Idea, will be presented. The speaker is Distinguished History Professor, J. David Hoeveler from UW-Milwaukee who has been fascinated by the history and evolution of the Wisconsin idea for many years.

Author of a book by the same title, Professor Hoeveler will present his ideas during the one-hour lecture. The lecture is part of the monthly Speakers’ Series. Admission is free and everyone is welcome to attend. The campus is located at One University Drive in Sheboygan, with free parking in the student lot.

With its origins in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Idea centers around the concept that a public university should improve the lives of people beyond the borders of its campus.

This philosophy was born during the country’s Progressive Era that bound the University of Wisconsin System to the aims of the state. According to Hoeveler, the Wisconsin Idea was originated, by John Bascom, a philosopher, theologian and sociologist, who also served as President of UW-Madison from 1874 to 1887.

“In a way unmatched by any leader of a major American university in his time, Bascom outlined a social gospel that called for an expanded role for state governments and universities as agencies of moral improvement,” Hoeveler explained.

Author of seven books including The Evolutionists, Watching the Right and Creating the American Mind, Hoeveler stated that “university leaders have always stressed academic freedom and the pursuit of truth as part of the Wisconsin Idea.”

The Speaker’s Series presents a new topic each month (September – May) that is discussed in an open forum format.

For directions to the campus or more information, visit www.sheboygan.uwc.edu

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