The Great Books Program
In the last six years, the MPC Great Books Program is proud to have been recognized with five grants from the Apgar Foundation. The Apgar Foundation "makes grants to undergraduate programs that increase knowledge of and exposure to aspects of Western and American culture that have been instrumental in creating and sustaining the United States and other liberal democracies. The Foundation wants college faculty and students to deepen their understanding and appreciation of Western and American traditions, institutions, and values."
As an Apgar grant recipient, MPC joins such institutions as Washington and Lee University, Villanova University, Penn State University, UCLA, Emory University, MIT, and the University of Virginia.
MPC's Apgar Foundation grants have been used to convene two colloquiums, "Great Books and Democracy" with Robert Pinsky, Dana Gioia, and Victor Davis Hanson, followed by "Imaginative Freedom and Political Freedom" with Mark Edmundson, Clare Cavanagh, Zachary Mason, and Mark Bauerlein. DVDs of all presentations are available in the MPC Library.
Last year, the Great Books Program hosted its first Visiting Scholar, University of Virginia Professor of Romantic Poetry and author Mark Edmundson, who lectured and conducted seminars on "Why Does Love Have To Be So Sad," "Can Rock and Roll Save Your Life?", and "Football: The Lure of the Game." He also visited the Great Books Club and his wife, author Elizabeth Denton, visited the Creative Writing Club. DVDs are available and video is also available on AMP Channel 27 and on YouTube. We have also presented David Shields, best-selling author of Reality Hunger, How Literature Saved My Life, and a dozen other books. Mr. Shields met with classes and clubs. He also gave a free public reading and discussion to a packed house in the Library. Recently we hosted Matt Kish, author and artist of Moby Dick in Pictures, Dr. David Steiner speaking on "The Humanities at Risk: Why We Should Champion Great Art, Great Music and Great Books," and William Deresiewicz asking "What Is College For?"
Apgar funds have also been used for a high school essay-writing contest, materials for our Great Books Club Lending Library, professional membership in the Association for Core Texts and Courses, conference attendance, and local and national marketing. The MPC Great Books Program is deeply honored by the Apgar Foundation's support.