Statement from President Ferrini-Mundy

photo of Joan Ferrini-MundyThe study of the humanities, and the understandings and insights it produces about people and the experiences of being human, are a foundation of our existence as a society, and essential to a thriving, comprehensive research university. At the University of Maine, we are fortunate to have robust programmatic offerings across the humanities and the arts, spanning the mission of the Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center (MHC): to “promote the cultivation of cultural knowledge, intellectual curiosity, and critical and creative reflection.”

Through scholarship in history, philosophy, languages, literature, and the arts, we learn about others and we learn about ourselves — learning that is critical for all of our students, today and tomorrow. These foundations provide the base for everything from engaging in civil discourse and appreciating the unbounded creative contributions that define our cultures, to shaping the ways people and technologies will share tomorrow’s world.

As someone whose background and experience have been primarily in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, I recognize that advances in these disciplines only will occur to the extent they are integrated with the understandings that come from the humanities. For UMaine students, no matter what their field, developing the habits of mind, argumentation, empathy, communication skills, and perspective, based in their humanities experiences, is key to the improvement of our workplaces, our lives, and our society.

As the McGillicuddy Humanities Center believes, the study of the humanities “develops the emotional and intellectual agility needed to brilliantly navigate an increasingly interconnected and complex global landscape.” MHC is dedicated to keeping the humanities disciplines vital in our community through its extensive work in providing a wide variety of forums through which we can all explore our lives to the fullest.

I am delighted that MHC is such a central part of our culture at the University of Maine. We all need and depend on what it brings us.


Joan Ferrini-Mundy