We pay for things all the time that we didn’t do. I wasn’t around when World War I happened but we’re still paying pensions. That had nothing to do with me, but I understand that I have to pay into that. That’s sort of what government means. If a state dies with every generation, what kind of state is that? When people talk about debt, or the state of Social Security, they talk about what kind of world are we leaving to our children. They understand that the country continues, that the country was here before us and that it will be here after we die.
For the last several decades, Hampshire has sought to innovate what’s possible in a liberal arts education. Its student-led focus has been emulated by countless other programs, and Hampshire continues to challenge itself as an institution, particularly as it attempts to center anti-racism as a primary throughline of a student’s experience. This is no easy or simple task. It requires diligence, willpower, commitment, and resources.
I think it’s easy to look at an institution that doesn’t submit letter grades or adhere to strict general education requirements and somehow equate that with a lack of seriousness and rigor. But nothing could be further from the truth. Future Hampshire College students should come prepared to engage in important and challenging work, which will necessitate curiosity, introspection, reflection, adaptation, and — probably most significant — unlearning.