DSM: http://www.sjcsf.edu

From: MssKolleen@aol.com
Date: Sat Jun 16 2001 - 01:58:42 EDT


History of the College

St. John's College traces its origins to King William's School, the
Maryland colony's "free" school founded in 1696. The term free referred
to the school's purpose: to make students free through liberal education,
an aim that still holds today. The College motto is "Facio liberos ex
liberis libris libraque," "I make free adults out of children by means of
books and a balance." Like schools in the other colonies, King William's
School was what we would call a grammar or prep school--it gave its young
charges a solid foundation in learning which would serve them well as
citizens of the colony. A few students continued on to divinity school at
William and Mary in Virginia, which was established to serve both the
Maryland and Virginia colonies. The King William's School building, a
brick structure that also hosted the upper house of the Maryland
Assembly, Annapolis social clubs, and the colony's free library, was
located near the State House.

St. John's College believes that the way to a liberal education lies
through a direct and sustained confrontation with the books in which the
greatest minds of our civilization have expressed themselves, and through
rigorous exercise in translation, mathematical demonstration, music
analysis, and laboratory science. Liberally educated human beings, the
College believes, are committed to the lifelong pursuit of fundamental
knowledge and the search for unifying ideas. To that end, the College
offers a coherent, sequential four-year, program in which students read,
discuss, and write about the seminal works that have shaped the world in
which we live.

With a faculty-student ratio of 1 to 8, class size ranges from a handful
in tutorials to 18 or 20 in seminars and laboratories, and the entire
student body for one weekly lecture. All classes are discussion classes,
so that the students participate directly and actively in their own
education. Final examinations are oral and individual. Students' tutors,
as members of the faculty are called, meet with them twice a year in
conferences to evaluate their intellectual performance in their presence
and with their help.

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