Socrates, The Gorgias
As players report for fall camp, letâ€™s take a break from the sports discussion and talk about something elseâ€”something more important. The University of Alabama has won recognition for its academic achievements in the last year, and it hasnâ€™t received all the attention it deserves. While the athletic teams attempt to rebuild, Dr. Robert Witt, the professors and staff of UA have already won more important honors for the Tide.
In May, the University was ranked 7th of all public universities in the United States in a list published by Forbes Magazine.
Alabama was included amongst bastions of academic excellence like UC-Berkeley, the College of William & Mary, the University of Michigan and our neighbor to the east the University of Georgia.
The rankings were compiled by rating a college on graduation rates, professor evaluations, andscholarships won by students like the Rhodes Scholarships or Fulbright grants.
UA has also been listed in the top 50 public universities list by US News & World Report. And the University is happy to brag on its six-year total of 31 USA Today Academic All-Americansâ€”the best of any other college or university. Youâ€™ve probably seen the ads on television announcing this success story.
We havenâ€™t even talked about National Merit Scholars, or the achievements of specific schools within the University (like the renowned School of Lawâ€”I canâ€™t believe I just said something good about the place where lawyers are trained!).
The University is more than football. So much more. The University is an economic engine driving Alabamaâ€™s development. It fulfills a critical mission to bring enlightenment to the people.
The University is a community of scholars.
That fact can get lost in the debates over who has the best party schools, what bars should be closed on the strip, or who has the best football team in the SEC; however, fans should never forget the educational mission of the University is its most vital function.
There is no college football without the college.
The mission of a university is to provide its students with the tools to find answers to the critical questions of life. Socrates said the worst thing that could happen to a man, is to be wrong. The University provides a man with the tools to answer that other key question Socrates examined, How we should live our lives.
The University is a unique place where a student is given an opportunity to expand his knowledgeâ€”and perhaps even lay up wisdom.
There is no university without the scholars who comprise the academic community. These scholars, athletes and non-athletes alike, deserve accolades too.
As a new school term draws close, it is time to say well done to everyone in UAâ€™s community of scholars.