Message from the Dean
Above the doors to Mitrani Hall, students and visitors to Sparks Building read the words, "Live to Learn, Learn to Live." The slogan reflects the mission and the balance of the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State. In particular, it articulates a vision for a college that combines in its work the classical concerns of the liberal arts with the exigencies of our global society. Our college includes distinguished humanists, social scientists, and life scientists who provide education for every Penn State student. Typical undergraduate students take nearly one-third of their courses in Liberal Arts, endowing us with a tremendous responsibility.
We fulfill the responsibility through a variety of in and out-of-class academic experiences that introduce students to unfamiliar topics and perspectives. Alumni of all ages often remark about how their eyes and minds were opened by the new things learned in liberal arts classes.
In addition to our teaching mission, our outstanding faculty have led our departments to national leadership positions. We are proud of the recent National Research Council rankings of our departments and continue to work to make the College the premier institution for study and work in the liberal arts disciplines.
The College's research and teaching help to shape the future by studying human populations, history, ethics, families, crime, language, and more: from the state of our nation's ethical moorings to the burgeoning developments in cognitive neuroscience, from the continuing effects of our nation's Civil War to the multiple effects of the global spread of terrorism. Through such inquiries, Liberal Arts faculty and students are working together to build a better future for all of us.
Susan Welch Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts