Our Foundation is on Top - Joel B. Dearing (c. 1998)
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This document titled “Our Foundation is on Top” is the Humanics Lecture that was given at Springfield College by Distinguished Professor of Humanics Joel B. Dearing on April 22, 1998. Dearing earned his BS from Springfield College in 1979 and taught as an associate professor of Physical Education at the college. Dearing also coached women’s volleyball for 22 seasons (1989-2010). He finished his career with a win-loss record of 595-196 and a .752 winning percentage. Dearing was the recipient of several different Coach of the Year honors throughout the years. Dearing begins his speech by stating that the topics he would like to touch on include unity, traditions, commitment, personal contact, character, perspective, spirit, and foundation. Dearing acknowledges that this day is about bringing everyone together, both faculty and students. He states that Humanics challenges us to unite around the concept of the importance of educating the whole person, in spirit, mind, and body, symbolized by our triangle. It challenges us to unite around the concept that this type of education will enable our students to go into the world and serve others. Dearing next invites all of the athletes who have completed their 4th season in a varsity sport up on stage to recognize their accomplishment. He says, “Let’s take a minute to cheer for Springfield and for these students. Students who have made a commitment not by their words but by their actions. Four seasons of sacrifice, effort, joy, challenges, and representation of this uniform.” Dearing explains how when he was first appointed Distinguished Professor of Humanics, he started a weekly column in the student newspaper called, “Reflections on Humanics.” He also continued the tradition of Humanics Luncheons initiated by Dr. Beth Evans and conintued by Dr. Margarey Lloyd. Dearing slightly changed the format to include previous Professors of Humanics as guest speakers, as well as students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Dearing next goes on to further incorporate students by using money from the Humanics fund to give out five scholarships. Dearing states that he also used the fund to do some spontaneous things on campus, such as tap 10 unsuspecting students on the shoulder in the bookstore, tell them what he was up to for this year, invite them to this Humanics lecture, and give them each a $25 gift certificate to the bookstore. He also held surprise parties in residence halls and was the guest speaker in certain classes. Dearing did whatever he could do engage and encourage students to participate in Humanics. Dearing discusses the history of Springfield College and its origin as the School for Christian Workers. He states that the college has changed in many positive ways since then, but he believes that there is a lack of opportunity for spiritual growth for students. Dearing incorporates a student’s perspective by bringing sophomore Physical Education major Kevin Magee up to make a speech. Kevin defines Humanics simply as being a good person of good character. Dearing next presents his closing remarks and asks everyone to follow him to the track where they would stand to form a human triangle. In the words of Dearing, “Let’s go make a triangle, I’ll meet you ‘on top.’” Humanics is a word that has a special meaning in the history and philosophy of Springfield College, as well as in the college’s motto of “Spirit, Mind, and Body.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines Humanics as, “the subject or study of human affairs or relations, especially of the human element of a problem or situation as opposed to the mechanical.” In 1962, Dr. Glenn Olds, President of Springfield College at the time, began to wonder why this name was given to the intended philosophy of the college by Dr. Laurence Locke Doggett, Springfield College’s first full-time president. Olds acknowledged that the practices of the faculty were in large part consistent with the Humanics philosophy, but he believed that a more self-conscious application would improve chances of its continuity and survival. To ensure this, a Distinguished Professor of Humanics position was created at the college, first filled by Dr. Seth Arsenian from 1966-1969. The purpose of this position was to catalyze a renewal of consciousness in the philosophy. This was done by annually mandating the Distinguished Professor of Humanics to give a Humanics lecture on the definition of Humanics and what the concept means to them. Arsenian started this tradition in 1967 with his speech titled, “The Meaning of Humanics,” in which he described the concept as a set of ideas, values, and goals that make our college distinct from other colleges and make commitment and unity toward commonly sought goals possible.
- Dearing, Joel B
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- Springfield College Archives and Special Collections
- Springfield College
Springfield College--Alumni and alumnae
Distinguished Professor of Humanics
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- Chicago citation style
- Dearing, Joel B. Our Foundation is on Top - Joel B. Dearing (c. 1998). 1998-04-22. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/6931. (Accessed July 23, 2018.)
- APA citation style
- Dearing, Joel B, (1998-04-22) Our Foundation is on Top - Joel B. Dearing (c. 1998). Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/6931
- MLA citation style
- Dearing, Joel B. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America <http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/6931>.