Samford University


Great Ideas Institute

The University Fellows Great Ideas Institute is dedicated to teaching and promoting the enduring ideas of the Western Intellectual Tradition. It offers a series of seminars throughout the year for Samford students and faculty, the community, and high school juniors and seniors. 

What we offer:

The Great Ideas Summer Institute for rising high school juniors and seniors is a unique week-long academic experience hosted on the campus of Samford University. This week offers an opportunity for intellectually ambitious students to enjoy the energy of a college classroom, engage ideas that form the essence of the Western Intellectual Tradition, and develop friendships with exceptional high school students from around the country. 

The Samford Faculty Great Ideas Seminar is a week-long intellectual development opportunity for faculty to read and discuss a group of classical texts. Past seminars have covered the Histories of Herodotus, Early Christianity and the Apostolic Fathers, and Cicero. The seminar is conducted much like a graduate seminar, with faculty leading daily discussions of the readings. 

The Great Ideas Distinguished Scholar Series brings a scholar of exceptional talent to Samford's campus for a series of lectures and discussions. The first Distinguished Scholar is Peter Kaufman, Professor and George Matthews & Virginia Brinkley Modlin Chair in Leadership Studies at Richmond University. 

The Nobel Prize Big Read is an opportunity for Samford faculty to meet once a semester and discuss in small groups a great work by a Nobel Laureate. Past Big Read discussions have included Herta Muller's The Land of the Green Plums, J.M.G. LeClézio's Wandering Star, and Mario Vargas Llosa's The Feast of the Goat

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