Fowlkes 2 Jordan J. Fowlkes Office of Student Affairs Howard University 19 March 2012 The Distinctive Howard Graduate and Experience From the beginning of his academic vocation, the Howard graduate receives an electrifying sense of purpose to explore the many avenues of life in and outside of the classroom. He1 speaks of the cultivating and familial spirit of the faculty, staff and administration as well as the diligent support from classmates. He encounters challenges that face not only his subjective experiences, but experiences that impact the entirety of Africa and America. He walks with a sheer sense of meaning and talks with a voice of any great orator. To paraphrase Kennedy’s 1961 Inaugural Address, the Howard alumnus asks not what his alma mater can do for him, but what he can do for his alma mater. Such an alumnus emanates in a learning community that ingrains a patriotic, interdisciplinary, liberating and scholarly environment. This ideal learning community encompasses a patriotic experience that molds him into a philosophical leader—a leader who guides impartially and completely understands what it means to be a Bison. Hence, a leadership curriculum is born; essentially, one that embodies a constructive examination of self and the alma mater. This examination of self begins with building his confidence and discipline by focusing on personal priorities and goals, as well as the importance of striving for excellence. This curriculum also teaches him that “when he was a child, he spoke and thought as a child, but when he becomes a man, he has to put away all childish things” (Washington, 2007). The curriculum, therefore, holds him accountable; it
“He, him, his, man or son” refers to a male and/or female. They are used as unisex –“he, him and his”—pronouns and—“man and son”—nouns in order to avoid ambiguity.
Fowlkes 3 motivates him to rise up, toil and strive to break the many barriers of ignorance that hinder him and his people. With this discipline, he learns that his professor is not his adversary, but the Judge of Common Good and Emancipation (Washington, 2007). He then studies the entire history of Howard, from its inception to its contemporary successes and hindrances. In this investigation, he constructively dissects and develops a theory of leadership that will contribute to the success of the institution, as well as providing solutions to its issues. He also receives a clear and concise vision from the University’s administration. This vision paves a path to the “Promised Land,” inculcating Howard’s values and purpose with its goals and objectives. From this thorough molding, a patriotic Howard man is born. Nonetheless, patriotism is only one piece of a distinctive Howard graduate. Although patriotism motivates and inspires one to believe, it does not guarantee maturity in intellectual ability and talent. This requires Howard to establish an interdisciplinary learning center, ideally a Howard College, which mandates the developing Howard man to take courses beyond his professional interest until the end of his sophomore year. This may, indeed, be the purpose of the divisional platform; however, this platform tailors toward particular degrees and consequently prevents students from taking particular courses. On the other hand, the Howard College assures a more Socratic and liberally-inclined education. This education institutes classes that promote the “advancement of all good literature, arts, and sciences; the advancement and education of youth in all manner of good literature, arts, and sciences; and all other necessary provisions that may conduce to the education of the youth of this country” (Harvard College, 2012). Therefore, education is not solely for the attainment of a degree but for the acquisition and development of