Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Learning, fun, highlight StFX’s popular Classics for Classics program

July 7th, 2017
2017 Classics for Classics participants

StFX’s Classics for Classics—a weeklong learning event inviting alumni and friends back to class on the StFX campus, this time without exams—is so popular that this year two participants said their recent trip to the Grand Canyon ranked second in comparison to this class.

“We are so excited to offer this program,” says StFX Alumni Affairs director Mary Jessie MacLellan, on the ninth edition of the event, which wrapped up July 7, 2017. The program began in 2009 with 30 participants and has grown every year to the 69 participants registered this year. It is offered at no charge for StFX alumni.

“Alumni love to return to campus and Classics for Classics provides a wonderful opportunity for them to enjoy StFX, from both an educational and a social lens,” she says.

“The attendees just rave about the program and can’t wait to come back every year,” says Glenda Bond of StFX Alumni Affairs. Many participants have attended every year since its inception, she says, while a number more have just missed a year or so due to unforeseen circumstances. It also attracts new students each year – including 17 new participants this year.

StFX philosophy professor Dr. Steve Baldner leads the learning experience.

“Teachers all have doubts occasionally about whether the students care about the wisdom we so liberally dispense or whether we are accomplishing any good,” he says. “The doubts fly away each year when I meet the participants in Classics for Classics: bright, accomplished, eager students who want to understand – and to argue. I finish each year full of hope for the academic life, and this year more so than ever. I have never had so much satisfaction – or fun – from teaching as I have had this past week.”

Every year, participants study a different philosopher. This year’s event focused on David Hume’s An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding.

Dr. Baldner lectures every morning and has a guest lecturer from StFX faculty come in each afternoon to lecture on a related topic. This year, the StFX faculty included Dr. Guy Lalande, History; Dr. Earla Wilputte, English; Dr. Edward Langille, Modern Languages; Dr. Will Sweet, Philosophy; and Prof. Ed Carty, Philosophy.

As well as daily lectures, the program includes a banquet and social night to a live theatre production as well as a reception to end the week after Friday’s class. 

Start Your Journey