To each species of creatures has been allotted a peculiar and instinctive gift. To horses galloping, to birds flying, comes naturally. To man only is given the desire to learn. Hence what the Greeks called paideia we call studia humanitatis.

In her series The Humanistic Tradition, Gloria Fiero calls this tradition "humankind's cultural legacy--the sum total of the significant ideas and achievements handed down from generation to generation." More specifically, the term "humanities" has come to refer to the traditional disciplines of literature, drama, philosophy, religion, and the arts--visual, musical, dance, architecture--in historical context.

Typically, "humanities" subjects are distinguished from the "sciences" and the "social sciences"--even though these disciplines help us to understand human life and expression at particular times and places.

The Humanities Program began in 1978 as the Center for Program in the Humanities, which was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Today, it is a member of the Consortium for Humanities Centers and Institutes, the Virginia Humanities Conference, and the Southern Atlantic States Association for Asian and African Studies. The Humanities Program works in partnership with the University of Virginia and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, to form the NEH-sponsored South Atlantic Humanities Center.

Students who want more information or who want more information about study in the Humanities should consult with Prof. Elizabeth Fine.