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King University News :: Author Andrew Delbanco to Speak at King University on Dec. 4

BRISTOL, Tenn. Oct. 30, 2014 – On Dec. 4, King University and the Buechner Institute will welcome Harvard graduate Andrew Delbanco to the 2014-15 Buechner Institute Lecture Series. Delbanco will be giving a lecture at King University’s Student Center Board Room at 7:00 p.m. The event is co-sponsored by the Bristol Herald Courier.

The lecture will focus on his book “College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be.” The book is this year's required read for both the freshman and transfer seminar classes at King University, and will also be read across the greater King community. 

Delbanco’s “College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be” tackles the pressing concerns about the value of a college education today.  From his vivid historical description of how the idea of college came about in the colonial period, to the unique strengths of America's colleges in our era, Delbanco writes eloquently and passionately about teaching and the acquisition of knowledge. Acknowledging the serious financial, intellectual, and ethical challenges that all colleges face today, Delbanco considers what is at stake in the urgent effort to protect these venerable institutions for future generations.

“In college, a time for young adults between adolescence and adulthood, students are given an opportunity to reflect who they are and how they want to make a meaningful life in the world,” said Delbanco, in an interview with Princeton. “I wrote the book to introduce people to an idea that they believe they understand, but don’t understand as well as they might.”

“Delbanco is a voice of reason in an age where extremes sometimes seem to dominate,” said Dr. Shannon Harris, chair of King’s Department of History and Political Science.  “As a teacher, he believes education should develop students as whole persons; college, for him, should be a time when students ‘may still be deterred from sheer self-interest toward a life of enlarged sympathy and civic responsibility.’”

Harris added, “In his scholarship, Delbanco is trying to get us to live up to the best ideals. Whether engaging with deep questions about what should be, or explaining how Captain Ahab from ‘Moby Dick’” is like Osama bin Ladin, Delbanco opens the world and his readers to the big questions of life. He invites us into a conversation about what matters and why, with beauty and profundity.”

Andrew Delbanco will speak on his book “College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be” at 7 p.m. at the King University Student Center Board Room on Dec. 4. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit or contact Dr. Shannon Harris, coordinator of the Buechner Institute, at or 423-652-4836.


King University is a Presbyterian, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.