The Class of 2018 gathered together today to hear a talk by author and thinker Kwame Anthony Appiah, a key feature of this year’s Welcome Week events. Professor Appiah’s book, The Honor Code, was the common reading assignment over the summer for incoming first-year students, and examines examples of “moral revolutions” that have changed the world.
Prof. Appiah, who teaches philosophy at New York University, said that he hoped the book would help students think about how they can bring about change. “I like working with freshmen because they are intellectually interesting and challenging,” he said. “They’re responsive to new ideas and thoughts about a changing society.”
Danielle Nuetzel, a first-year business student from Forest Hill, Maryland, said that her favorite chapter in The Honor Code was about the imperial Chinese practice of foot-binding, or the painful binding of young girls’ feet to prevent further growth. “It was eye-opening to see how different cultures view the concept of honor and status,” she said.
Prof. Appiah, who later took questions from the packed crowd in the John Cranford Adams Playhouse and signed copies of his book, was introduced by Kathleen Wallace, chair of Hofstra’s Department of Philosophy. Winners of an essay contest about the book were also announced: First place went to biology major Alyssa Wahlstrom, with Dakar Morris, a video/TV major, taking second, and Joshua Metzler, who plans to study biochemistry, winning third place.
Students also heard from Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Herman Berliner, who welcomed them to the campus community, reminded them about Hofstra’s own honor code for academic integrity, and invited them to take advantage of all the University’s resources during their years here.
Photo above: Prof. Appiah answers a student’s question.