Cathedral Builders

Have you
ever been curious about Olin's origins?

Check
out this article from the ripe old year of 1998:

http://www.highereducation.org/crosstalk/ct0198/news0198-bricklayers.shtml

 It gives a ton of insight as to how the idea
for Olin came about, and the ways in which we sought to be different (from Day
1!) in order to set ourselves apart from typical engineering education.

When I
first came to Olin and was spending a few days reading all of the promotional
material that we had in the office, I came across a line that, amidst all of
the data to remember and numerical breakdowns, made me stop short. It was a quote
from Marshall Lih, director of the National Science Foundation's division of
engineering education, and it said:

 "Most
American colleges and universities educate engineers to become the equivalent
of bricklayers, rather than cathedral builders."

 

In my
few short months at Olin, this quote has continued to resonate with me. It
reminds me why I work in the Office of Admission, why we have such a unique
application process, and why we actively seek out the kind of students that
attend Candidates Weekend and then are eventually admitted. We aren't simply a
school of engineering. We are so much more than that. What we do here at Olin
is so much bigger than that.

Of course, there isn't a single institution without its
setbacks and difficulties on campus, and I'm aware of Olin's shortcomings
(though I believe there are only a handful!). But I'm here, working in this
office, because I believe in what we're doing. I believe that we're educating
students who will, with all
certainty, go out and change the world. They're going to be leaders. They're
going to be cathedral builders.

 

cathedralbuilder.jpg

Build cathedrals. Like these guys. Only with less conspicuous robes.

Acceptance
letters go out at the beginning of next week, and after that, the process is
essentially done.  I believe so strongly
in each of the students that we're offering acceptance to. I believe in their
abilities, and I believe that the Olin College environment is going to enable
them to flourish. I truly can't wait to see what you're all capable of.

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