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For the Common GoodA New History of Higher Education in America$
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Charles Dorn

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452345

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452345.001.0001

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“To Promote More Effectually the Grand Interests of Society”

“To Promote More Effectually the Grand Interests of Society”

Catholic Higher Education in the Mid-Atlantic

(p.51) 3 “To Promote More Effectually the Grand Interests of Society”
For the Common Good

Charles Dorn

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on Georgetown College, the founding of which seems characterized by a collection of inconsistencies. The most intriguing incongruity associated with Georgetown's establishment is that although the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church founded the institution to educate young men to enter religious life—in essence, to prepare them for seminary—the college practiced religious tolerance and admitted students from a variety of Christian denominations. Consequently, few graduates entered the priesthood. As for the institution's educational purpose, the first prospectus declared a dedication to advancing the common good. The most compelling aspect of Georgetown's prospectus is the way it asserted the institution's commitment to advancing the public good through promoting “the grand interests of society.” Manifesting the same social ethos of civic-mindedness, its officials aimed to educate graduates who would better society through their life pursuits.

Keywords:   Georgetown College, Jesuit order, Roman Catholic Church, religious life, seminary, religious tolerance, priesthood, common good, civic-mindedness

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