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April 6, 2017

New Institute in Hyde Park to Provide Programs for U of C Students

In the coming months, the recently-founded Hyde Park Institute will host a number of events and lectures focused on helping students lead more fulfilling and disciplined lives. 

The Institute’s principal goal is to help participants improve their personal integrity so that they are able to define what they want from life and have the necessary tools to achieve those goals. In order to help the University’s student body accomplish this, the Institute will host seminars, lectures, and various events throughout the upcoming year. 

On May 27, the Institute will host a two-part seminar focusing on character-building that will feature three guest speakers. The seminar will revolve around what constitutes personal character and methods people can use to further develop their character. 

“It’s really about helping people think about the question: ‘What makes for a happy, meaningful life?’” Executive Director Jim Palos said. “[T]hen we identify faculty who have that same concern…and with those faculty, develop courses, programs, or seminars around that question.” 

Palos was eager to establish a partnership here on campus. Students are already transformed into mature individuals—the Institute will only assist in fully developing that transformation, he said. Palo stressed that education should be viewed from a holistic perspective, both in terms of personal development and the opportunity to gain factual knowledge.  

The events hosted by the Institute will primarily be led by UChicago professors, in addition to select guest speakers. The natures of the programs will vary according to the preferences of the directing faculty. Thus, Palos said, the Institute will sponsor a seminar, lecture, or immersive field trip depending on the academic field of the directing professor. In order to most effectively connect with their audience, full discretion will be given to the professors who lead the events, he explained. 

“A university is an ideal place to form a person…and I think universities are very focused on the development of the mind. But sometimes the broader purpose of forming a human being gets lost,” Palos said. “Part of what we want to do at Hyde Park Institute is bring that part of the mission of a university—forming men and women—to the forefront.” 

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