Tools for Life

An article appearing in the Chronicle of Higher Education on February 5, 2012, states:  

The problems that today’s college-going generation will face in the future are enormous—and the stagnant economy is just the beginning. Climate change,
fossil-fuel constraints, rotting infrastructure, collapsing ecosystems, and resource scarcities all loom large. Meeting those challenges will require both abstract and practical knowledge.1

The liberal arts encompass all the areas of study required for free persons to live a meaningful life and contribute to society. Implicit in the notion of the liberal arts is the idea that without the necessary intellectual foundation of knowledge, reason, and judgment, people cannot be truly free. As a liberal arts institution, Hartwick College strives to provide our community with the tools they require to thrive as free – and free-thinking – global citizens.

To respond effectively to the challenges ahead, the liberal arts must also nurture the development of tools that enhance practical life skills, engage in hands-on problem-solving, and encourage individual and community self-sufficiency. Hartwick College, with its Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum and experiential learning emphasis, is uniquely positioned to merge theory with practice and to equip our community with practical tools necessary to improve the human condition and natural world.

During the 2012-2013 academic year, The Tools for Life Campus Theme will engage the Hartwick College community in a multidisciplinary, experiential, and co-curricular involvement in the following questions:

  • What knowledge, skills, and abilities do we need to face the challenges of today and tomorrow? 
  • How can we practice self-sufficiency in relation to what we eat, how we get around, where we get our energy, and how we live?
  • In what ways can we, as an inclusive and free-thinking community, use the tools for life to improve ourselves and society? 

For more information on the 2012-2013 campus theme, or to get involved, email To learn more about applying for funding for your campus theme program, visit the campus theme Request for Proposals page.




1. Carlson, S. The Future of American Colleges May Lie, Literally, in Students' Hands. Chronicle Of Higher Education [serial online]. February 10, 2012; 58 (23): B6-B9. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed July 31, 2012.