Eric Johnson: #CarolinaLove

What do you value/love about Carolina?

My love for Carolina is in the same category as my love for America: a set of impossibly idealistic aspirations, rarely achieved but always worth striving toward. I think it’s an absolute miracle that a deeply impoverished southern state built this place, sustained it for two centuries, and continues to support it today. It’s miraculous that any society has managed to build and celebrate institutions purpose-built to question orthodoxy and encourage free thinking. “There is a vast educational culture in this country, unlike anything else in the world,” writes Marilynne Robinson. “It emerged from a glorious sense of the possible and explored and enhanced the possible through the spread of learning.”

What do you value/love that?

That’s what I feel when I walk across campus at Carolina — a glorious sense of the possible. Public universities, Robinson says, ”are a tribute and an invitation to the young, who can and should make the world new, out of the unmapped and unbounded resource of their minds.” That invitation is still very much open, and not just to the young.

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