“In an era when careerism dominates the campus, is it too much to expect students to go beyond their private interests, learn about the world around them, develop a sense of civic and social responsibility, and discover how they can contribute to the common good?”

— Ernest L. Boyer Sr., “A College of Quality” (1988)

Throughout his life and career, Ernest L. Boyer Sr. embodied a commitment to the common good. As an educator, he believed that a concern for the common good was rooted in a meaningful education — an education that, as the quotation above indicates, drew students beyond themselves and their interests toward a broader vision of civic life and the wellbeing of all society.

This digital exhibit, produced by the Ernest L. Boyer Center Archives at Messiah College, explores Boyer’s educational commitment to the common good. On the following pages, you will discover the roots of Boyer’s concern for social engagement and the many ways in which he called students, faculty, university administrators, politicians, philanthropists, and others to embrace a vision of holistic education centered on deep learning, civic responsibility, and a concern for the common good. Each page of the exhibit highlights an item — drawn from different periods of Boyer’s life, from childhood to his final years at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching — and explains how the item illustrates Boyer’s lifelong commitment.

Navigate through the exhibit using the buttons at the bottom of each page, or by clicking on the Chapters button at the left.

This exhibit was produced by the staff at the Ernest L. Boyer Center at Messiah College, using materials from the Ernest L. Boyer Center Archives.

NOTE: This exhibit is a work in progress. Additions, corrections, and updates will be made periodically. To recommend a change or correction, please contact boyercenter@messiah.edu. 

Introduction to the Exhibit >