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How do You Define Humanics? Students Given Chance to Share Their Definition

Justin Felisko


The 2012 Distinguished Professor of Humanics and head women’s basketball coach Naomi Graves has spent the last year analyzing the teacher-coach model in preparation for her Humanics Lecture on April 24. Throughout her research, Graves has focused upon how the Springfield College athletics department and its athletes have embraced and acted as stewards of the Humanics philosophy.

Yet Graves now wants to hear from the rest of the student body. The 21-year coach understands Humanics stems farther than just the athletic realm, and on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 16-17, students will be given the opportunity to share their own personal definition of Humanics.

From 11-2 p.m. in the Richard B. Flynn Campus Union, students can write on a large paper scroll with markers what they believe Humanics means to them personally.

“This is about saying what Humanics means to you,” Graves said. “I am trying to tie together this Humanics theme of stewardship and how all of us have this responsibility of being able to talk about Humanics and define it in our own way.”

Yes, Springfield College defines the Humanics philosophy as, “the education of the whole person—in spirit, mind and body—for leadership in service to humanity,” but it is much more than just that.

“It’s an opportunity for us to voice where we are today in our student body with our personal definition of Humanics,” Graves said. “Some people will say it’s service. Some people will say it’s leadership. Some will say Humanics is treating people with respect. Some people will say it’s about the we and not the me. It’s much bigger than ourselves.”

Graves will then bring the scroll to her Humanics Lecture on April 24, and she also hopes to get the scroll placed in the college’s archives by the end of the year.

However, Graves is not trying to redefine Humanics. This is not about defining the school’s mission and philosophy.

“I’m really not looking for the formal definition,” said this year’s distinguished professor of Humanics. “I’m looking for the ways you do it. What are you taking from here? Service? Community? What does it mean to you? It’s a really open-ended question, and a lot of students don’t know how to answer it.”

“There’s no wrong answer,” Graves added. “For me, sometimes I think Humanics is in the silent actions we have with each other. It’s how we treat people. It’s how we say hi to people on campus.”

The slogan Graves is using as part of her Humanics lecture is “It’s Not About Me. It’s About We.”  Students who choose to share their personal Humanics definition will receive a 2012 Humanics lecture commemorative pin. The pin will feature the slogan with a Springfield College triangle logo demonstrating the individual within a community (see picture).

One of the main points behind Springfield College hosting the Humanics Lecture every year is to celebrate one of the college’s proudest traditions and mission. Hence why Graves wants to try and now incorporate other aspects of the Humanics philosophy into her lecture beyond the teacher-coach model because we are all stewards of Humanics.

“It really is about every department on campus. It’s not just about athletics,” Graves said. “It’s like a spoke on a wheel. The core is Humanics and all of us have this responsibility in each department, school and avenue to foster what we believe in.”

Justin Felisko may be reached at 

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