The Lyceum exists to provide the Hillsdale College community an opportunity to engage in sustained discussion of serious topics or issues in an extracurricular and interdisciplinary environment, and thus to enrich and energize the atmosphere of learning at Hillsdale College and facilitate the pursuit of truth in the context of an intellectually vibrant community.
Named after the gymnasium where Aristotle taught (which itself was named for its proximity to the temple of Apollo, god of music, virtue, culture, and healing), the Lyceum is an association of students who desire to deepen their friendship in the common pursuit of great questions, both classical and contemporary.
To this end, it is dedicated to providing a regular forum for discussions, debates, and lectures on those questions, hoping to deepen awareness on what it means to be citizens and human beings.
The Lyceum operates in collaboration with a national organization, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), with whose assistance we host professor forums, guest speakers, and book discussions.
One of the major events sponsored by the group is the Liberal Arts Friday Forum (LAFF). One LAFF is held each semester, typically the Friday afternoon of Parents Weekend beginning at 4:00 p.m. The format of LAFF consists of three 12-minute presentations on a given question or topic, followed by three three-minute responses from each panelist, and concluding with moderated discussion from the audience until 5:15 p.m. Discussions are moderated by a member of the Lyceum.
The purpose of LAFF is to provide the Hillsdale College community an opportunity to engage in sustained discussion of serious topics or issues in an extracurricular and interdisciplinary environment, and thus to enrich and energize the atmosphere of learning at Hillsdale College and better help it to fulfill its mission. The LAFF is not a debate. It is a mutual pursuit of truth. All participants are expected to exhibit virtues of civility and respect.
Professor forums/lunches and guest speakers are advertised and open to the general public; additionally, book discussions and ISI conferences are open to students who become ISI members.