Ralston College

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Ralston College
MottoSermo Liber Vita Ipsa
TypeProposed private, liberal arts college
PresidentStephen J. Blackwood
P.O. Box 8302, Savannah, Georgia 31412-8302

Ralston College is a proposed liberal arts college in Savannah, Georgia, United States in its organizational stages. Its goal is the "reinvention of the classical liberal arts college in a form appropriate to our time".[1]

Ralston College was founded on February 1, 2010.[2] It is not yet accepting applications for admission.[1] Its president, Stephen J. Blackwood, is raising funds to launch the college in historic Savannah and has obtained a pledge of buildings for its campus.[3][4]

The college describes itself as "at once both traditional and innovative" and explains that "the standpoint from which it understands contemporary culture is radically discontinuous with the worldview that at this point in history informs most institutions of higher education". The proposed curriculum includes a program of common readings, wherein each year all students are required to read a common set of “supremely difficult” texts. It also declares that its "collegiate culture and student experience will be unlike anything ever seen before, and precisely in order to accomplish this it intends to make judicious if occasional use in a suitably adapted form of many of the distinctive customs that have characterized college life over the centuries".[1][3][5]

Ralston states that it "will not attempt to act in loco parentis" and that "there will be no restriction on freedom of speech". Their motto, "Sermo Liber Vita Ipsa" ("free speech is life itself") was taken from a speech given by Salman Rushdie at Columbia University on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the first amendment.[4]

The patrons of Ralston College are Harold Bloom, Hilary Putnam, and Salman Rushdie.[1]

On March 17, 2011 MindingTheCampus.com, a web magazine that appears under the auspices of the Center for the American University at the Manhattan Institute, published an essay by Harvey Silverglate, a Co-Founder and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, in which he suggests that the advent of Ralston College is reflective of a certain degree of dissatisfaction with what Silverglate sees as the totalitarian and corporatized character of many colleges and universities in the United States.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Home page, Ralston College, retrieved October 8, 2013
  2. "Corporation record for Ralston College, Inc". Georgia Secretary of State. Archived from the original on April 21, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fish, Stanley Eugene (November 8, 2010), The Woe-Is-Us-Books, retrieved March 6, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ralston College, Ralston College, retrieved 2015-11-24
  5. Kimball, Roger (February 22, 2013). "How to Choose a College: A Primer". Arma Virumque. The New Criterion. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  6. Silverglate, Harvey A. (March 17, 2011). "What Characterizes the Modern Totalitarian, Corporatized University?". Minding the Campus. The Center for the American University at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Archived from the original on September 7, 2014. Retrieved March 6, 2013.

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