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Responsibilities of an Education Discussed

Responsibilities of an Education Discussed
Denis McDonough, senior principal at the Markle Foundation and chair of its Rework America Task Force, was the keynote speaker for the inaugural Humanities in Action Lecture. From left: Denis McDonough and University President Scott R. Pilarz, S.J.

During the inaugural Humanities in Action Lecture, the former chief of staff to President Barack Obama reminded students of the value — and responsibility — that come with a four-year college degree. The lecture was sponsored by the Gail and Francis Slattery Center for Humanities.

The conversation with Denis McDonough, senior principal at the Markle Foundation and chair of its Rework America Task Force, was titled “From the White House to the Work Force.”

Because technology will, in the future, perform more and more tasks humans now perform, and only 34 percent of the U.S. workforce has a college degree, he urged students to care for the underserved, as their Jesuit education teaches them.

“Perhaps the most Ignatian of all,” he said, “is that you have the responsibility, outfitted and armed with the armor that this place gives you, to take care of this country, to take care of the world and to take care of the most vulnerable.”

McDonough, who served as White House chief of staff for President Obama from February 2013 to January 2017, also reminded students to vote, noting that only 23 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds voted in the 2016 election.

“That’s a travesty,” he said. “The first responsibility you have as citizens of this great democracy is to vote.”

Read more, here.

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