Madeleine Deininger - My Stockton Liberal Arts Degree
It’s been many years since I received my Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies degree from then Stockton State College in 1980. Suffice it to say that the opportunity to feast on every little bit of intellectual and academic offering at Stockton that appealed to me between 1976 to1980 was the privilege of a lifetime.
From “Frost, Stevens & Williams”, which explored 3 American poet titans, taught by an up and coming titan poet himself, Stephen Dunn, to all the other classes that I signed up for or “crashed”; Alan Arcuri (political science), Alan Steinberg (physiology), Lew Leitner (Stress/Eustress and, quite separately Statistics which has been very handy over the years), Pathology with Nancy Davis, Psychology with Jean Mercer, BASK Math with Frank Ceretto –interaction with those remarkable, passionate, encouraging professors I had the blessing of studying with, has deeply enriched the rest of my life.
Is this the right moment to mention that I’ve always had a little problem with run-on sentences? Or that I credit the free-wheeling pick-what-you-want-to-study 1970’s Stockton academic menu with having inspired me to always explore the surface and be ready to dive down deep?? No matter, having an option like a Liberal Studies BA degree gave me the opportunity to forage and experiment, to take General Studies classes about subjects I expected to dislike, but ended up loving, to experience and survive failure and appreciate thriving. I ended up applying to MD/PhD programs, as well as MFA creative writing graduate programs, attended Dartmouth Medical School for a year, received a Masters in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth in comparative literature and history, and went on to found a wine importing and brokerage company.
My corpus, text and otherwise, has been dragged and floated through a fully engaging
and fulfilling life to this point – with my absolute thanks to Stockton for providing
an early smorgasbord of Liberal Studies, an all-you-can-eat buffet that was offered
to me in the truest sense of liberal studies.
B.A. Liberal Studies '80
Chair, Stockton University Board of Trustees