Classes start on Monday. The students arrived on campus on Saturday morning and the Freshmen Ashbrook Scholars and their parents came up for lunch on Saturday, and we had our seminar on Churchill’s My Early Life, which they read over the Summer, on Saturday night. And on Sunday afternoon, Professors Foster and Sikkenga led a seminar on the essays they wrote on the book. We had a picnic, and then an organizational meeting of all the Ashbrook Scholars. There are twenty-seven Freshmen Ashbrooks, the largest Freshman class we have ever had. There are now a total of seventy-four Ashbrook Scholars. The program has doubled in size in the last five years. We have had more excellent applicants to choose from; they are strong in their virtues. I look forward to working with all of them and have reason to think "That honor which shall...make us heirs of all eternity...Our court shall be a little academe, Still and contemplative in living art." (Love’s Labor’s Lost, I,i,6)
The Freshman class will read the following with me this semester: Xenophon, The Education of Cyrus; Aristotle, The Politics (selected sections); Machiavelli, The Prince; John Locke, The Second Treatise of Government(selected sections); Richard Rodriguez, Hunger of Memory; Paul Johnson, Napoleon; and Shakespeare, Henry V. Virtus probata florescit.