College and “College”

LibertyU.jpg

To piggy back on the media coverage following conservative figure Glenn Beck’s unveiling his own pseudo-university, the Huffington Post recently featured a photo essay by Natalie Sudikoff and Ariel Doctoroff looking at colleges started by famous people.

Amusing institutions of higher learning include Bootsy Collins’s Funk University, Fred Turner’s Hamburger University, Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, and Dennis Prager’s Prager University.

While all of these institutions may ultimately be testaments to the vanity of their founders, there’s vanity for education’s sake and then there’s vanity for its own sake.

There is a gigantic difference between something like Hamburger University—which is a management training program for McDonald’s employees and, thus, not a real school at all—and Liberty University, which despite some rather unconventional behavior (image is of Glenn Beck’s books on a rack in the school’s bookstore), is a bona fide college with undergraduate students, real scholars, and an award-winning intercollegiate debate team. [Photo by former Monthly intern Tim Murphy.]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer