Saturday, September 02, 2006

Chesterton University

My oldest niece has just gone off the her first year of college. The first of the grandchildren. This is a momentous occasion.

If you've got young people in your life going off to college, consider giving them the Chesterton University Student Handbook.

From the intro:

"At Chesterton University all subjects are taught and all things considered. This is essential not only at the university, but elsewhere. There is no such thing as an uninteresting subject. In order to avoid the pitfalls of specialization, that is, knowing more and more about less and less, we advocate generalization, that is, knowing at least a little about a lot. In order to achieve academic excellence, the University directs students (and their parents, and everyone else) to study the Great Books. Conveniently, all of the Great Books were written by G.K. Chesterton, after whom the University is named."

Chesterton University is a great concept, yet to be realized physically at a campus, but one that gets people's attention. Whenever I wear my CU sweatshirt, I invariably get asked, "Chesterton University, where's that?"

And the answer is, in his books. Read the books. Oh, and at


  1. I used the Chesterton University student handbook a lot during my junior and senior years at Lawrence University. Whenever I needed a good quote I could always turn to the handbook to help me out.

  2. I got a couple of "where's Chesterton U?" questions, too. The shirt has now retired from normal wearing.

  3. Has anyone gotten questions on what the Latin inscriptions mean? Those would really throw people for a loop.

  4. Yes, I have. What do they mean?

  5. Mrs. B,

    OT- but it does have to do with a book...

    Your Father Brown study guide is now available from our library system- your call# is 823.912 Bro- my supervisor got it done for you- finally!:)

    Congrats! If you need more info on how to look it up, send me an email.

    Thanks for your patience!

  6. Nancy, both are famous Chesterton quotes. One is, "Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly" and the other is, "A thing worth doing is worth doing badly."


  7. Just in case you cannot magnify the pictures well enough to read the Latin, here they are:

    1. Angeli volant quod se parvi pendere possunt. [Cf. Orthodoxy CW1:325]

    As "Chestertonian" indicated this is intended to be the famous "two-can" quote, but he omitted the second; the Latin omits the first.

    2. Si aliquid fieri valet, valet fieri male. [Cf. CW4:199]

  8. Thanks for the Latin, Dr.

    The second "can" in the quote grates on me, so I usually omit it. :-p


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