The Senior Symposium is an academic tradition at the University of Lynchburg that brings significant texts, questions, and ideas to bear on various contemporary issues. Students meet weekly to listen to a public lecture, then participate in small group discussions.
Established in 1976, Senior Symposium is required of all students for graduation, except for Westover Honors students who may choose it as one of their optional seminars. It is offered in the fall, spring, and summer sessions to students who have accumulated at least 86 credit hours.
Senior Symposium Components
Each week the assigned readings will provide at least one perspective on a topic. Students are encouraged to challenge or confirm the validity of the perspective(s).
On Mondays, all class sections meet together in the Memorial Ballroom of Hall Campus Center to hear a lecture on a topic that relates to the weekly reading assignment.
On Wednesdays, students meet in their smaller groups to discuss and debate the issue at hand. Students lead these discussions.
Weekly writing assignments enable students to demonstrate their ability to establish, support, and organize their thoughts in written form using references from the reading(s), and lecture.
Symposium Readings Courses
Symposium readings are also used in classes. Most majors include at least one LCSR course, and students may encounter these texts in their freshman through senior years.
An “LCSR course” is a regular University of Lynchburg course in which at least 20 percent of the grade is based on written and oral communication related to reading assignments from the University of Lynchburg Symposium Readings. These assignments will vary by class and may be closely linked to the major, or they may be interdisciplinary as they draw from other disciplines to address issues.
The LCSR program encourages:
- interdisciplinary study
- students to read from, to write, and to speak about the classics in the context of contemporary society throughout their 4 years
- students to take responsibility for their learning
- an atmosphere of shared learning within the College and beyond, therein fostering an academic climate conducive to teaching and learning
The Agora, an on-line publication of University of Lynchburg specializing in student responses to the great books, has become a national journal of undergraduate academic writing for institutional members of the Association for Core Texts in Courses (ACTC).