In Pursuit of Humanity
Jacksonville University ’ s Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts & Humanities Celebrates Continuous Evolution During its 60th Anniversary Season
In the fall of 1958 , a young humanities professor named Dr . Frances Bartlett Kinne came to Jacksonville for a onemonth teaching engagement at Jacksonville University . Three years later , she became founding Dean of the Jacksonville University College of Fine Arts , bringing to life the advice she often gave students to “ go out and make the world a better place .” Dr . Kinne served as Dean of the College until her appointment as President of Jacksonville University in 1979 , and remains ever a steadfast supporter of the College , even beyond her death in 2020 , at age 102 , through her bequests .
Celebrating its 60th Anniversary Season in 2021-22 , the Jacksonville University Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts & Humanities has grown to be a beacon of arts and culture in the Southeast , attracting students who have gone on to win Tony Awards on Broadway and Emmy Awards on television , earn recognition in the visual arts , choreography , dance and composition , and make enormous contributions to their communities .
One such community-focused alumna , Jacksonville ’ s own Linda Berry Stein , along with her husband David Stein , in 2018 , made a multi-year , multi-million-dollar naming gift , among the largest investments in the University ’ s 84-year history . That transformative gift launched the Stein College to a new level of student support and recognition , all the more fitting given that Ms . Stein was a student of Dean Kinne .
Given the pace of global expansion over the past six decades , the students , faculty and staff of the Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts & Humanities are no strangers to performing and creating during times of change . In many cases , they ’ re the best-suited to weather the uncertainty of global upheaval — a strength that was fully on display during the COVID-19 pandemic . As Dean Tim Snyder emphasizes , “ Artists have always responded to cataclysmic paradigm shifts with transformative art methods , modes , languages , and conversations . History teaches us that these moments of unrest , of quick change , lead to innovation .”
The Stein College innovated quickly at the onset of the pandemic in 2020 , pivoting to all-online teaching over the course of one week in March and then assimilating databased recommendations from world-class arts institutions into their reopening plan to safely return to in-person learning in the fall .
And now , as we collectively , cautiously step into a version of the “ new normal ,” the Stein College is evolving yet again , as the University reimagines its academic offerings to further meet the demands in the marketplace — both from future students and from their future employers and partners . The Stein College , with its School of Performing Arts and School of Art & Design , now includes the School of Humanities , with majors in English , Languages or Philosophy and minors in Humanities , Writing , Women ’ s and Gender Studies , as well as Medical Humanities . Building on the critical thinking skills and language mastery cultivated within the humanities , the College is also offering a certificate in Editing .
Asked why the humanities are such a natural fit with the fine arts , Dean Snyder emphasizes , “ We ’ re talking about the definition of the humanities in the broadest sense : the study of what makes us human . The scholarly inquiry into culture , language , philosophy and the investigation of human nature . The desire of all people to express themselves , to reflect on their environment and their human condition , is foundational to what it means to be an artist .”
www . ju . edu / steincollege 4