Project Pericles is a not-for-profit organization that encourages and facilitates commitments by colleges and universities to include education for social responsibility and participatory citizenship as an essential part of their education programs, in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community.
The program was founded upon the basic principles established during the 5 th century BCE by the Athenian leader, Pericles, that every citizen is responsible for contributing to society through both service and leadership.
In 1999, Eugene Lang recognized that Americans were putting less emphasis on the importance of civic engagement, especially among the younger generations; and he realized that colleges and universities had the potential to revitalize Pericles’ vision. Over the next two years, a framework within which colleges and universities could commit to providing education with an emphasis on civic and social responsibility was established.
A Periclean institution is selected by their commitment to making social responsibility a fundamental part of their curriculum. That commitment is reflected through their classroom interaction, impact on campus, and contributions to the community. Each selected institution chooses a focus for their program that is congruent with their individual character, resources, and traditions. In 2003, the program was inaugurated and ten carefully selected colleges and universities were invited to become Project Pericles affiliates. The founding members include:
Allegheny College ( Meadville, PA), Bethune-Cookman College ( Daytona Beach, FL), Elon University ( Elon, NC), Hampshire College ( Amherst, MA), Macalester College ( St. Paul, MN), New England College ( Henniker, NH), Pace University ( New York, NY), Pitzer College ( Claremont, CA), Swarthmore College ( Swarthmore, PA), Ursinus College ( Collegeville, PA)
Nine other colleges and universities that have since become affiliated with the Project Pericles program include:
Berea College ( Berea, KY), Chatham College ( Pittsburgh, PA), Dillard University ( New Orleans, LA), Hendrix College ( Conway, AR), New School University ( New York, NY), Occidental College ( Los Angeles, CA), Rhodes College ( Memphis, TN), St. Mary’s College of Maryland (St. Mary’s City, MD), Wagner College ( Staten Island, NY), Widener University ( Chester, PA)