What do a chess grandmaster, a silent film star, and the first female member of the American Medical Association have in common? They all got their start at our liberal arts college! Members of the Shimer student body and alumni (also called “Shimerians”) are a broadly diverse group of great minds and leaders in a wide range of professional fields.
If you’re interested in liberal arts subjects like philosophy, literature, the social sciences, and the humanities, our small and historic liberal arts college can be the perfect place to hone your craft.
Unsure where your studies might take you? Get inspired by Shimerians who have paved the way for you to succeed in the following fields.
1. Literary Success for Liberal Arts College Grads
It’s no surprise that our “great books college” has produced more than a few successful writers since its founding in 1853. With every graduating class comes its share of skilled writers, poets, and literary minds.
Award-winning poets Stephen J. Dobyns and Peter Cooley are Shimerians, as are noted graphic novelists Cat Yronwode and Mary Wings. Mary’s successful detective fiction series also puts her in the company of prize-winning novelist alumni like John Norman Maclean and Ken Knabb.
2. Shimerian Contributions to Law and Politics
Have political or legal ambitions? Samuel Walker McCall, Redd Griffin, and Senator Morris Rea are early alumni who made their way from Shimer through law school to the political elite. These days, legal scholar Carol S. Bruch and former New York Supreme Court Justice Randolph Jackson keep up the tradition of Shimerians succeeding in law and politics.
On the political activist side of the spectrum, Shimer alumnus C. Clark Kissinger is a longstanding leftist organizer who now runs Revolution Books in New York City. Shimerian Heather Corinna is also a career activist focused on progressive sex-positivity.
3. Forwarding the Field of Applied Sciences
Want to pursue sciences after liberal arts college? Shimer has some illustrious science-minded alumni.
Applying science to the study of aviation was Shimer alumni Neta Snook Southern, the first woman aviator in Iowa and Amelia Earhart’s close mentor and flying instructor.
Shimer also launched the high-flying careers of Roland Winston, known in the solar energy field as the “father of non-imaging optics,” and Jerome Kristian, the theoretical cosmologist who first provided evidence of distant quasar galaxies.
4. Alumni Succeeding in Tech Development & Design
Shimer has long produced leaders who blend creativity and computer science in the technology development and design field.
Nick Pippenger and Dan Sandin are renowned researchers in the fields of theoretical computer science and computer graphics, respectfully. And through alumni Laurie Spiegel, Shimer’s impact on the tech world extends its reach. Laurie’s work in electronic-music algorithmic composition software can be found everywhere from the Hunger Games soundtrack to interstellar space (as precious cargo on NASA’s Voyager 1 Spacecraft).
5. Liberal Arts College Grads and the Medical Field
If you pursue medicine after studying at Shimer, you’ll be in good company. The critical thinking, communication skills, and in-depth readings involved in liberal arts studies prepare Shimer students to succeed in med school and beyond.
From Dr. Sarah Hackett Stevenson, the first female member of the American Medical Association, to Dr. Sydney Z. Spiesel, Yale School of Medicine professor, paediatrician, and regular guest of Slate magazine and NPR podcasts, many successful medical professionals are Shimer alumni.
6. Liberal Arts Studies Impacting Arts & Entertainment
Like many Shimerians, you may be drawn to the fine arts as well as the liberal arts. Our graduates have been known to succeed in theatre, music, painting, singing, and more.
Silent film star Evelyn Greeley, Hollywood golden age actress Beulah Bondi, and modern-day children’s TV host Mia Park all count themselves among Shimer’s alumni. So does Lynda Caspe, a sculptor, painter, and founding member of NYC’s Bowery Gallery.
7. Liberal Arts College Grads Call Academia Home
Shimerians can be found teaching classics, philosophy, political science, and much more as professors emeritus and academic scholars.
From Dr. Robert Keohane (neoliberal institutionalism theorist) to Dr. Elizabeth Vandiver (noted mythology and Latin language expert) professors nationwide are proud to call Shimer their alma mater.
Students who pursue academia beyond graduation may also find a place at the top of the field as college presidents, like Shimerians Dr. Daniel Perlman and Dr. José Aybar.
Are you ready to follow in the footsteps of these great Shimerians?
Visit Shimer to learn more about taking your first liberal arts college courses.