April 23, 2016
Annapolis is blessed. How many other places of its size can say they are home to not one but two great institutions of higher learning that — in contrasting ways — strengthen American culture?
The Naval Academy, year after year and decade after decade, inculcates leadership by linking knowledge with duty, honor, patriotism and teamwork. Meanwhile, St. John's College — a liberal arts institution par excellence — insists on the importance of direct and collaborative study of the foundational works of Western civilization, from Homer through Alexis de Toqueville.
Naval Academy superintendents rotate in and out in a few years. But at St. John's, Christopher B. Nelson has been president for a quarter-century, perhaps long enough for his leadership both at the college and in the community — he has been a valued member of many local commissions, boards and committees — to be taken for granted.