Great Books Council

Great Books Council

l-r back row Nicolette Connelly, Katelyn Lape, Emma Revels, Benjamin Tomlin. l-r front row Abigail Sikes, Madelyn Furlong, Crystal Klose are a part of the Great Books Council. They post seated and standing in front of a wall of books.
l-r back row Nicolette Connelly, Katelyn Lape, Emma Revels, Benjamin Tomlin. l-r front row Abigail Sikes, Madelyn Furlong, Crystal Klose are a part of the Great Books Council.

The Great Books Honors program is a shining example of academic excellence at Faulkner University, encouraging students to read, write, think, and discuss with purpose.

Andrew Jacobs has been director of the Great Books program in 2015. In 2018, Jacobs created a student-led council that would ultimately help promote and grow the program.

Jacobs said, “We knew we wanted to do something to benefit the students and we wanted to give passionate GB students as much advantage, power, and opportunity so that they could then bless the rest of the students.”

Reflecting on the thriving Great Books Council and the program as a whole he said, “When the program is doing really well, it’s doing well because the students are shining, not necessarily because the faculty is doing anything. The students themselves actually build the best energy and in many ways are more adept at attracting students who would flourish in Great Books.” 

Jacobs is especially grateful for the council’s role in recruiting new students for the program during events such as College Bound and Scholar’s Day.

When asked about the council’s future, Jacobs said, “My biggest hope is that they will be able to aid in the work of strengthening and developing Great Books.”

Every council member does his or her part in contributing to the cultivation of the Great Books program. They work alongside Great Books faculty members to coordinate events. In past semesters, the council has organized movie nights, Christmas parties and trivia night, which encourage opportunities for friendship outside the classroom.

Emma Revels, who is rounding out her second year as president of the Great Books Council, also hopes to foster a strong sense of community within the program.

“The most important thing we can do is make sure we’re supporting the faculty and students as much as we can,” Revels said. “I hope the council continues to cultivate these relationships after we graduate.”

The council implemented and continued to maintain a mentorship program which helps upper-classmen and freshmen develop a bond. Revels encourages students to join. She is especially grateful for each council member and their willingness to serve.

The Great Books Council provides support to honors students by offering encouragement and allowing them to voice new ideas. “We want students, and especially freshmen, to know we’ve been through this, and the reason the council was created was to be a resource for them,” Revels said. “If we can answer students’ questions or if they need to talk or have ideas they’d like to share with us, we’re here to help.” 

Not only is the council an organization that allows members to learn more about leadership and further participate in the Great Books program, but it serves the student-body and leaves a lasting impact. Members work alongside one another as well as the Great Books faculty to improve the program and help create a sense of community. 

Ben Tomlin

As treasurer, I manage all of the council’s funds and budget when we plan our events and promotional endeavors. In the past, I have monitored funds for ventures such as t-shirt orders,  keeping track of who has put in an order and then collecting the funds for the program. 

Being a part of Great Books has certainly been the highlight of my time here at Faulkner. I am so thankful for every opportunity GB has given me to further my excellence both academically and personally. Reading and understanding literature and philosophy initially seems like something that needs to be reached for on your own, but truthfully, with such great leaders and classmates in the program, it’s more like being lifted to greatness. And arriving at such a new level of learning and experience is something for which I’m certainly thankful. Moreover, though, I am grateful for all the wonderful people I have met in the program. If it weren’t for Great Books, I never would have met all of the amazing friends that I have now, and above my academic accomplishments, I treasure each and every one of them.

Benjamin Tomlin, Treasurer
Madelyn Furlon

As vice president, I help the president and preside over Great Books Council meetings in her absence. I’m also the social media coordinator and oversee the Great Books Instagram account, which is a job I especially enjoy.

I’m so thankful I joined Great Books when I came to Faulkner. Not only has it helped me flourish academically, but I found some of my best friends through the program, and we’ve walked through personal and academic challenges with one another. We’ve bonded through late-night texts about authors such as Plato and Hume and have offered encouragement whenever an interpretive essay is due.  Although some of the topics we discuss in class can seem overwhelming and even daunting, the Great Books professors and my classmates have pushed me to ask thoughtful questions and consider opposing viewpoints. We learn to think and argue well, which are skills I’ll carry with me even after I graduate from the program and from Faulkner. My time in Great Books has taught me to aim for becoming a good student but an even better person.

Madelyn Furlong, Vice President