Student Spotlight: Greg Sutherland
Hometown: Sugar Grove
Interests: Honors, Phi Theta Kappa,
Student Leadership Council
It was Greg Sutherland's father, Mark, an Earth Science professor at College of DuPage, who introduced him to philosophy.
"My father took an ethics course and an introduction to philosophy course. He typed study guides after reading and, one evening, I helped him," Sutherland said. "He and I discussed existentialism. The writings intrigued me. The interest was subtle, but my high school Honors English teacher encouraged our class to contemplate and read, and my interests became clearer.
"I formally began studying philosophy in Professor (Kent) Richter's Honors Introduction to Philosophy course at College of DuPage three days after I graduated from high school. I found passion in my studies. My decision was easy and hardly felt like such a thing."
During his time at College of DuPage, Sutherland was president of the Philosophy Club, was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the Honors Scholars Program, and served as the Coordinator of Outreach for the Student Leadership Council. He was the driving force behind the SLC's Commitment to Action for the Clinton Global Initiative University, the first such initiative successfully developed by a community college group.
He also was named one of the two Outstanding Graduates in 2010.
"My professors, field studies, and student clubs and organizations at College of DuPage provided deep, transformational learning experiences," he said.
Sutherland attended the University of Rochester, where he switched majors from philosophy to Russian Studies. In 2011, he spent the summer at Saint Petersburg State University studying Russian and in the fall was admitted to the University of Rochester's Take Five Scholars Program, for which he developed his own academic course of study in Jewish Cultural History and Literature that was distinct from his major but integrated with his coursework. This also means he will stay for a fifth year on scholarship at the University of Rochester.
He had applied for and passed the first national review process for a Fulbright to teach in Kazakhstan but pulled his application in order to continue Russian language study through Take Five. In 2012, he also was invited to join and became a member of St. Anthony Hall, a secretive college literary society at elite colleges in the U.S. During the summer of 2012, he plans to study Russian at the Bryn Mawr Russian Language Institute, a U.S. Flagship Program.
"More poignantly than I could ever express my sentiments relating to all of this, Tennessee Williams wrote in an essay titled 'The Catastrophe of Success,' 'The obsessive interest in human affairs, plus a certain amount of compassion and moral conviction, that first made the experience of living something that must be translated into pigment or music or bodily movement or poetry or prose or anything that's dynamic and expressive -- that's what's good for you if you're at all serious in your aims.'
"William Saroyan wrote a great play on this theme, that purity of heart is the one success worth having. 'In the time of your life--live! That time is short and it doesn't return again. It is slipping away while I write this and while you read it, and the monosyllable of the clock is loss, loss, loss, unless you devote your heart to its opposition.' "
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2012 College of DuPage