Lyman Briggs College

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Lyman Briggs College
Michigan State University logo.png
Location East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Named for Lyman James Briggs
DeanMichele H. Jackson
Undergraduates1900 (approximate)
Website Lyman Briggs College Website

The Lyman Briggs College (LBC) is a residential college located at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, United States. Established as a residential college in 1967, Lyman Briggs was a residential school within the College of Natural Sciences from 1981 to 2007, and returned to residential college status in 2007. [1]

A residential college is a division of a university that places academic activity in a community setting of students and faculty, usually at a residence and with shared meals, the college having a degree of autonomy and a federated relationship with the overall university. The term residential college is also used to describe a variety of other patterns, ranging from a dormitory with some academic programming, to continuing education programs for adults lasting a few days. In some parts of the world it simply refers to any organized on-campus housing, an example being University of Malaya.

Michigan State University Public research university in East Lansing, Michigan, United States

Michigan State University (MSU) is a public research university in East Lansing, Michigan. MSU was founded in 1855 and served as a model for land-grant universities later created under the Morrill Act of 1862. The university was founded as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, one of the country's first institutions of higher education to teach scientific agriculture. After the introduction of the Morrill Act, the college became coeducational and expanded its curriculum beyond agriculture. Today, MSU is one of the largest universities in the United States and has approximately 563,000 living alumni worldwide.

East Lansing, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

East Lansing is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan directly east of Lansing, the state capital. Most of the city is within Ingham County, with the rest in Clinton County. The population was 48,579 at the 2010 census, an increase from 46,420 in 2000. It is best known as the home of Michigan State University. It is part of the Lansing–East Lansing metropolitan area.


Purpose and history

The college is named in honor of Lyman James Briggs, who attended Michigan State Agricultural College from 1889 to 1893.

Lyman James Briggs American engineer

Lyman James Briggs was an American engineer, physicist and administrator. He was a director of the National Bureau of Standards during the Great Depression and chairman of the Uranium Committee before America entered the Second World War. The Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University is named in his honor.

Lyman Briggs College addresses the modern dilemma described by C. P. Snow's "Two Cultures" by educating STEM students in the natural sciences as well as the humanities and social sciences, effectively attempting to create a curriculum of "liberal sciences." Science classes offered by LBC include chemistry, biology, physics, and math, and classes in the history, philosophy, and sociology of science. All of these classes reveal science's relationship with society, literature, history, and philosophy. Smaller class sizes allow for more interaction with professors, and LBC professors are leaders in discipline-based education research (DBER) and the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL).

C. P. Snow British writer

Charles Percy Snow, Baron Snow, CBE was a novelist and English physical chemist who also served in several important positions in the British Civil Service and briefly in the UK government. He is best known for his series of novels known collectively as Strangers and Brothers, and for The Two Cultures, a 1959 lecture in which he laments the gulf between scientists and "literary intellectuals".

<i>The Two Cultures</i> Science lecture

The Two Cultures is the first part of an influential 1959 Rede Lecture by British scientist and novelist C. P. Snow. Its thesis was that "the intellectual life of the whole of western society" was split into two cultures – the sciences and the humanities – which was a major hindrance to solving the world's problems.

Discipline-based education research (DBER) is an interdisciplinary research enterprise that "investigates learning and teaching in a discipline [normally from the STEM fields] from a perspective that reflects the discipline's priorities, worldview, knowledge, and practices."

Lyman Briggs College is located in Holmes Hall (named for founder John Clough Holmes), the largest residence hall on campus. Many of the over 1250 students in the residence hall are members of LBC. Many of the students in the Lyman Briggs program intend to pursue careers in medicine, but there are a variety of other programs that are supported by Lyman Briggs. In all, there are over 30 coordinate majors, from human biology to computer sciences. LBC also has the unique distinction of being one of the few major schools to allow undergraduate students to assist in the classroom as "Learning Assistants." Learning Assistants run supervised recitations and labs in chemistry, biology, math, and physics.

John Clough Holmes American academic

John Clough Holmes was responsible for the establishment of Michigan State University. As the co-founder of the Michigan State Agricultural Society, John Clough Holmes spearheaded the movement to build an agriculture college in Michigan. Holmes Hall, the home of the Lyman Briggs College, is named in his honor.

Lyman Briggs College was made a school (i.e., a sub-unit) of the College of Natural Sciences in 1981 when the university was experiencing significant financial stress, with a name change to Lyman Briggs School of Science. In 2007, the school went through the formal process of regaining its status as a residential college, "in time for the school's 40th anniversary in the fall [of 2007]." [2] The proposal to change its status was unanimously approved by the Faculty Council on April 10, 2007, presented to the Academic Council on April 17, 2007, [3] and approved by the MSU Board of Trustees on June 15, 2007. The school's director, Elizabeth H. Simmons, was appointed dean and served through academic year 2016-2017. Mark Largent served as interim dean for academic year 2017-2018. Michele H. Jackson was appointed Dean on June 22, 2018.

Elizabeth H. Simmons is an American theoretical physicist, a distinguished professor of physics at Michigan State University, the Dean of Lyman Briggs College, and the Associate Provost for Faculty and Academic Staff Development. She has also held positions at Harvard University and Boston University. Simmons is married to fellow physicist, R. Sekhar Chivukula. Together they have two children.

LBC partners with the James Madison College (JMC) and the MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in the Science, Technology, Environment, and Public Policy specialization, which is based in JMC and offers a minor. LBC also partners with MSU's College of Arts and Letters to host the Bioethics minor.

Relation to other MSU residential colleges

The James Madison College at Michigan State University was founded in the same year on the same principle of residential college, but in the area of public policy, political theory, and the liberal arts. Madison and Briggs Colleges collaborate with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in offering an undergraduate specialization in Science, Technology, the Environment, and Public Policy (STEPPS). Students in the two colleges enjoy friendly competition through the annual fall Canoe Race and spring Olympics.

James Madison College

James Madison College is a college of public affairs within Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, USA. It was founded in 1967, "with a vision of creating a residential college merging the best attributes of a small college with an undergraduate education focusing on public affairs and firmly rooted in liberal arts"; the college was named after James Madison in honor of his role in writing the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and The Federalist Papers. Originally considered experimental, the college has since come to be recognized as among the best in the nation.

Public policy is the principled guide to action taken by the administrative executive branches of the state with regard to a class of issues, in a manner consistent with law and institutional customs.

In fall 2007, Michigan State opened a new Residential College in the Arts and Humanities. RCAH is collaborating with Madison and Briggs Colleges on a 21st Century Chautauqua, co-sponsored by the American Association of Colleges and Universities.

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  1. Michigan State University Newsroom - MSU board approves naming of Lyman Briggs College Archived 2007-06-20 at the Wayback Machine .
  2. Harbison, Sarah (2007-04-04). "Lyman Briggs may go back to college status". The State News. Retrieved 2007-04-04.
  3. Harbison, Sarah (2007-04-13). "Lyman Briggs School moves one step closer to college status". The State News. Retrieved 2007-04-20.