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Dr. Peter Kilpatrick of CUA: Considerations for College-Bound Students

Today we talk to Dr. Peter Kilpatrick, President of The Catholic University of America, who offers our graduates advice about how to make the most of college. He shares his thoughts on civic discourse, selecting a major, affording college, and more. In addition, he roots the entire college experience in the bigger quest to know one’s self; but is that possible in a dorm? Our guest today answers emphatically “yes” and makes suggestions about how to advance in this life-long quest. Finally, Dr. Kilpatrick emphasizes the importance of mentorship and human relationship in personal growth, urging students to seek out meaningful connections during their precious and limited undergraduate time.


  • 5:03 Costs of college
  • 6:40 The real purpose of college
  • 8:59 Knowing oneself: asking the ultimate questions
  • 13:09 Pursuit of the professions as a path to knowing oneself
  • 16:04 Financial big picture
  • 22:18 Choosing majors and minors
  • 28:54 Fruits of the spirit as a means of choosing a path of study
  • 33:12 The use of full human reason
  • 41:00 Fostering an integrated sense of reality while in college
  • 44:10 Mentorship and human relationship in a world of AI and self-teaching
  • 49:05 Freedom of speech and earnest inquiry on campus
  • 57:20 Assuming leadership positions on campus
  • 1:01:42 Making the most of residential life


Also on the Forum:

About the Guest

Dr. Peter Kilpatrick

President, The Catholic University of America

Dr. Peter K. Kilpatrick is the 16th President of the Catholic University of America. He was provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Illinois Institute of Technology from 2018 to 2022 and previously served as professor and McCloskey Dean of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame from 2008 to 2018.

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