Starting Monday, May 7, our seniors will present their theses in the Lyceum (Senior Thesis Schedule). The Senior Thesis is the most important academic activity on our campus and is the capstone of a Geneva School of Boerne education. Each thesis is years in the forming and requires many hours of preparation. The thesis presentation begins with a twenty minute memorized speech followed by another twenty minute defense of the argument before a panel of judges.
A Geneva senior is trained to use the art of rhetoric in order to convince the listener to accept her or his proposition. This requires the rhetorical means of persuasion – logos (the truthfulness of what is being said), pathos (the emotional importance of what is being said), and ethos (the confidence that can be placed in the speaker).
Our seniors will tell you that thesis preparation and presentation are not easy. And yet, in the near future (perhaps this fall after they have settled into college), many if not all of this class of graduates will attest to the benefits that come from the experience. We conduct Senior Thesis in order to move our students toward realization of the school’s Portrait of a Graduate.
Through rhetoric training and thesis preparation, we hope to equip our students to be “humble, articulate and winsome in their speech.” This is both a Christian ideal (consider Luke 6:45b, “for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks”) as well as a classical ideal (consider Cato the Elder’s “The good man speaking well”).
Please join me in encouraging our seniors as they complete the final task in their Geneva education. Also, please note that while all thesis presentations are open to the public, some topics may not be suitable for young children.