The inspirational people of the IHP experience

Three K.U. professors initiated, in 1971, with the help of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the four-semester integrated humanities program for freshmen and sophomores. Participants came to know and to be known well by all three professors through constant association over a four – semester period. The instructors in the Integrated Humanities Program were three full professors – Nelick (English), Senior (Classics), Quinn (English). Each professor enjoyed a reputation for excellent classroom teaching.  All had received major K.U. teaching awards. Although very different in style and temperament, the professors shared a common vision of life and of education which they were willing to assert, defend, and advocate. They created a genuine intellectual community for their students and helped many students integrate this intellectual life into their life outside the lecture hall.  Their students danced, sang, played, prayed together. Many of them still do.


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Mr. Frank Nelick

Earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, in 1941. He earned his master’s degree in 1947, and his doctorate in 1951, both from the University of Wisconsin, where he was a teaching assistant from 1946 to 1951. In 1951 he moved to the University of Kansas where he retired a professor emeritus of English in 1983. In 1963, he received the H. Bernerd Fink Outstanding Classroom Teacher of the Year award from KU. He was cited from 1951 to 1960 in, “Our Outstanding Teachers” at KU and was nominated for the HOPE Award several times. 


Mr. Quinn

Mr. Dennis Quinn

Earned his doctorate degree in English and comparative literature with a minor in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin in 1958. As a Fulbright Scholar, he did research in Holland, Spain, and with the Ruth Baldwin Children’s Collection at the University of Florida. He came to KU in 1956. Mr. Quinn was a Renaissance literature specialist, but taught a wide range of courses, including Greek, Roman and Medieval classics until he retired in 2006. He had numerous honors, including the H. Bernard Fink Teacher of the Year award and the 1969 HOPE Award from KU. His book, Isis Exiled: A Synoptic History of Wonder was published in 2002. 

Mr. Senior

Mr. John Senior

Received his B.A., M.A, and Ph.D. in the 1940s at Columbia University, studying under Great Books proponent Mark Van Doren. After teaching at Bard College, Hofstra University, Cornell University, and the University of Wyoming, Senior taught English and classics at the University of Kansas from 1967 to 1983. His teaching won him Amoco Award and citation by Esquire magazine as one of America’s fifty best teachers, and the 1975 HOPE Award at the University of Kansas. Senior was a writer and educator, and a prominent advocate of the Great Books, and published several books, including, “The Way Down and Out”, ”The Death of Christian Culture”, “The Restoration of Christian Culture”, and Pale Horse, Easy Rider.”

[ The IHP Brochure, 1974. Calligraphy by Eva Williams ] 

History of IHP 

Nascantur in Admiratione

To revive wonder is the aim of the Integrated Humanities Program.

“Look at the stars! Look,
look up at the skies.”


Not only are students in the Program required to look, literally, at the stars, but they are also expected to look up through poetry and through all that is great in Western civilization. It is by the light of the stars (or ”something like a star”) that we discover the world, ourselves, and our destination.

Words like truth, faith, honorlove, courtesy, decency, simplicity and modesty are Quixotic, and the realities for which these words stand are, in this Iron Age, so Quixotic as to be positively despised by the sophisticated. The Pearson Integrated Humanities Program asserts that such realities are no sentimental “impossible dream,” no crazy anachronism, but rather the objects of an entirely possible dream which is the paradigm of sanity.




These images show how people from
the Integrated Humanities Program have been honored and remembered in the past. Now we want to honor all three professors
and memorialize
the program that
has brought so many to be born in wonder.