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Summer Intensive Orientation

We all need to find who we are and how we fit into the world.

―Yo-Yo Ma, Cellist

The journey begins in the pristine Centennial Valley, Montana, where scholars are immersed in an intensive 4-day orientation to the Humanities at the Taft-Nicholson Environmental Humanities Center.

In this setting, scholars commence the year-long process of exploration and inquiry, beginning with self-reflection and broadening to their natural surroundings and beyond. Framed by a broad theme, Humanities Scholars invites scholars to delve into the personal, environmental and societal issues impacting our world today, identifying topics to be considered throughout their year together.

Taft-Nicholson Center
Pictures and student highlights from previous years


"Before coming to the Taft-Nicholson Center my idea of the world was vague. I was nervous about what to expect from this trip. Would I actually connect with my fellow humanities scholars? What would I do on this trip? Why was it vital that I attend this trip? All of the questions I had about the valley were answered, and seemed irrelevant to be asked in the first place."

―Kela Bernesser, Humanities Scholar


"When one views the valley for the first time, they will scroll through their library of accumulated words, searching for the perfect description of the scene. But soon they will find there are no words."

― Seattle Shakur, Humanities Scholar


"Before I saw the sun spill across the horizon and onto Swan Lake, I thought all nature was the same. And to  my suprise, this was not the case. Centennial Valley allowed me to see who I was before I traveled there. I was blind to the little things, which there were many of, and these little things were very important."

―Jareth Archer, Humanities Scholar


"The Centennial Valley is almost far too quiet for its vastness, a feature that has the natural influence to entice curiousity. The unfamiliarity that accompanied my first impression of the Centennial Valley and the Taft-Nicholson Center only added to the eagerness of beginning a new experience, or as I prefer to call it, a new adventure."

―Nikolina Pajic, Humanities Scholar

Last Updated: 1/15/19