Under the Banner of 'Civility,' Campus Programs Find Different Paths

But benefits to students and others are hard to measure

Under the Banner of 'Civility,' Campus Programs Find Different Paths 2

Rob Carr, AP Images

Pier M. Forni, a literature professor at the Johns Hopkins U. and author of two widely read books on civility, believes that his role as a teacher includes imparting the importance of kindness.

Pier M. Forni's epiphany about civility came in the mid-1990s while he was delivering a lecture on The Divine Comedy.

Gazing across the faces of his students at the Johns Hopkins University, Mr. Forni realized that, far more than wanting them to know about Dante, he wanted them to be kind human beings. They might know every detail of the nine circles of Hell, but if they mistreated an elderly woman on a bus, he told his students, he would be a failure as a teacher.

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