Kimberly Kay Hoang to deliver Aims of Education address to first-year students

An annual UChicago tradition, address spotlights the broader meaning and value of education

The Aims of Education address is a foundational University of Chicago tradition, giving first-year students the opportunity to hear from a distinguished faculty member about the broader meaning and value of a liberal arts education in a way that reflects the University’s commitment to intellectual inquiry, debate, and engagement with profound questions.

This year’s speaker will be Assoc. Prof. Kimberly Kay Hoang, who will deliver her remarks from Rockefeller Chapel beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23. Her speech will be streamed on Facebook Live and on the UChicago News website.

An award-winning sociologist and recipient of the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching , Hoang is the director of global studies at the University and the author of Dealing in Desire , an ethnography that examines the influence of sex work on patterns of foreign capital investment in Vietnam.

"As we all return to campus after a year and a half of physical distancing, I hope to invite students to embark on a multi-level journey of discovery," Hoang said. "I will call it the ’three S’s’ of discovery-self, social and scientific-that I hope will transform not only who they are but also the world around them as a result of their time at UChicago."

The Aims of Education address is an Orientation Week tradition that dates to 1962. In most years, students sit among Rockefeller Chapel’s Gothic Revival columns to hear the address, and return to their residential College houses afterward to discuss the speech with faculty moderators. This year, Hoang will deliver her speech in front of a small number of students; most will instead watch and discuss in their residential houses.

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