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Wyoming Catholic College to open in 2007, now has president

.- Slated to open its doors to its first class of students in 2007, Wyoming Catholic College, a liberal arts institution which will focus on the Great Books and the outdoors, now has a president.

Bishop David L. Ricken, of the statewide Diocese of Cheyenne, announced that Fr. Robert Cook, a parish priest from Casper, will leave his post next summer to begin heading the school, located in Lander, Wyoming.

Fr. Cook, who has been involved in the college’s development for the last two years, holds a law degree from the University of Stanford. He is currently pastor of Our Lady of Fatima parish.

According to the Associated Press, Bishop Ricken has pointed out that Fr. Cook’s classical background in the liberal arts will serve him well as president.

The school’s curriculum will require studies in philosophy, theology, literature, history, the arts and languages, mathematics, and the basic sciences, and seek to help students “know their place in history.”

The college’s website also pointed out that they plan to be “unmistakably Catholic, planted in the "deep center" of Catholic tradition.” All theology faculty will be required to obtain a mandatum assuring that they will teach in unity with the Church Magesterium.

“Education must address the whole of life and prepare one to live an intelligent, meaningful, and contributing life in the midst of family, church, and society,” they add.

In an effort to “educate the whole person”, the college will also focus heavily on experiences in the outdoors. They have already enlisted the help of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), a Lander-based group which teaches leadership skills by way of wilderness expedition and skill training, to help them.

Wyoming Catholic College currently has 2,300 acres of land, south of Lander, but hopes to obtain another 6,300 acres, which they say, will encompass “the ecological systems of the prairie to the streams and woods of high mountain country.”

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