Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Mitchell Kalpakgian


It is such an honor to be able to count Dr. Mitchell Kalpakgian among our faculty. Anyone who even briefly glances at the faculty page on our website will no doubt be impressed by the wide-ranging accomplishments of all who comprise the academic staff at Mount Royal Academy. However, Dr. Kalpakgian represents the cream-of-the-crop in terms of a classical liberal arts education.

Born and raised in New England by Armenian immigrants, Dr. Kalpakgian earned his B.A. in English from Bowdoin College, his M.A. in English from the University of Kansas, and his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He taught at Simpson College (IA) for thirty one years, at Christendom College (Front Royal, VA) for two years, and at Northeast Catholic College (Warner, NH) for two years. From 2007-2009 he was a visiting professor of Humanities at Wyoming Catholic College in Lander. He first taught at Mount Royal Academy from 2001-2007 and returned here in 2010. We are grateful that this coming academic year will mark his 13th year teaching at Mount Royal.

During his career, Dr. Kalpakgian received many academic honors, among them the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar Fellowship (Brown University, 1981), the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship (University of Kansas, 1985), and an award from the National Endowment for the Humanities Institute on Children’s Literature. He has also published several books, the most recent of which are: The Mysteries of Life in Children's Literature and The Virtues We Need Again.

As any present or former student can attest, Dr. Kalpakgian is legendary for his piercing analysis of the written word, his wry monologues on the teenage mind and his commanding presence in the classroom. At Mount Royal Academy he teaches both high school courses in both Latin and Literature. Students are exposed to the true, the good and the beautiful as portrayed through the great books of western civilization. The fundamental need for this exposure can best be summed up in Dr. Kalpakgian's own words,"The sublime, eternal realities of the good, the beautiful, and the true . . . the highest objects of human thought, known as the transcendentals in Thomistic philosophy . . . comprise the essential subject matter of a liberal arts education."

Many excellent articles written by Dr. Kalpakgian have been published online and give further insight into the true, the good and the beautiful. They can be found  here, here, here and here.