About Us

About Us


Founded in 1998, Harrison Middleton University, a nonprofit graduate school that specializes in distance learning, offers graduate degrees in the humanities focusing on the interplay of essential ideas and thinkers across history, the study of ancient and modern classics, and the methods of inquiry-based discussion.

In designing programs of study, students at Harrison Middleton University use primary sources drawn from leading academic publishers, including Britannica (Great Books of the Western World), Oxford University Press, Penguin Classics, and W.W. Norton & Company.

Classic authors and their books invite students to take part in an ongoing cultural conversation that communicates and advances humanistic values and beliefs. This intellectual and creative activity—a chorus of voices and words calling to each other across time—is sometimes referred to as the “Great Conversation,” an expression used to describe a continuum of thinkers and ideas that began in ancient civilizations. Entering this conversation is to experience the dialectical nature of a cultural tradition as made manifest in its writing, an ongoing discourse where thinkers respond to previous ideas and either discredit or build upon those ideas to create new and more complex concepts or themes.

As a student at Harrison Middleton University, you will enter this important conversation by learning the arts of close reading, careful questioning, and inquiry-based discussion.

Harrison Middleton University is dedicated to the memory of Willis Speight Harrison and Arthur Middleton.

Willis Speight Harrison was a 1938 graduate of the School of Journalism University of North Carolina. He also served as a Lieutenant Commander in the Pacific during World War II, winning the Legion of Merit for Valor. His career in journalism spanned over twenty-five years, primarily for the Toledo Blade and the Philadelphia Bulletin where he wrote for the editorial page. He was a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and a life member and former president of the National Conference of Editorial Writers. Mr. Harrison was a chess and Scrabble player, an avid reader of the classics, and an inspiration to many.

Arthur Middleton was a British American planter, legislator, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and one of the leaders in the controversies leading up to the American Revolution. After completing his education in England at various places, including St. John's College, Cambridge, Middleton returned to South Carolina in 1763 and was elected to the colonial legislature. In 1765, he became justice of the peace for Berkeley county and also was elected to the colonial legislature. In 1775-1776, he was a member of the Council of Safety, a committee that directed leadership for the colony's preparations for revolution. He served on the legislative committee that drafted the South Carolina state constitution and was a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he signed the Declaration of Independence. Middleton was a member of the Continental Congress (1781-1783), the South Carolina legislature (1785-1786), and the original board of trustees of the College of Charleston.


"I enter into conversation and argument with great freedom and ease, in as much as opinion finds in me a soil into which it cannot readily penetrate and take root. No propositions astonish me, no belief offends me, however contrary it may be to my own"
~ Michel de Montaigne