Alcuin is pronounced ‘æl-kwin. The font used in the site logo and header is a digitized version of Carolingian minuscule, the script developed by Alcuin during the Carolingian Renaissance. The cross in the logo is the Carolingian cross made up of four triquetrae (or Irish Trinity Knots). The woodcut image of Alcuin of York both here and on our “About” page are the work of Kreg Yingst. You can see his other work at

Alcuin of York (735ish-804) is a giant on whose shoulders all of Western education stands, whether we realize it or not. He was a teacher of teachers as well as a curator and cultivator of culture. He developed the use of lower case letters and the alphabet essentially as we know it today. He revived and standardized the classical liberal arts that have been a conduit of learning for higher education for more than 1200 years. He spoke truth to power, insisting that rulers must be men of character, wisdom, and mercy. He taught and encouraged women students at a time when women were not supposed to be educated. He corrected Jerome’s Latin Bible (the Vulgate) to give the people a reliable copy of God’s word. He wrote poetry, produced books, built libraries, and invented the question mark. And we know from his letters to his friends—who were many and faithful—that he had a fantastic sense of humor.

Alcuin wanted nothing more than to cultivate the moral imagination in each of his fellow human beings and equip them to flourish.