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Ever the Teacher

Ever the Teacher

Copyright Date: 1988
Pages: 636
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    Ever the Teacher
    Book Description:

    In one of his commencement talks as President of Princeton University, William G. Bowen called upon the assembled graduates to find ways, in their lives, to blend "the powers of the mind and the promptings of the heart.".

    This collection of his presidential writings--drawn from annual reports, opening exercises addresses, commencement remarks, and other speeches and essays--reflects a blend of analysis and advocacy that speaks both to public policy issues affecting all of American higher education and to the deeper meanings and values of Princeton.

    The writings selected for inclusion here represent roughly half of the total archive annotated in Appendix B. They range from brief extracts to complete documents, and they are organized under such topics as the university in society; purposes of education/liberal education; graduate education, scholarship, and research; faculty; diversity, opportunity, and financial aid; the economics of the private research university; and a final chapter titled simply "Reflections."

    Throughout his fifteen-year tenure, President Bowen remained a teacher in the introductory economics course at Princeton, and his principal identification was always as a member of the faculty. His writings, as he saw them, were an extension of his teaching: an opportunity to communicate important ideas in ways that would sharpen his own understanding at the same time that they provoked others to think hard about the questions being raised. As such, his writings were a source of insight and illumination for many "students," of various descriptions, who listened, and read, and learned from what he had to say.

    Originally published in 1988.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5984-9
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. ix-2)
    Robert K. Durkee

    During his fifteen years as President of Princeton University (1972–87), William G. Bowen published fifteen annual reports, spoke at fifteen Opening Exercises ceremonies, delivered concluding remarks at fifteen Commencements, and prepared statements, speeches, and testimony on a wide range of topics whose significance extended well beyond his own institution.

    These writings provided a medium through which he could communicate his aspirations for Princeton and his perspectives on the central educational issues of his time. His principal audience, more often than not, encompassed Princetonians of many affiliations, including faculty, students, staff, alumni, parents, and friends. But the breadth of his...

  4. PART 1 The University in Society

    • [PART ONE Introduction]
      (pp. 3-4)

      Princeton’s president is also the presiding officer of the Board of Trustees, and President Bowen keenly felt the trustee’s obligation to protect the integrity and independence of the university as a center of learning. Thus it is not surprising that a central and recurring theme of the Bowen presidency concerned the nature of the university and its roles and responsibilities in the larger society.

      This theme was developed most fully in the September 1985 Opening Exercises address, entitled “At a Slight Angle to the World.” That address begins this chapter, followed by what are, in effect, three case studies:


    • At a Slight Angle to the World OPENING EXERCISES ADDRESS SEPTEMBER 1985
      (pp. 5-12)

      . . . I wish to explore with you the nature of the University—and, more specifically, its relationship to the society it seeks to serve. I want to begin by contrasting the openness and independence of the University you are entering with the much more authoritarian character of higher education in other times and places.

      If you had attended Princeton a century ago, the faculty who taught you would have been chosen, at least in part, on the basis of their religious beliefs as well as their competence as teachers and scholars. You would have found that there were...

    • Freedom of Speech—and the Appearance of Dr. Shockley EXCERPTED FROM THE REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT JANUARY 1975
      (pp. 13-19)

      As important to any university as the quality and character of the individual students and faculty members that it attracts is the climate for learning that characterizes it. The opportunity to hear, and to consider, the views of a wide variety of speakers, however objectionable their views may be to some, is so central to the climate for learning for which we strive that any challenge to the right of members of our community to hear whom they please has to be viewed as a serious challenge to the very nature of the University. It is for this reason that...

    • The Role of the University as an Institution in Confronting External Issues STATEMENT ON A PROPOSED BOYCOTT OF J. P. STEVENS JANUARY 1978
      (pp. 20-28)

      A group of students and faculty members has petitioned the University to discontinue any acquisition or rental of the products of the J. P. Stevens Company, thereby asking that the University participate in a national boycott of the products of this company. This petition raises directly the larger question of the role of the University as an institution in responding to concerns expressed by students, faculty members, or others regarding issues in the society at large of a social, economic, legal, moral, or political character.

      Perhaps the best way to begin this discussion is with an examination of institutional purpose....

    • Divestment and South Africa REMARKS AT A CAMPUS FORUM MAY 1985
      (pp. 29-36)

      I am pleased that the Council of the Princeton University Community is sponsoring this meeting, which has been called to give interested members of the University community an opportunity to hear directly the reasons for the University’s current policies on investments in companies doing any part of their business in South Africa and to provide an opportunity for questions.

      A number of students, faculty members, and others have told me that they find aspects of the current debate perplexing, and I am glad to have this opportunity to clarify, as best I can, some of the underlying issues as seen...

      (pp. 37-42)

      Each time that I am in Washington, I feel the temptation to reflect on points of intersection between the world of higher education and the world of government. I hope you will allow me, once again this year, to succumb.

      In our society—unlike so many other societies—these two worlds remain somewhat separate, despite the substantial degree to which each is dependent on and serves the other. That is, I believe, all to the good.

      The federal interest in higher education was certainly well understood by those who gathered two hundred years ago to establish a constitution under the...

    • The Role of the Federal Government in Higher Education PAPER PREPARED FOR DISTRIBUTION IN WASHINGTON JANUARY 1982
      (pp. 43-53)

      Any time that a need to economize stimulates a far-reaching review of federal programs in an area such as higher education, there is both an opportunity and a danger. The opportunity is to consider freshly what overall set of objectives should guide policy; the danger is that budgetary pressures will lead to ad hoc decisions on particular programs that fail to reflect broad principles or long-term national interests. The purpose of this paper is to suggest an overall framework, and a set of basic principles, that can help us think systematically about specific proposals affecting higher education.

      The appropriate role...

    • University Education in the People’s Republic of China: A Visitor’s Impressions SPEECH BEFORE THE PRINCETON CLUB OF NEW YORK JANUARY 1975
      (pp. 54-72)

      I am very pleased to have this opportunity to discuss with you some of my impressions of university education in the People’s Republic of China—impressions formed during a fascinating and always instructive, if at times frustrating, twenty-one-day visit in November of 1974. I went to China as a member of a delegation of eleven American college and university presidents, accompanied by an able historian of China and by an administrative officer with a considerable knowledge of the language and the people. Our visit was under the auspices of the National Committee on U.S.–China Relations, our leader was Roger...

  5. Part 2. Purposes of Education/Liberal Education

    • [PART TWO Introduction]
      (pp. 73-74)

      In the 1970s, concerns about the economy and the job market for college graduates fueled an impassioned national debate over the purposes of education, and particularly over the “practicality” of the kind of liberal education characteristic of Princeton.

      A decade later, the focus of the debate had shifted dramatically. The concern now was not that colleges were paying too much attention to the liberal arts but that there was too little concern for the kinds of values and habits of mind traditionally associated with liberal education at its best.

      President Bowen addressed the broad topic of “Liberal Education at Princeton”...

    • Liberal Education at Princeton REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT MARCH 1977
      (pp. 75-118)

      On October 22, 1746, the Great Seal of the Province of New Jersey was affixed to Princeton’s original Charter, authorizing a college in New Jersey “wherein Youth may be instructed in the learned Languages, and in the Liberal Arts and Sciences.” Seven months later, the College’s first undergraduates assembled in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to begin their studies at the home of Jonathan Dickinson, the institution’s first president.

      The changes that have occurred over the ensuing 230 years can be described only as monumental: Princeton has become a university, with major responsibilities for scholarship, research, and graduate education, as well as...

      (pp. 119-125)

      . . . My subject this morning is your education here seen as preparation for citizenship. This seems to me a timely topic, given the large questions concerning the obligations of citizens, the processes of government, and the uncertainties facing this country and the world that have been—and are—so much on our minds.

      I hasten to reassure you. I do not propose to use, or rather to abuse, this setting by inflicting on you personal views concerning such important issues of the day as energy and inflation, SALT II, the dilemmas of the Middle East and Northern Ireland,...

      (pp. 126-132)

      . . . In the literature on moral education one proposition at any rate comes through very clearly: attempts to teach character directly fail. Professors Kohlberg and Turiel of Harvard have noted that the traditional American approach to character development, which at the turn of the century consisted of teaching conventional virtues, rules, manners, and beliefs by the exercise of authority and sermonizing, fell from favor in the 1930s, not because people were any less interested in character development, but because this approach simply did not work. Experimental research by several scholars showed that “character-education classes in the schools ....

      (pp. 133-135)

      . . . Perhaps most important of all, we can reaffirm, as an institution, the values of liberal education for which we stand. Any student who thinks that we believe that high grades are all that matter is simply wrong. All too often transcripts do not begin to reflect what students have learned. I have had students in my own sections of Economics 101 who have received C’s but who learned far more of lasting value from the course, and for whom I had greater respect, than some other students who got A’s. Our commitment is to learning, to the...

      (pp. 136-149)

      . . . As we now approach the mid-century mark for the establishment of the Creative Arts Program at Princeton, I would like to review what has been accomplished, some of the major issues that are still before us, and the prospects for further development. Along the way, I hope also to provide some sense of the role of the creative arts in a research university dedicated to liberal education—while acknowledging directly the tensions (healthy tensions, I believe) that are ever present.

      The tremendous amounts of time, energy, and resources that have been devoted to the sciences at Princeton...

    • Capturing “Otherness” OPENING EXERCISES ADDRESS SEPTEMBER 1984
      (pp. 150-156)

      . . . Addresses, as well as sermons, sometimes have texts, and today I would like to consider the broad implications for education of a passage from Professor Robert Darnton’s widely acclaimed book,The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History. Professor Darnton (who is, I am pleased to say, a member of this faculty) comments on anthropology and the study of history as follows:

      One thing seems clear to everyone who returns from field work: other people are other. They do not think the way we do. And if we want to understand their way of...

      (pp. 157-166)

      . . . Not even the most cynical among us could deny that a great deal has been accomplished in the last three decades in strengthening international studies, at Princeton and elsewhere, and in breaking down tendencies toward provincialism, which must always be recognized. Still, I am even more conscious of what must yet be done.

      In a generic sense, the tasks ahead are of two kinds: first, to make further progress inintegratingforms of teaching and of scholarship in international studies that are still too innocent of each other; second, to find, nationally as well as within particular...

      (pp. 167-169)

      . . . Last September, one of our Trustees, Nicholas Katzenbach, gave a talk to the entering class that was reprinted subsequently in thePrinceton Alumni Weekly. Part of that talk is so relevant to what I am trying to say that I want to repeat it. He said: “Now not all of you, or even very many of you, are going to push back the frontiers of knowledge in significant ways except—and this is an important exception—for yourselves. Very few Nobel prizes are awarded to undergraduates. But the process of learning, the experience of expanding your own...

    • A Quiet Confidence COMMENCEMENT REMARKS JUNE 1977
      (pp. 170-173)

      . . . I would not try to impose an easy ordering on your experiences here, on your various senses of Princeton, even if I could—which I cannot. But I do want to suggest one thing that I think many of you, if not all. will take from Princeton; to say a few words about how its development may have been encouraged here; and then to suggest a few of its implications for you as you go forth from this place. I refer to what I can call only a reasonable degree of confidence—thought of as self-assurance; or,...

      (pp. 174-178)

      . . . While some of you, especially those undertaking academic careers, will spend much of the rest of your lives in universities, most of you will not. In either case, I hope that you will retain an appreciation for learning, as scholars understand that quite complicated, if simple-sounding, word, and a respect for the values associated with it.

      A marvelously light-hearted but subversively serious book on this subject has just been reissued this spring, twenty years after it first appeared. It is by Professor Robert K. Merton and is known to its many addicts (I am one) by the...

      (pp. 179-186)

      . . . Just prior to graduation, a member of the Class of 1981 came up to me and said rather wistfully that he wished that he could start over as a freshman—and that, if he could, he would take much fuller advantage of his time at the University.

      His was not an isolated comment. In fact, quite similar sentiments have been voiced over the years by a number of other seniors. That general lament was much on my mind when, immediately after Commencement, I went to Greece to attend meetings and to vacation with my family. In the...

  6. PART THREE Graduate Education, Scholarship, Research

    • Graduate Education in the Arts and Sciences: Prospects for the Future REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT APRIL 1981
      (pp. 189-237)

      In the United States, Princeton is thought of most often in terms of its undergraduate college. This is hardly surprising, in part because Princeton, like other early American colleges, offered essentially no regular instruction at the graduate level for the first 150 years of its history. Although there are records as early as 1748–49 of “resident graduates” (including James Madison who stayed on to pursue advanced studies in theology), all such cases were exceptional. The graduate school was not constituted formally until 1901, and between that date and the onset of World War II, fifteen baccalaureate degrees were awarded...

    • Scholarship and Research REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT APRIL 1979
      (pp. 238-269)

      In thePrinceton Companionpublished last fall, the legacy to the University from Woodrow Wilson is described as “a vision of an institution dedicated both to things of the mind and the nation’s service.”

      That continues to be our vision, and we fulfill it in essential ways through our commitment to scholarship and research of the highest quality. In the context of Princeton, this commitment is widely understood as an indispensable element in an overall educational philosophy that stresses the continuing interaction between the search for new knowledge and teaching at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

      Princeton has recognized the...

    • The Princeton Library REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT MARCH 1986
      (pp. 270-300)

      Libraries have a particularly powerful hold on many of us, and in beginning this annual report I wish to acknowledge my own debt to both Firestone Library at Princeton, where I have worked as a graduate student and as a faculty member, and to Doane Library at Denison University, where I studied as an undergraduate.

      It has been said that all of us are autobiographical when it comes to writing about education, and I am certainly no exception to that generalization. As an undergraduate, I spent many of my most rewarding hours in the Denison library, and to this day...

  7. PART FOUR Faculty

    • Faculty Recruitment and Advancement REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT, PART I JANUARY 1974
      (pp. 303-322)

      . . . In a modern university, as in the earlier academies, the effectiveness of the faculty is more important than anything else in determining how fully we achieve our goals as an educational institution. Increased complexity has not changed this basic characteristic of a university. A faculty of high quality and demonstrated commitment to teaching and to scholarship serves directly the purposes for which we are chartered and, at the same time, attracts students, alumni, and others to the cause of the university. . . .

      While the central importance of the faculty might seem reason enough for the...

    • The Politics of the Faculty REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT, PART II JANUARY 1974
      (pp. 323-336)

      At times of national tension and sharp division, and especially when relationships between campus communities and the society at large are strained, the “politics of the faculty” becomes a widely debated issue—and the debate itself is likely to exacerbate further the tensions that contributed to its prominence. This seems to be one lesson that can be drawn from experiences in this country during such times as the debate over our entry into World War I, the depression of the 1930s, the period immediately prior to the involvement of the United States in World War II, and, of course, the...

    • Junior Faculty at Princeton REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT APRIL 1984
      (pp. 337-372)

      Two of my last three annual reports have been devoted to the broad subject of “opportunity” within higher education—for graduate students (in 1981) and for undergraduates (in 1983). A principal theme of those reports was that the nation, as well as Princeton, has a major stake in ensuring access to educational opportunities for individuals of exceptional talent, whatever their economic circumstances.

      In this report, I extend this emphasis on the importance of nurturing talent by discussing the circumstances of junior faculty members. While I shall be concerned most immediately with faculty members at Princeton, I hope that this report...

  8. Part V. Diversity, Opportunity, and Financial Aid

    • [PART FIVE Introduction]
      (pp. 373-374)

      In the context of the eighteenth century, the fledgling college at Princeton was unusually diverse. Its students came from throughout the colonies, not just from New Jersey and its middle Atlantic neighbors. Its graduates entered a variety of professions, not just the ministry. Its charter explicitly protected religious freedom, and its first scholarship (for thirteen pounds) was awarded to a student in the Class of 1759.

      Nonetheless, it was not until the late 1960s that Princeton began to reflect the full diversity of American society—women as well as men; racial, religious, and ethnic minorities; the economically disadvantaged and the...

    • Diversity: The Opportunities and the Obligations OPENING EXERCISES ADDRESS SEPTEMBER 1977
      (pp. 375-384)

      . . . My subject this morning is a characteristic of our student body that I believe we have come to take too much for granted. To be sure, our neglect is not verbal. We speak about it, and very frequently; but often in what seems to me almost a sloganeering way, and I do not feel that many of us appreciate fully either the opportunities that it affords or the obligations that it entails. I refer to thediversitythat you represent.

      This diversity has many dimensions. It is reflected in the 50 states and approximately 71 countries from...

      (pp. 385-389)

      . . . I’m sure many of you are familiar with one educational model often suggested as an ideal: Mark Hopkins on one end of a log, and a single student on the other end. That model minimizes group pressures and distractions and encourages a certain kind of individualism. But it is fraught with obvious dangers of its own and it has never seemed to me to represent anything like an ideal approach to education. There is too much to learn from others, there are too many perspectives to be shared, for us to be content with any educational relationship...

      (pp. 390-397)

      . . . All of us are inclined to take far too many things for granted— and in this category I would put the very idea of a residential university. To provide dormitories and a campus life for students may seem the most natural thing in the world, but it is, in fact, atypical. The overwhelming majority of students, worldwide, attend universities that are in no sense “residential.” Students generally live at home or in non-university dwellings and travel back and forth to classes. Even in the United States, only about 40 percent of all full-time students in four-year colleges...

      (pp. 398-404)

      Today, with these exercises in this chapel, we begin the 242nd year for Princeton. I am pleased once again to have the privilege of welcoming those who are new to the campus and greeting those who are returning. This year I have chosen a complex subject that is, nonetheless, extremely important: the nature and significance of respect on this campus.

      “Respect” is a word with many shades of meaning. I am not using it to connote “deference” but rather “to show regard or consideration for”; and as objects of this “regard” and “consideration,” I have in mind today especially your...

      (pp. 405-407)

      . . . I think it is appropriate—perhaps even obligatory—to say directly what I believe about certain values fundamental to our nation that are at the core of university communities. Specifically, I am concerned about our commitment, as a people, to the idea of opportunity—to the proposition that education of the highest quality ought to be available on the basis of individual qualifications, not simply financial means.

      It is surprising, frightening in some respects, to see how fast national moods and norms can change. It wasn’t long ago—less than fifteen years—that Edward Levi, then president...

      (pp. 408-412)

      . . . This is a time for joy and celebration, not, I think, for overly somber pronouncements. But it is also a time to reflect a bit on our attitudes toward this University and toward ourselves as graduates of it. Today, I have in mind particularly the attitudes associated with a very loaded word: “elitism.”

      For one graduate alumnus and former Trustee, W. Michael Blumenthal, these attitudes were of such troubling significance that he spoke movingly on the subject when he retired from the Board of Trustees earlier this year. Mr. Blumenthal’s personal history is relevant. In the 1930s,...

      (pp. 413-421)

      . . . How good a year it will be—for you and for this University community—will depend in no small degree on the quality of our personal relationships. This afternoon, I would like to ask you to think with me about one dimension of these relationships: the fact that we are a richly diverse community in terms of the races that we represent, as well as in so many other respects.

      The subject of race is often a contentious one, not just in this University, and not just in this country, but all over the world. There are...

    • Admissions and the Relevance of Race ESSAY, 1977
      (pp. 422-436)

      It is only within the last ten to fifteen years that Princeton, like many other selective colleges and universities, has made deliberate efforts to enroll minority students. As recently as 1962 fewer than 15 black students were attending the undergraduate college and the graduate school combined. We do not have reliable figures for other racial minorities, but there is certainly no reason to believe that, with the possible exception of Asian-Americans, they were enrolled in significant numbers. Since then the situation has changed substantially, partly as a result of many individual and institutional efforts, and partly as a result of...

    • Affirmative Action: Purposes, Concepts, Methodologies TESTIMONY BEFORE THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR SEPTEMBER 1975
      (pp. 437-453)

      . . . I would like to begin by associating myself, and, I believe, the overwhelming majority of other college and university presidents, with the positive commitment to equal opportunity which many of us feel so strongly. Historically, colleges and universities have failed to take full advantage of the contributions that women and members of minority groups could have made—could be making now—to higher education in this country. We should recognize explicitly these past deficiencies on our part. We should recognize also that more effective efforts to achieve equality of opportunity will strengthen the ability of our colleges...

    • Maintaining Opportunity: Undergraduate Financial Aid at Princeton REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT APRIL 1983
      (pp. 454-488)

      Since its earliest days. Princeton has recognized the importance of providing scholarship aid for needy students. At no time, however, has the general subject of financial aid been as complex—or as critical—as it is today. In company with all other colleges and universities, Princeton is faced with difficult choices concerning financial aid policies as it seeks to cope with rising costs and diminishing support from some sources, particularly government programs. Students and their families face equally hard questions as they try, sometimes with considerable anxiety, to meet their share of the costs of a Princeton education. More broadly,...

  9. Part 6. The Economics of the Private Research University

    • The Economics of Princeton in the 1970s: Some Worrisome Implications of Trying to Make Do with Less REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT FEBRUARY 1976
      (pp. 491-526)

      From Princeton’s earliest days, when President Burr served for three years without salary, when Benjamin Franklin was called upon to print tickets for a lottery that is reported to have turned a fair profit, and when its leaders were described by one observer as men “whose lives, it is thought, were shortened by their unwearied exertions” at fund raising, finances have been a recurring theme—and a recurring concern.

      The current decade is certainly no exception to this rule. The financial pressures that confront us in the 1970s raise fundamental questions related to the very purposes a university like Princeton...

    • Thinking about Tuition ESSAY MAY 1986
      (pp. 527-537)

      In higher education, as elsewhere, everything has its season, and we have just passed through the time of year when tuition increases are announced—and denounced. Parents and students ask: “When will it all stop?” Trustees, alumni, and others worry about colleges “pricing themselves out of the market.” For many of us, there is deep concern about maintaining access to higher education for students from middle-income families as well as for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

      It is natural for trustees and presidents to be as apologetic as is seemly about increasing tuition—or sometimes even more apologetic. Unfortunately, this entirely...

    • The Student Aid/Tuition Nexus ESSAY APRIL 1987
      (pp. 538-543)

      In the continuing debate over educational finance, and especially over the relationship between student aid and tuition, there are three types of questions to be distinguished.

      First, what are thefacts? What have been the relative rates of increase in student aid, tuition, educational costs, prices of other things, and disposable personal income over varying periods of time?

      Second, what are thecausal connectionsbetween increases in federal student aid and tuition increases, and what are theconsequencesof changes in student aid for tuition and for relevant educational outcomes such as the diversity of student populations and the quality...

    • A Perspective on Private Giving EXCERPTED FROM THE REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT APRIL 1978
      (pp. 544-549)

      . . . The existence of governmental programs providing financial assistance to higher education eases some of the burdens that otherwise would have to be borne by private donors (unless the activities in question were abandoned altogether). In at least three respects, however, governmental programs make private giving all the more essential.

      First, private funding enables us to counterbalance federal funding for specific purposes and thus to ensure that all elements of the University, including importantly the humanities, receive the support that they must have if they are to flourish. Within all areas of the University, including the sciences, private...

    • A Campaign for Princeton FEBRUARY 19, 1982
      (pp. 550-554)

      . . . Money is today, as it has always been, what John Stuart Mill referred to as a “veil”: what matters is what lies beneath, what the dollars we seek will allow us to accomplish in serving the educational purposes of Princeton. There is no need for me to repeat tonight what I believe—so deeply—about the value of liberal learning in today’s world, about the paramount importance of our commitment to the advancement of knowledge, about the unique place Princeton occupies in American higher education, and about the critical importance of this Campaign.

      I would like, rather,...

    • A Campaign for Princeton OCTOBER 24, 1986
      (pp. 555-560)

      This was not a Campaign that, for me, can be summarized or thought about in terms of statistics, cheering as the final numbers were. It was much too personal for that. If you will allow me, if you will indulge me, I would like to reflect on the Campaign by means of a few reminiscences, a few thoughts on general themes, and then one final thought on the larger significance of what all of you, and so many others, have wrought.

      So many vignettes come to mind.

      Bill Bradley launching the Campaign, with a wonderfully warm speech which he started...

  10. PART SEVEN Reflections

      (pp. 563-566)

      . . . I believe that the capacity to take advantage of new ideas and new opportunities is one of the hallmarks of any good university. When trustees, administrators, faculty members, students, or alumni attempt to halt “construction,” to encapsulate an institution at any point in its evolution, stagnation is the certain result.

      This is, however, hardly a call for mindless change, or for churning about simply to be churning about. The costs of change are real, and they need to be considered particularly carefully in the context of what they portend for the essential character of the institution. Paradoxical...

    • Preparation for the Possibility of Being Wrong COMMENCEMENT REMARKS JUNE 1973
      (pp. 567-569)

      . . . I welcome this chance to share with you a few thoughts on education, indeed on education at Princeton,as preparation for the possibility of being wrong,at least on occasion. The points that I want to make are simple ones, obvious, no doubt, to each of us. And yet, somehow, sometimes, we forget. Certainly I know that I do.

      For me one of the more troubling characteristics of the period of history through which our society has been moving all during your stay at Princeton has been the widespread presence of a kind of humorless arrogance. Confined...

      (pp. 570-571)

      . . . Having decided to try to say only one or two things has not made my task much easier, I confess. I take a certain amount of comfort, however, from a letter I read for the first time this spring, even though it was written some seventy years ago. In fact, by one of those extraordinary coincidences, it was written seventy years ago to the day (May 23) that I was preparing these remarks. It was written by Woodrow Wilson to his wife, and it includes a reference to Mr. Wilson’s own efforts to prepare remarks for graduates...

    • The Possibilities You Represent EXCERPTED FROM COMMENCEMENT REMARKS JUNE 1978
      (pp. 572-574)

      . . . While we would not overpraise you, and while we certainly should not claim too much for what we may have done for you (or to you), we are proud of you. We are proud especially of thepossibilitiesthat you represent.

      What are those possibilities? Let me suggest three that need to be seen, in my view, as mutually reinforcing. First is the positive force of what I can call only a fervent discontent. It is fueled by an unwillingness to accept as inevitable the ancient evils: injustice, ignorance, bigotry, exploitation, hunger, and all those tendencies in...

    • To Be Part of Something Much Larger COMMENCEMENT REMARKS JUNE 1986
      (pp. 575-579)

      . . . Memories, recollections, and thoughts of all kinds flood in on us at Commencement time. Many are intensely personal. Some are refreshingly mundane. I remember that a year or two ago, at a Commencement event, I asked a graduating student what he was going to do next. He paused for a moment and then said: “I thought I'd go back to my room.”

      A rather more general question, which I would like to talk about today, has to do with the relationship between the individual and the institution in what some have described as an age of self-interest...

      (pp. 580-580)

      . . . I have often thought of what an odd fact it is that an institution as powerfully committed as this one is to the life of the mind should at the same time have such a strong emotional hold on so many of us. But then, on further reflection, it seems to me that there is a lesson here: of balance and of complementarities.

      Sanity, both personal and national, requires a capacity to think clearly; but it requires no less a capacity to care about other people, to acknowledge weakness, to derive strength from friendship and from love,...

      (pp. 581-581)

      . . . The real roots that you have had an opportunity to develop here are ways of thinking, ideas, values, and the individuals through which these abstractions have been reflected, transmitted, shaped, and brought to life. No list of propositions or people would serve all of you, or even most of you. You have had to pick and choose for yourselves while you have been here, at least within limits, and you will have to pick and choose for yourselves in what you remember after you leave.

      If you will allow me to be autobiographical for a moment, when...

    • Reflections COMMENCEMENT REMARKS JUNE 1987
      (pp. 582-588)

      As you will understand, this is for me, as for you, a special day, a day charged with emotion and with feelings that I cannot hope to communicate adequately. One thing at least should be reassuring: I have no sweeping propositions or summary conclusions to impose on you. Rather, I have some personal reflections that I hope will stimulate thoughts of your own about Princeton and your time here.

      I wonder how many of you remember your own introductions to Princeton. Most of you, I suspect. In my case, I arrived as a frightened, insecure graduate student at what was...

  11. APPENDIX A: Memorial Tributes
    (pp. 589-612)
  12. APPENDIX B: An Annotated List of Annual Reports, Opening Exercises Addresses, and Commencement Remarks
    (pp. 613-622)
  13. APPENDIX C: Biographical Information
    (pp. 623-624)