The Inauguration of
Stephen Cornelius O'Connell
O F. "
President Stephen Cornelius O'Connell
as Sixth President
Tuesday, October the Eighth
Nineteen Hundred and Sixty-Eight
PRINTED IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Program ........................................................... 1
Inaugural Symposium .................................................... ........ 5
Pre-Inaugural Dinner ............................................................25
Inaugural Convocation ...................................... ....... 39
The Inaugural Address ..........................................................51
Conferring of Honorary Degrees .........................................63
Special R recognition ..................... ........ ....................... 69
Inaugural Luncheon ...................................................... ....... 73
The Cabinet ............................................................. ......... 91
The Board of Regents ........................................ .........91
University Presidents ........................................................... 92
Com m ittees on Inauguration ..................................................93
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6
7:00 P.M. LECTURE-University Gallery Auditorium: A
University Collects-Jack D. Flam, Department
8:00 P.M. RECEPTION AND OPENING OF EXHIBIT-Univer-
sity of Florida Collection/Selection-University
MONDAY, OCTOBER 7
DEDICATION OF SPACE SCIENCES RESEARCH
BUILDING-Arthur A. Bless Auditorium
Presiding: Stephen C. O'Connell, President
Invocation: The Reverend Fred T. Laughon, Jr.,
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Gainesville
Address: James Beggs, Associate Administrator,
National Aeronautics and Space Administra-
Acceptance for the Citizens of Florida: Henry
Kramer, Vice Chairman, Florida Board of Re-
gents for Higher Education
Acceptance for the University of Florida: Presi-
12:00 NOON DEDICATION LUNCHEON-J. Wayne Reitz Union
THE INAUGURAL SYMPOSIUM: The Function of
the University in the Modern World-J.
Wayne Reitz Union Auditorium
Presiding: Frederick W. Conner, Vice President
for Academic Affairs
Address: Elvis J. Stahr, Jr., President Emeritus,
2 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
Address: Jack K. Williams, Vice President for
Academic Affairs, University of Tennessee
6:00 P.M. THE PRE-INAUGURAL DINNER-J. Wayne Reitz
Presiding: Lester L. Hale, Vice President for
Invocation: Delton L. Scudder, Chairman, De-
partment of Religion
Walter R. Lee, Jr., President, Gainesville
Chamber of Commerce
The Right Reverend Jeremiah P. O'Mahoney,
Monsignor, St. Edward's Church, Palm Beach
J. Wayne Reitz, Director of Graduate Programs,
United States Office of Education
Harry M. Philpott, President, Auburn Univer-
8:30 P.M. THE INAUGURAL THEATRE PRESENTATION:
H.M.S. Pinafore by Gilbert and Sullivan-
Henry Philip Constans Theatre
Earl C. Groth, Directing, Department of Music
THE INAUGURAL CONVOCATION
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8-9:30 A.M.
Chester H. Ferguson, Chairman,
Florida Board of Regents for Higher Education, presiding
A Festival Prelude .................................. by Alfred Reed
Richard W. Bowles, Conducting, University Symphonic Band
Pomp and Circumstance .................. by Sir Edward Elgar
The Reverend U. S. Gordon, Pastor, First Presbyterian
GREETINGS TO THE PRESIDENT ON BEHALF OF:
THE STUDENTS-Clyde M. Taylor, Jr., President, Student
THE FACULTY-Raymond E. Crist, Research Professor of
THE ALUMNI-William O. E. Henry, President, University
of Florida Alumni Association
THE STATE OF FLORIDA-The Honorable Claude R. Kirk,
Jr., Governor of the State of Florida
THE INDUCTION OF THE PRESIDENT:
THE CHARGE-Chester H. Ferguson
THE ACCEPTANCE-Stephen C. O'Connell
THE INAUGURAL ADDRESS
CONFERRING OF HONORARY DEGREES
ALMA MATER ...................................... by Milton L. Yeats
Rabbi Simeon Kobrinetz, Director, Hillel Foundation, Univer-
sity of Miami
University Grand March ................ by Edwin F. Goldman
4 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
THE INAUGURAL LUNCHEON
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8-12:30 P.M.
REITZ UNION BALLROOM
Robert M. Mautz, Chancellor, State University System, presiding
INVOCATION: The Reverend Michael V. Gannon, Depart-
ment of Religion
MUSICAL SELECTIONS: University Men's Glee Club, John
R. Grigsby, Directing
THE SUPREME COURT-Campbell Thornal, Justice
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION-Floyd T. Christian, Super-
intendent of Public Instruction
CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION-Don Fuqua, Second District
STATE LEGISLATURE-Ralph D. Turlington, Speaker of the
House of Representatives
STATE UNIVERSITIES-John S. Allen, President, University
of South Florida
JUNIOR COLLEGES-Joseph W. Fordyce, President, Santa Fe
CITY OF GAINESVILLE-Theodore E. Williams, Mayor
ALACHUA COUNTY-Sidney Martin, Chairman, Alachua
UNIVERSITY WOMEN-Mrs. Williard E. Stone, President,
University Women's Club
THE INAUGURAL RECEPTION
4:00-6:00 P.M.-The President's Home
8:15 P.M.-University Auditorium-University Chamber
Orchestra, Edward C. Troupin, Conducting
Frederick W. Conner Presiding:
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It is a pleasure
to welcome you to this phase of our Inauguration Ceremonies.
It is customary in the inauguration of a new president to bring
to the campus people of broad experience and sharp perceptions
to talk about subjects appropriate to the beginning of a new ad-
ministration. We believe that in our speakers for this afternoon
we have people who fit that prescription, and we believe that the
subject which has been proposed to them is certainly a fitting one
for the beginning of any university administration.
The biographies of our speakers are printed in your programs
and it therefore will not be necessary for me to go into any detail
concerning them. I would like, nevertheless, to remind you of
two or three things by way of fixing the breadth of their experi-
ence and implying the possibilities of their perceptions.
Dr. Stahr has been president of two universities, the Univer-
sity of West Virginia and the University of Indiana. He was
Vice Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, and he was
Dean of the Law School and Provost of the University of Ken-
tucky. He also was Secretary of the Army in the cabinet of
President John Kennedy. These are only the most obvious
among many achievements which add up to a very broad ex-
Dr. Williams is somewhat the junior of Dr. Stahr, though I
think probably not by much. He spent one summer as a student
at the University of Kentucky while Dr. Stahr was Dean of the
Law School and I suppose that creates a generation gap of some
kind even if only a small one.
That we should consider the function of the university in
the modern world is highly appropriate in view of the many
6 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
drastic changes which are taking place in the academic world
with increasing rapidity and force of impact-changes in quan-
tity of people, of money, and of bits of information, changes in
the relation of the university to the world which creates it and in
its internal structure and governance, changes even in the con-
ception of what it means to "know." It is, for better or for worse,
an age of revolution. Sometimes I think with Yeats that
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
It would be neither gracious nor prudent, however, to burden
visiting speakers with gloomy introductions. Let me strike
rather a brighter note and borrow from the most resolute optimist
I know, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson said of the 1830's:
If there is any period one would desire to be born in, is it
not the age of revolution? When the old and the new stand side
by side and admit of being compared when the historic
glories of the old can be compensated by the rich possibilities
of the new. This time, like all times, is a very good one if
we but know what to do with it.
On this more auspicious note, I turn to Dr. Williams.
Dr. Jack K. Williams
VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE SYSTEM
W e are gathered to honor our esteemed colleague who to-
morrow will be initiated formally as a member of a minor-
ity group known as university presidents. He has been on proba-
tion with the group for about a year. During the course of
tomorrow's pageantry, a member of our colleague's governing
board will extend the medallion of office and promise unstinting
support. A representative of the alumni association will pledge
assistance and understanding in full measure. A spokesman
from the university's faculties will guarantee the cooperation of
that great body in the accomplishment of the tasks ahead. And
the student body president will vocalize his constituency's ex-
pectation to move with our colleague along the cutting edge of
high academic adventure (and with students today, it is a cutting
edge and it is a high adventure).
We will be witnesses to this symbolic ceremony of marriage
of President O'Connell to his university (with which he has
been living in sin now for the past several months). We wish
our colleague well and this includes those presidents who were
quoted in the September 27 issue of Time Magazine under the
title, "Academe's Exhausted Executives."
In that issue of Time, you will recall UCLA's Franklin
Murphy cataloged the university presidency as a physical, emo-
tional and creative drain. Ohio's Vernon Alden presented it as
an impossible responsibility. Earlham's Landrum Boiling noted
that it sometimes tears a man into a thousand fragments. North
Carolina's Bill Friday warned that it would subject a man not
only to great pressures but to personal abuse. Indiana's Elvis
Stahr, who shares this platform, described the presidency as a
job which did not so much drain your gas tank as burn out your
And Duke's Douglas Knight--not quoted in Time-identi-
fied the presidency as a situation which cloaks one with pro-
found isolation. "We presidents," he has written, "are isolated
by our very overload of information, by our constant distrac-
tions, and by those who tell us what they think we want to know."
These distinguished gentlemen have a message for all of us-
a message which has urgent and direct relationship to the sub-
ject, "The Function of a University in a Modern World." This
function, they seem to be saying, however multi-faceted it is,
cannot be carried forward in anarchy or chaos, devoid of decision-
making leadership which is respected as such and allowed to
serve responsibly as such.
I am convinced that one great function of a university in a
modern world is to determine that the conditions essential for
such leadership will be established and maintained.
8 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
There is something of the innovator and perhaps a bit of the
egocentric in all who labor in the educational brickyard. Our
graduate experiences condition us to restate existing theses and
to contribute something fresh and something new.
In astronomy this may mean the discovery of a new galaxy.
In chemistry, the isolation of an unknown element. In history,
the revision of theories of cause and effect.
In the broad field of educational administration, the spirit
of discovery and the compulsion to restate theses has led, for one
thing, to the compounding and complexifying of university func-
tions. Indeed, the literature of higher education is becoming
top-heavy on what the university should be doing-to whom, for
whom, and against whom.
I will offer a selection of illustrations and quotes taken from
articles printed during the last two or three years, and indicating
the Alpha to Omega nature of the problem.
For instance, the literature is rich of late with variations on
a theme that a central function of a university is to make the
private needs and concerns of students a dominant thrust. So
compelling is this argument that its more avid adherents seek
for the student a paramount voice in all phases of his classroom
and campus life. But countering this demand for educational
self-direction is a plea that students not be given the chore of
setting university purpose. Whereas the first group insists that
student decision-making would establish on campus a clear re-
lationship to the solution of modern problems, the second be-
lieves that student-oriented administration would tend to segre-
gate its participants in an unreal world, leaving them oblivious
of pragmatic philosophies.
A second favorite argument about function is one concerned
with the worth and status of teaching versus that of research.
Here the critics agree that the central function of a university
is teaching and research; but agreement does not extend to how
much of one should be done compared to the other, or whether
one should be rewarded over the other.
The teachers among the critics insist that we must restore in
full measure the status of teaching, which they say has been
brushed aside and all but forgotten. This means, they write, that
we need to assist and honor Socratic teachers-teachers, accord-
ing to Texas Professor William Arrowsmith, who are the "visual
embodiment of the realized humanity of our aspirations, intelli-
gence, skill and scholarship." Teaching is notoriously bad in the
universities, Arrowsmith says; and this is so because we refuse
to divorce the problem of research from that of teaching. Hence,
we elevate the researcher and debase the teacher, with ruinous
You know the response this attack invokes. Peter Volpe
has stated it this way: "I confess to a vast impatience with the
point of view that ascribes the inadequacy of teaching to over-
emphasis on research. I submit that the highest form of teach-
ing is being practiced by our research scholars."
But all this is pedantic and outside the pale of most popular
criticism of function. Certainly literature about university func-
tion is not restricted to who should make the curriculum or
whether the teacher or the researcher is more valuable. Rather
the literature holds that the function of the modern university
must be innovative. The university, our critics say, must broaden
its admissions base, expand its public services, become an active
agency of social justice, and undertake to solve the varied prob-
lems not only of the farm and the city, but of the state and the
Here are typical quotes:
FROM KENNETH KENISTON: "The critical function of higher
education is by no means exhausted with a consideration of
teaching students. On the contrary, American universities must
exercise this function by acting as watchdogs, gadflies, defenders,
Jeremiahs, and at times Cassandras of our society."
FROM OTIS SINGLETARY: "I ask that the university
community shoulder its fair share of responsibility for pointing
up the huge, intolerable, scandalous fact of abject poverty ex-
isting in the midst of the wealthiest society the world has ever
known. I ask that the university assume its traditional and
valuable role of critic to our society."
From HOMER BABBIDGE: "It is no longer enough to educate
the men who will, in turn, serve society; the American university
itself has now become an instrument for direct social action."
From MAXWELL GOLDBERG: "Higher education has re-
sponsibility for restraining and re-humanizing the mature Ameri-
10 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
can. To accomplish this function, nothing short of radical and
pervasive conversion in academia is needed."
From WILLIAM BIRENBAUM: "The university which is not
now urban-based is reaching out for the nearest city as rapidly
as it can. The function of the university will inevitably be inter-
woven with the day-to-day activities of city people. The univer-
sity must face the hard problems of urban life and these prob-
lems do not conform to the ways universities are now organized."
And, from WILLIAM MARVEL: "There is first the overall
responsibility of the United States as a nation to contribute to a
peaceful and progressive world order .... At the apex, there is
the special and formidable world responsibility that rests squarely
on the universities and the colleges."
In the collect, these writers make this point: The function of
a university in a modern world is to teach, to research, to re-train,
to humanize, to criticize, to set the force of its body of talent
and intellect and conscience to the precise definition and active
solution of problems in the whole of our civilization.
We have sold this remarkable claim of multiple function to
eager buyers, as you are well and often painfully aware. The
public at large agrees with us that we should do all we say we
should, and the public is eager to tell us how to proceed.
"We who are outside the university ask," Walter Lippman
writes, "why we now turn to the universities? We do so because
the behavior of man depends ultimately on what he recognizes
to be truth as distinguished from error. The traditional guardi-
ans and spokesmen of true knowledge (the priests, dynasties of
rulers, courtiers, and civil servants) have in varying degrees lost
or renounced their titles to speak with authority and there
is left as the court of last resort, when truth is at issue, the an-
cient and universal company of scholars."
Whatever the dimension of your agreement or disagreement
with Mr. Lippman, it is clear that the function of the modern
university is complex; that accomplishment of that complex func-
tion is expected of us; and that the task of administering the
complexity of function is increasingly difficult and demanding.
All of which returns me to the thesis stated earlier in this
talk: that the university in the modern world must establish
and maintain those conditions essential for vigorous and effective
To me this means that we must somehow rid our establish-
ment of the strange nescience, irresponsibly repeated by those
who should know better, that university administration and its
machinery is negatively bureaucratic and tends to swamp our
community of scholars.
We must somehow persuade those who deride university
administrators as a species that the complexity of a modern uni-
versity and the urgency of its work cannot be directed by part-
Mr. Kenneth Galbraith's remark that "The faculty now gov-
erns and only the faculty can govern," is a case in point. As it
stands, his statement has no validity. It has reference to some
mythical academic golden age, when classroom teaching was the
university function, clear and uncluttered.
The argument by Berkeley's student Michael Tigor that "the
entire range of university decisions" must be made in an atmos-
phere of broad and decisive student participation is a similar ab-
surdity, given any reasonable definition of his term "the entire
range of university decisions."
Let me state quickly that I do not seek an environment for
the university president which would assign to him any sort of
unimpeachable omnipotence or freedom from error; nor do I
suggest that he fail to bring to his counsel table on a regular
and formal basis a substantial and representative faculty and
student voice. Indeed, if he is to succeed at all in the exercise
of his complicated endeavors, he must give great weight to these
What I do suggest is that we in the university community-
all of us-assist in bringing to an end what one critic has called
the "masked erosion" of the prestige and authority of the uni-
versity president; that we cease our idle prattle that the essential
function of administration is custodial and janitorial; and that
we actively assist to develop and urge a system of review of ad-
ministrative decisions which, while critical and necessarily deep,
admits the existence of authority and, above all, does not give
countenance to raw harassment, thoughtless personal abuse, or
12 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
the threat or actuality of mob violence to administrative offices,
homes or persons.
I conclude on this note: The function of a university in a
modern world, as I see it, is to accept responsibility and act re-
sponsibly as one of the greatest power centers in our society.
In the perceptive words of Douglas Knight, "The university
power center is not only for a dozen publics which constantly
play their forces on it, but for a hundred publics which demand
the talent of the university to support their enterprises."
Such a power center must have the leadership to articulate
its direction, to mediate its counterclaims, to sift the diverse evi-
dences, to keep the initiative, and, most importantly, to commit
the exposure of new ideas to the light of day.
If we make it so that such leadership as that will not come
to us, or, having come stay with us, then we will not perform
our function in the modern world or in our local province.
As Rosemary Park has said so well, "In this extraordinary
conglomerate of prerogatives not exercised, of usurpations by
default, the ship moves; and more extraordinarily still this fun-
damental structure of movable parts has not totally disintegrated.
Something holds it together, but who knows for how long?" It
will be the greatest disaster we have known if it does not hold
together-tightly and well.
The dimension of breadth in Dr. Williams' experience is
more intimately related to this campus than you may suspect,
for in moving from the position of Commissioner of Public
Higher Education in Texas to the position of Vice President for
Academic Affairs at the University of Tennessee, he was suc-
ceeding our own Herman Spivey, who taught here many years
ago and has now returned, after an illustrious career as a uni-
versity administrator, to teach here again.
The responsibilities in Tennessee would be great if limited
only to the Knoxville campus but have become greater as the
university has grown from a single campus into a system.
The vicissitudes of air travel gave us some anxious moments
as to whether we would hear Dr. Stahr at all this afternoon. The
fact that man now not only travels through the air but wanders
around in space and visits other planets brought me back again
and again to the familiar nursery rhyme:
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How we wonder where you are.
We are glad he is safely here and will be even more glad to
hear what he has to say on our subject.
Dr. Elvis J. Stahr
I think it's wonderful that the University of Florida has chosen
a lawyer as president. I happen to be a lawyer myself and
one reason I think it's wonderful is because it makes me feel
a little better about having devoted a good part of my life to the
presidencies of universities. There aren't very many of these
animals you know. Yale has a lawyer president; Michigan ac-
quired one quite recently, and I believe there's one more some-
where. In any case, I was very glad about a year ago, when I
was already thinking about how thin my "bearings were wear-
ing," to learn that the great University of Florida had selected a
lawyer as president who would keep the ranks from thinning if
I decided to bow out at Indiana. And so it eventuates today
though I didn't know then that I'd be here to help celebrate the
It is customary and good that universities take stock from
time to time, and the inauguration of a new president is certainly
as good a time as any and probably better than most. This
taking of stock frequently includes the involvement of someone
from "outside" to talk about universities in general as a back-
drop for the more immediately important considerations of the
Such an outsider, as Dr. Williams and I are, should not try
to cover all of the interests and concerns of universities, fascinat-
14 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
ing though these are, for they quite literally include the entire
universe, and this would make for an awfully long speech.
The best guide for outside speakers on college campuses
may well be the advice offered by a newspaper columnist last
June for the particular benefit of Commencement speakers, and
I'm thinking that it may have relevance for inaugural speakers
"Be brief. Brevity is an inspiration to the young. In an
academic atmosphere, brevity is the soul of eloquence. Brevity
honors the scholar, reassures the dullard and dignifies the prac-
titioner. It pleases the parents and astonishes the faculty."
Having attended four universities (Kentucky, Oxford, Yale
and Harvard) for greatly varying purposes and greatly varying
lengths of time; having worked for four universities in a variety
of capacities (in one case as Professor, another as a dean and
Provost, one as Vice Chancellor, and two as President); having
served on an almost inconceivable number of committees, com-
missions, boards and councils in the field of higher education in
America-all of this (though interrupted a few times) stretching
over a span of some 36 years-I could perhaps be expected to
have some realistic things to say today about American universi-
ties as they are or as they have been. But I've been asked to talk
about them also as they will be, and that, as the saying goes, will
be a little more impossible.
I shan't advise your new president very much except that I
do want to console him. It's quite clear now that his job is going
to be much easier than it has been for those of our predecessors
back through the years. After all, they had the tremendous
challenge of educating young people, while today young people
come to us already knowing all of the answers! It's so much
I hope we may at least stimulate some thought and talk
which could be helpful in making the future of our universities
what it ought to be. Yet that phrase, "what it ought to be,"
opens up a major problem and I'm not sure I'll get beyond that,
because there appears to be a lack of contemporary consensus on
objectives. Indeed, these days one finds sometimes passionate
disagreements on what the mission of the modern university
really is, what its function in society should be. I think what
I'm going to say complements what has been said in the quota-
tions which Dr. Williams has given us which make it clear how
great the expectations of universities are and how different they
are on the part of different people.
I shan't take up your time by elaborating on the obvious
points that the function of a university includes the teaching
of students who want to learn; the carrying on of research, par-
ticularly basic research (and I'm aware as you are of the difficul-
ties of defining that); serving as a patron of the arts (this is an
important and growing role of universities); providing consult-
ing services to government, industry, agriculture and the pro-
fessions, as well as information to various interest groups. While
there are questions in each of these areas which are not unin-
teresting, I have chosen to look at another question, which is
whether and to what extent political agitation and social action
are a proper part of the functions of a university.
We hear a lot of complaints about universities today. (This,
by the way, is not new.) Most of the complaints, as might be
expected, come from people with some kind of axe to grind.
Thus, some criticize universities and scholars for "poking their
noses" into public issues and affairs that are "none of their
business," while others simultaneously criticize universities for
being irrelevant and uninvolved-too "ivory-towered." To some
degree, I think, both criticisms are justified, paradoxical as that
may seem. The important questions are: Does the university,
as an institution and through its scholars, have or not have a
legitimate interest in exploring any and everything under the
sun, and beyond? I say, yes. But then, what is the university's
responsibility, as an institution, for seeking to assure the accept-
ance by society of all or any of the conclusions drawn by its
scholars or any of them?
Let's back off and look at that question for a minute.
There are some who feel that the great function of a univer-
sity is to provide an environment-that's not a simple thing,
though it's easy to state-in which dedicated scholars can search
for truth and can inspire and train succeeding generations to
continue that search unendingly, being at all times rational, ob-
jective, healthily skeptical, detached, questioning, free from
16 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
prejudice, and free from outside pressure to distort in any way
their methods, their findings, or their views which, after all,
are or should be based on honest, expert and scholarly research.
These persons argue that if we didn't have such institutions,
if we didn't have communities of scholars who can be counted
on to take dispassionate, objective, continuing, critical, and dif-
fering looks at man and his universe, we'd have to invent them
-or try to.
These institutions, as such, they say, should be aloof, in the
sense that no one should presume to commit a whole university
to a partisan position on a disputed issue, except that the whole
institution should be committed to the position that its individual
members have the right to take or to question any position.
Now, there are other persons who have a very different view
of the university and its role. This view is shared, how signifi-
cantly I won't say, not only by all of those whom Dr. Williams
quoted, but also by the New Left and the John Birch Society.
To such persons, the search for truth ends when they come to
their own certainties on a given issue, and the university should
be, not a community of seekers for truth, but an institutionalized
proclaimer of truth (so long as it is their truth, of course).
The university should be activist, involved, a direct agent
of social change, some of these people argue. Others argue that
it should be a staunch and loyal defender of the status quo (of
the status quo ante, in some cases); it should be fiercely pas-
sionate rather than studiously dispassionate; a centrally involved
participant rather than a detached observer and critic; contempo-
raneously committed, rather than eternally questioning; and (to
me this next one is the worst of all) it should be inhospitable to
ideas and opinions, speakers and speeches which are not ac-
ceptable as conforming to the dogma of the moment of the ex-
tremist, be he Yippie or Ku Kluxer. No extremists want speakers
from the other side to be heard on our campuses and both ex-
tremists have gone to great lengths to prevent that occurring.
There always have been, as far as I can learn, such differing
types of attitudes-held in varying mixtures and degrees-about
what universities should be doing or should not be doing. There
has almost always been a lot of confusion among the public
about the difference between the individual member of the in-
stitution and the institution itself, and untold confusion about
the meaning of "academic freedom." The profoundly disturb-
ing thing to me today is that such confusion seems to be growing
within the academic community.
Those intellectuals who were horrified-and rightly-in the
era of Joseph McCarthy by powerful efforts to muzzle and ex-
clude not only communists but even so-called left-wingers-
which often appeared to include almost any good old-fashioned
liberal-from being employed on our campuses (or anywhere
else, if possible) are, in the era of Eugene McCarthy, appar-
ently not particularly horrified by the current strenuous and
considerably more successful efforts to prevent anybody, includ-
ing almost any good old-fashioned liberal, from even being heard
on our campuses (or anywhere else if possible) to express views
unacceptable to the latter-day self-appointed arbiters of great
issues who call themselves the New Left.
Extremism in the form or in the sense of intolerance for the
expression of differing viewpoints has infected man's social and
political life for centuries. It nevertheless always is and should
be cause for deep dismay when it obtains foothold in our univer-
sities, especially if faculties are complacent about it.
The rule of reason is in terrible danger today, because the
polarization of passionate opinion on almost every important
issue leaves little room for rational discussion. Even that vicious
form of anti-intellectualism, the argumentum ad hominem, has
seemed to gain respectability with some academics. The concept
of the university as a citadel of free speech has been mocked
and shaken at least as much by the shouting and heckling of
self-proclaimed "idealists" in recent years as it ever was by
speaker-ban laws in the years just prior. And the long-term
effect on the university has been more shattering, because the
university members, who were once united against the outside
threats, now appear badly split by the inside outrages.
I suggest they are split because some members of the aca-
demic community either have chosen, or have permitted them-
selves, to become confused about the function of the university.
They have placed its basic mission in a secondary status or, in
18 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
some cases, are even seeking to revolutionize that mission in aid
of their aim to revolutionize society.
To me, nothing is more important for the future than re-
storing, and keeping central and strong, the freedom of our uni-
versities. This to me is their real mission: to be free. I mean
true freedom-the kind that needs eternal vigilance, the kind
that entails responsibility, the kind that means we'll defend the
rights of all, not just of those who agree with us. I mean, par-
ticularly, true academic freedom-freedom to speak and to
listen, freedom to doubt, to inquire, to debate, to disagree, to
search. Such freedom is manifestly impossible in an atmosphere
of violence or of fear or intimidation and those who will not dis-
tinguish the polar differences between honest dissent and deliber-
ate disruption are guilty of treason to the academic enterprise.
The future of our universities thus depends in considerable
measure on how they themselves conceive their function-on
what they think they ought to be-as well as on how the general
public looks upon that mission and assesses the universities' fi-
delity to it. Much of what I am saying may seem to be a
matter of degree.
I am well aware that beyond teaching and research there
has long been included in the accepted role of the American
university, particularly the state university, a third important
mission called public service. And I am not suggesting an
abandonment of that role, properly understood. I am warning
about the perversion of that role under the guise of extension
of it. I am urging that in teaching or research or public service,
the function of the university and of its scholars is to preach
and practice reason and objectivity.
The argument that it is inconsistent for a university to sup-
port and even subsidize the dissemination of the findings of
some of its faculty arrived at through meticulous, controlled
scientific research on hybrid corn while refusing to take an insti-
tutional position in support of the insights arrived at by others
of its faculty through some miraculous act of revelation about
American foreign policy in Viet Nam is the purest sophistry.
It hasn't been very long since universities were defending, at
some cost, the rights of controversial professors and students
simply to exercise the rights of citizens to express views as free
Americans-yet today a lot of controversial professors and stu-
dents are cursing universities which don't suppress views op-
posed to their own side of a controversy! Irony of ironies. In-
deed, some are doing more than cursing; they are taking matters
into their own hands and, like the communists and the Ku Klux
Klan, are encouraging or employing intimidation, force and dis-
ruption to try to gain their ends-whatever those ends are.
I am not talking broadly about the much-discussed current
topic of "law and order"-or even about the much-agonized
subject of law and justice. I'm talking solely about universities
and the principles vital to their existence, namely, free explora-
tion and free debate. As it happens, the law is expected to pro-
tect both of these freedoms and, as it happens, both of them can
be very helpful in the pursuit of justice. But neither freedom
nor justice is viable in a situation of social disorder. The murder
or suicide of our universities can hardly be of help to any just
Though the New Left rant and rave and threaten as belliger-
ently as the Old Right ever did, I believe it imperative that it
not be permitted to disrupt or to destroy our campuses, literally
or figuratively, or to gain its ends through intimidation, or to
assert its rights to the point of trampling down the rights of
Does all this mean that I think universities have no role to
play in improving society? Far from it. In too many ways for
any of us to grasp the full picture, our universities are-and I
hope will always continue-striving to assist the triumph of men
over barriers to knowledge, social health and healthful living.
Of these, social health seems today farthest from attain-
ment. From tragic and cruel riots to horrifying assassinations,
there has been a seemingly rising crescendo of violence and
militance and hate and resort to force in our country and around
the world. This can only bring dismay to all people (and I pray
there are still many) who have striven and are striving to lead
mankind to reject the law of the jungle and usher in the age
Civilization, a goal of man from earliest times, is set back
immeasurably everytime anyone takes the law into his own hands
-and it is set back a gigantic step when coercion or violence is
20 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
imported into what should be the very citadels of rationality-
But there is a good rule which says, when trouble occurs,
look for the reason. People who self-righteously disassociate
themselves from physical force, yet have no understanding of
the feelings, no concern with the predicaments of others, can
effectively stimulate reaction and resentment. Though it is es-
sential, it is still not enough to seek return to law and order-it
is not enough, if the law can deal unequally and the order is only
moral for some.
The man who is deprived for whatsoever reason of an appeal
to a court of law or of reason or who has seen the moral order
perpetuate in his own life injustice or intolerance, seeks, as we
all do, and I am sure with much greater fervor, a civilization of
higher law and order. But that can only come about when all of
us believe again in human dignity and human worth. There is
much evidence that such belief is not furthered, but hindered,
by resort to violence.
This brings me back to the questions of how universities
function. Fundamental to the functioning of these institutions
is that much-misunderstood concept called academic freedom,
the safeguard that a modern-day Copernicus might be free to
doubt and inquire and disagree.
Questioning of "facts," opinions, ideas and theories is an in-
tegral part of the process by which scholars, young and old, learn
to think independently. And it is fundamentally important that
they be free to reject and dissent as well as to agree. If no one
had ever questioned or criticized or protested or dissented, man
today would have progressed little beyond the cave man.
It may come as a shock to some people to observe that we do
not yet live in the best of all possible worlds, that we have not
yet achieved a perfect society--that there is much yet to learn
and unlearn-about man and his universe.
Academic freedom, the right to search freely and question
and criticize, is important, not just to scholars and students, but
to society itself. For anyone or any group to prejudge that
some things may be questioned and criticized, but others may
not be, is to make a mockery of the search for truth and light.
There have been from time to time, and many times, external
pressures to restrict freedom of inquiry and expression on the
campus, especially in times of conflict and of great controver-
sies. We in our time have seen such pressures aplenty. We
don't have to guess the effects of restricting speech and inquiry;
we have seen them in the distortions imposed by the Third Reich
and the Soviet Union-and we have seen, in the time of an
earlier Senator McCarthy, how corrosive external pressures on the
campus can be even in our own country.
Now I want us all to be perfectly clear on the point that
the principle of the open campus is, basically, the simple insist-
ence that all factors should be examined before a conclusion
is drawn, and should remain open to re-examination even then!
That's why it would be wrong, tragic and a travesty for a uni-
versity as a corporate body to purport to be hawk or dove, so-
cialist or capitalist, Democrat or Republican or Wallace-ite, pro
or con the Peace Corps, the Job Corps, the Hard Core, or what
have you, except a fierce defender of its own ethic. What is
that ethic? If I may quote from another university president,
Howard Bowen of Iowa, "A university is not a parliament or a
political party or a pressure group.
"If the university as a corporate entity were to take part in
political action, the ability to carry out its main functions, which
require a posture of objectivity and detachment, would be un-
dermined. The university would lose its intellectual power, its
integrity, and its credibility and would be subject to inordinate
pressures from every interest that might seek its endorsement.
I admit that the distinctions between the university as a corpo-
rate entity, its professors and students as searchers for the truth,
and its professors and students as citizens are subtle and diffi-
cult to apply in practice. Yet, it is only as the university is
meticulous in its regard for these distinctions that it will retain
its real power which is as a source of ideas which approach as
closely as possible to the truth.
"I must add," he says, "some qualifications about the political
posture of the university. The university does have its own
ethic which it must vigilantly defend, if necessary, by political
means. This ethic includes such concepts as freedom of thought
and speech, the obligation to give a respectful hearing to new
ideas, the obligation to seek and report the truth regardless of
22 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
consequences, the evaluation of persons solely on the basis of
character and performance, the judgment of scholarly and ar-
tistic work by peers, the avoidance of plagiarism, and the promo-
tion of high standards in intellectual and aesthetic matters, and
these the universities must always defend, if necessary, by politi-
Academic freedom, then, does not imply or permit institu-
tional approval of anyone's opinions-of any visitor's or any
member's-from the president on up, down, or sideways, de-
pending on where you view the place of the president-of any-
one's opinions on great political issues. It does imply the right
of all to question and to criticize politics and politicians, policies
and programs, principles and propaganda, wars and repressions.
This is indeed a far from perfect world-and no one should be
shocked that students as well as professors have perceived it,
that they want to change many things for the better, that they
scorn sham and condemn hypocrisy, or that their hearts cry out
for peace in the world.
But academic freedom does not mean academic anarchy. It
means freedom to study and to express opinions; it does not
mean freedom to impose them or suppress them. What does it
mean with regards to modes of expression?
Let me remind us again that the protection of an environment
of free inquiry is currently under attack from within the aca-
demic community. At first, using the methods of non-violent
resistance employed by Ghandi, by the feminists in England
and America and, in late years, by the Freedom Riders in the
South, some students and even a few faculty members on several
campuses across the nation began deliberately to disrupt speeches
and meetings, and to block access to visiting recruiters, then to
expropriate facilities, and to employ physical restraints on even
fellow members of the academic community with whose view-
points or interests they disagreed. Though most claimed to and
some may have acted from deep belief in the high morality of
their cause, they nevertheless opened a Pandora's box of destruc-
The disruptive means employed in support of a moral posi-
tion can be readily employed to back an immoral or amoral goal.
But such means, in whatever cause, are wholly inconsistent with
academic freedom. With that abandoned, it was scarcely sur-
prising to see those so-called "nonviolent" methods of just two or
three years ago so imitated and enlarged that direct physical in-
timidation, arson, violence and even total disruption have be-
come a tragic reality or constant threat on campuses across the
country. In complete disregard of the rights of others and care-
less of the institution's fate, some seek to hammer and burn
their views upon the face of the university, and then, their
appetites unappeased, seek new issues to prolong the demoli-
tion. They scorn dialogue and insist on monologue.
Let me reiterate, for utmost emphasis, that the vital principle
which too many students and even some professors appear to
have overlooked-and the oversight could be tragic-is that dis-
sent which is carried to the point of physical interference with
the right of others to inquire, or to express or hear a point of
view, or to move peaceably and without fear or hindrance about
a campus or a building, is not the exercise but the antithesis of
academic freedom and is alien to the environment in which
knowledge and truth can be pursued-and to the spirit without
which academic freedom is dead!
Don't put me down as authoritarian. I am not. I am the
opposite. I fear it's the militants who have become authori-
tarian, though labels don't help much. Universities have long
been almost uniquely the preservers and honorers of intellectual
values and it is vital to everyone that they remain so. They
themselves abhor force and thus call upon force only to repel
force and only when it is clear that reason cannot function be-
cause it is rejected by arrogant or fearful crusaders or protesters
who will not desist from efforts to impose their will or have their
way by force.
Universities have striven to demonstrate the uses of persua-
sion, compassion and common sense in situations of tension,
often but not always, with success. I for one believe it is neces-
sary and only fair to make clear to all, in advance, the obligation
of the academic community to exclude from membership those
who refuse to accept that community's vital principles of aca-
demic freedom and physical peace. Some will pretend to look
upon this kind of warning as an arrogant threat or dare, but it
24 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
is really a serious and honest step in explaining and maintaining
Don't put me down as a racist. I am not. I am quite
the opposite. It is vital to keep clear that intellects are neither
black, nor white, nor yellow; nor is an idea weighed by its color.
Racial discrimination has no place on any campus, as indeed it
should not have anywhere else. Your university is Alma Mater
to all of her students and all of her graduates and your country
must become the land of freedom and of opportunity for all of
her people. Racism, white and black, stands in the way of this
Don't put me down as insensitive. On the contrary, I am
convinced that one of the greatest services any university can
render is to educate (not indoctrinate, but educate) in values
and ideals. The university is not a government bureau or any
other kind of direct action agency, and must not be (except
within its own walls). But it can be the most important indirect
action agency in our society, if significant numbers of its stu-
dents carry with them into society a commitment to its values
and ideals, genuine freedom of speech and inquiry, repudiation
of force, and the abandonment of discrimination, so that the
fullest opportunities will be equally and genuinely open.
By now, I think you must have surmised what I think all
universities should stand for and strive for, what the mission of
the university in the modern world must be. I most sincerely
wish the University of Florida and her distinguished new presi-
dent the greatest possible success in their strivings for these goals
in the years ahead.
Lester L. Hale Presiding:
I'm very happy to ask the head of the Department of Religion
to ask the Invocation: Dr. Delton Scudder.
Let us pray. 0 Thou who has placed us in a world of labor and
inspiration, where we grow strong by doing the things which
need to be done, and grow tall by permitting valid ideals to deter-
mine our loyalties and devotions;
Teach us to be open and receptive to the beauty of the world
and especially to the enchantment of this lovely campus as the
lights of evening lift the darkness of an autumn night.
Encourage us to welcome those disclosures of truth which
add the exhilarations of joy and freedom to our earnest and
We are glad that perceptions of excellence ever frequent the
hearts of men and we rejoice that one whose mind is hospitable
to ideas of transcendent value now presides over the destinies
of the University.
Grant that during the ceremonies of investiture which are
to come, we may all rededicate ourselves to the things for which
the University stands and offer our new President that discerning
fidelity and the trust he so richly deserves.
Bless this gathering with hospitality and good cheer and may
the strength of this food be transformed into the services of our
common life. Amen.
26 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
It is my distinct pleasure to now present a person very im-
portant to the University of Florida, Mrs. John J. Tigert. Many
official remarks will be made about Mrs. Tigert tomorrow, but
I'm going to take a toastmaster's prerogative and make a few
personal remarks at this time.
We have always admired Mrs. Tigert's graciousness and par-
ticularly appreciated her ability to tactfully remind President
Tigert of the names of the faculty members. When we first
came to the University of Florida and attended our first faculty
reception, I was, at that time, directing the Florida players.
We came through the receiving line and Dr. Tigert greeted
Evelyn and me very warmly, as he always did, and then handed
us on routinely to Mrs. Tigert who immediately said, "Well, hello,
Mr. Hale and Evelyn. We certainly enjoyed the play the other
night, didn't we John?" Dr. Tigert looked back in recognition
and said, "Oh, yes indeed, I've been trying to reach you by phone,
Lester, to tell you how much we enjoyed the show."
Well, she always had such a warm and tactful and person-
able way. As a matter of fact, some of you may not know Mrs.
Tigert crocheted booties for all the babies of faculty members.
The size of the faculty family in those days made that possible.
One day we received a telephone call from the Tigerts to
tell us that they were coming by in a day or two to bring the
booties to us and we kept everything picked up as long as we
could. But the only place to bathe the baby was in front of the
stove in the living room. One afternoon while that was going
on and the room was all messed up, and I had to finally get out
in the yard and mow the lawn in my shorts and barefooted, the
Tigerts arrived. Evelyn came to the back door and in a very
sweet but embarrassed voice, said "Les, Dr. and Mrs. Tigert are
here." We entertained, for the first time, the president of the
University and his wife in our living room with me in my shorts
Mrs. J. Hillis Miller was the first to grace the new and present
mansion of the university president and to make it a home for
the university community. And Mrs. Miller, God bless you, you
have indeed endeared yourself to the hearts of all of us, not only
as the First Lady of the University, and helpmate for your illustri-
ous husband, the late Dr. J. Hillis Miller, but because of your
own personableness and the example of Christian courage and
for the counseling service and help that you have been to count-
less students through the Methodist Student Center and at the
university at large and to the patients and families of patients
at the Miller Health Center and elsewhere. We want to do you
a special homage here tonight.
I want to present our honored guests together as a team, for,
indeed, they reflect the finest in family and professional team-
manship. In fact, I understand that Mrs. O'Connell said to
the President the other day, "Stephen, I've taken you safely over
all the rough spots of life, haven't I?" And Steve replied, "Yes,
dear, I don't believe you've missed any of them."
Most of us know that President O'Connell was a champion
boxer while a student, but you may not have heard of his remark
made once after he was knocked out in an early round of a box-
ing match. He fell to the canvas and took the full count. As a
matter of fact, he didn't come to until his handlers worked over
him in the dressing room. When he could finally talk, he said,
"Boy, did I have him worried in that third round. He thought
he'd killed me."
President O'Connell already may feel that he has his ad-
versaries worried for fear they've killed him in the first round of
his presidency because, believe me, it has been a rough and busy
first year for them both. But I've heard him say, and rightly so,
that he never has caused a fight nor has he ever run away from
one and I don't expect him to ever hit the canvas.
People often ask me today why I stand at attention when I
am in the President's office. Well, I'll tell you why. Soon after
the chief justice became President, I had one of our first crisis
conferences in his office. Now-a-days all of our conferences are
crises. The President wanted us all to be at ease and served us
coffee. Well, worried as I was, self-conscious as I was, I spilled
my entire cup of coffee in the center of his beautiful pale blue
presidential rug. Well, we all got on our hands and knees with
paper towels and rags and blotters and tried, but to no avail, to
get the brown spot to turn blue. You talk about togetherness.
That conference began with all of us on our knees, a real disarm-
28 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
ing and prayerlike informality. That dissipated the crisis, but
as he told me in a later connection one time, "Les, the way to
solve one crisis is to get a bigger one." As far as I'm concerned,
spilling that cup of coffee was about the biggest crisis I've had
since he's been President. And I've been trying to do penance
ever since. So I don't really stand at attention when I enter the
president's office but I do stand on that brown spot.
Now I was saying I was going to introduce our honored
team and I am. But I'm not going to make any further effort
to tease or be flippant about it because Rita and Steve O'Connell
are just about as wonderful people as ever I've known. They
have come to be our friends, the University's friends, the state's
friends, and our leaders at this University at a most significant
and trying period in our academic history. And I know how
hard they are trying to maintain a warm and normal home life
in the midst of unprecedented demands upon their time.
Mrs. O'Connell maintains an outward calm, a depth of per-
ception, a true and natural sweetness, a motherly pride and
love and responsibility and a sense of appreciation and concern
for others and an adeptness at making an official affair of state
seem like a simple situation of friendly fellowship, and she will
increasingly endear herself to us all.
President O'Connell, who has said, "There is no greater
burden for a man to bear than a sense of gratitude he feels he
can not fully repay," has left the highest judicial post in Florida
to come to where the flavor is, to come to the University of Flor-
ida where the action is, and where he knows the name of the
game, and the rules by which it must be played and at a time
when his legal wisdom and ability, his pugilistic capability and
fairness, his administrative coolness and political savvy, his per-
sonal interest in students and his respect for faculty and devotion
to higher education will cause him to take his place among the
great presidents of this University. Ladies and gentlemen, the
team of President and Mrs. O'Connell.
Now I want to bring you some brief greetings from the presi-
dent of the Chamber of Commerce, Sonny Lee.
Walter R. Lee, Jr.
Mr. President, Mrs. O'Connell, distinguished members at the
head table, and distinguished participants in this wonder-
ful occasion. When I got a letter asking that I come out and
talk for about 35 minutes, I was so pleased. I prepared my talk
in a notebook. You know we spent most of today listening to
distinguished speakers and I was so pleased that I had my talk in
a notebook too, because all these people got up and opened their
notebooks and began to speak. As we got ready to leave home
tonight, I showed Estelle this letter I had received and she said,
"Honey, that letter said 3 to 5 minutes." So I left the notebook
home and I didn't bring any notes.
I never made a speech, so for just those three or four minutes
tonight I'd like to talk to you about a man that we in Gainesville
take a great deal of pride in. Many of us here were in school
with Steve. We played some touch football between the SAE's,
and the ATO's and the Phi Delts. We saw him box under
Coach Carlos Proctor over here, representing the university well.
We saw him grow from what we see as youngsters come here to
the university, green youngsters, into a mature great leader
among the young men at this University.
You know, we here in Gainesville are a little unique in that
if we have good fellows or good girls out here at the University,
we like to claim them. If we have some that make some mistakes,
then they come from somewhere else. But seriously, the people
of this community of Gainesville, of the Alachua County area,
are so proud of one of our own, a boy who grew up here, who
was never one to want to hurt anyone and yet who had the cour-
age and the ability to stand up and fight for whatever was neces-
sary and right to fight for. We are so pleased that the Board of
Regents and the people of Florida have seen fit to bring home
what we like to call one of our own to follow in the footsteps of
the great leaders who have gone before.
Our prayer is that through the cooperation of the Chamber
of Commerce, of the business and professional people of the
greater Gainesville area and the University, we can be of some
help in the continued growth of this tremendous University.
30 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
Steve and Rita, speaking on behalf of all of the people connected
with the community and the Chamber of Commerce, we extend
to you our sincere welcome and greetings on coming home.
Monsignor O'Mahoney is an honored clergyman and trusted
counselor, best known for being Chaplain of the Catholic stu-
dents at the University of Florida for more than two decades-
1928-1949. His dedicated service to religion and to education
endeared him to the students and to the faculty alike. In Oc-
tober of '28, Bishop Patrick Berry of St. Augustine appointed
Father O'Mahoney as director of the Newman Club at the Uni-
versity of Florida and, in this position, he served with grace and
distinction until November of '49. In an unusual combination
of interests, he obtained a degree in law from the University of
Florida in 1933, was admitted to the Florida Court and to the
Federal Court in that year, and to practice before the United
States Supreme Court in 1937. It is my distinct pleasure and
honor to present to you, the Right Reverend Jeremiah P. O'Ma-
honey, Monsignor, St. Edward's Church, Palm Beach.
Monsignor Jeremiah P. O'Mahoney
Mr. President, Mrs. O'Connell. I arrived on the campus here
Oct. 4, 1928, and for the next 20 years had some of the
most wonderful experiences of my life.
I well recall when Steve O'Connell arrived at the University.
I had known his brother, Phil, ahead of him. They were very
different-and both very great.
We ministers did considerable counseling at Crane Hall.
Working with the students was both gratifying and satisfying.
We never asked a boy about his religion and we had many
Jewish and Protestant boys along with the Catholic boys. I wish
we could have more of that feeling of brotherhood today. If all
of our people went to their churches and their synagogues, the
world would be much better.
Through the years, since I first knew Steve O'Connell as a
student, I have had an opportunity to follow his brilliant career
and to meet him frequently. With all of his graces and charm,
his dignity and humility, we have full confidence in him as the
President and leader of this great University.
I hardly know where to begin in introducing our next
speaker, for everybody knows Wayne Reitz. So I will say only
that he came to the University of Florida in 1934 and left such a
mark on this campus that tonight we meet here in the Reitz
Dr. Tigert came from Washington as a pioneer educator
with a depth of perception and vision that created concepts
that are still integral to our university and we administer the
University of Florida from Tigert Hall. Dr. Miller, an educator-
builder came from New York at a critical time in the university
growth, when immediately after the war, we became coeduca-
tional, veterans returned and we quickly transformed from a
war school to a rapidly expanding education complex to include
the J. Hillis Miller Health Center.
Dr. Reitz then, as he liked to express it in years later, built
strength on strength and, as we entered the space age in Flor-
ida, like a booster rocket, his dynamic leadership served to cata-
pult the University of Florida to the necessary altitude to give
us a successful academic force. Then through his example and
his integrity, we developed the means for maintaining the proper
flight attitude so our institution would stay on course as a part
of the constellation of great universities. May I present the im-
mediate past president of the University of Florida, Dr. J. Wayne
J. Wayne Reitz
resident and Mrs. O'Connell, and distinguished guests all.
First, I should like to say to you, Rita and Steve, how disap-
pointed Fran (Mrs. Reitz) is that she cannot be here tonight.
She sends her best wishes. To you, Mr. President, who has
spent these last eleven months in a state of blissful matrimony
without benefit of ceremony, I am glad to know that it will come
to an official end in the morning. It is indeed a proud moment
in your life and certainly a most significant one in the history
32 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
of the University. We have something in common which I
wasn't aware of until I read the Gainesville Sun this past Sunday.
We came to the University in the same month in the same year,
you as a freshman and I as an assistant professor. I might pause
to admit here that in this day and age, I could not receive an
assistant professorship at the University with the credentials I
had at that time. You arrived from Miami on the Seaboard
railroad by way of Waldo and had to hitch a ride by a farmer's
truck to Gainesville. I had greater foresight and rode the At-
lantic Coast Line all the way to Gainesville!
I did not have the good fortune to have you in one of my
classes. You happened to be in another college. My first
memory of you was to see you in the new gym-it was the new
gym in those days-it was the only new gym we had. Those
boxing matches in which you engaged will long be remembered.
Steve, to my knowledge you never did hit the mat. Of course,
every now and then after you had won the match, you had to go
over to Dr. Tillman and get your nose repaired.
Rae Weimer invited us to reminisce a bit tonight but that is
dangerous because it's a sure sign of old age. One other incident
does come to mind, speaking of our being freshmen together.
About the second week I was on the campus, I went over to the
Black Cat for breakfast. Pee Wee Kezell took my order. He
gave me a penetrating look and a few minutes later returned
with the eggs, grits and toast. He pitched them down on the
counter and said, "Bub, where's your rat cap?" As a newly ap-
pointed member of the faculty I was so aghast that I merely
admitted having left it at home that morning.
We hear much about the present-day woes of university
presidents. To be sure, there are many of them, that is, woes.
There are also many university presidents. As someone has
noted, "Few are called, but many are chosen." But let me tell
you, Mr. President, while I don't want to have it to do over again,
there is no position which American society offers an individual
which has a greater challenge nor one which presents a greater
total bundle of satisfactions than to be president of a great state
university. This in no small part stems from the fact that the
university has become a central force in the life of modern so-
The other day I read a talk by Sidney Hook, that great philos-
opher of New York University. It was given at a banquet held
to honor him at his retirement. Of course, I realize that in some
quarters today, no one listens to people over 30 much less those
past 65. Nonetheless, in speaking of the University, Sidney
Hook had this to say. First, he said, the greatness of a univer-
sity consists predominantly in the greatness of its faculty. That
of course, everyone knows. Then he went on to say, to build
great faculties, administrative leadership is essential. In the af-
fairs of the mind and in the realm of scholarship, the principles
of simple majority rule, or of one man-one vote do not apply.
The most, and he puts in quotes "democratically" run institu-
tions of learning are usually the most mediocre. What he was
saying was not to discount the responsibilities of deans, directors,
departmental chairmen and professors in selecting and sustain-
ing faculty, but rather in the total complex of a university, the
leadership represented by its president is cardinal in this most
important element, the strength of the faculty is maintained.
I mention the above in order to conclude with this state-
ment to you, Mr. President. By the pattern of your life and by
the qualities you have demonstrated in these last twelve months,
you provide us with the deep assurance that you will seek ever
to support and strengthen this already splendid faculty. Your
breadth of understanding, your bundle of unique abilities and
your dedication and devotion to this, your Alma Mater, support
our faith in the destiny of this University. With your leader-
ship it will continue its significant service to the state and the
region and will take its rightful place among the outstanding
state universities of America. The greatness of this university
is a condition of greatness for Florida. I congratulate you, and
wish you Godspeed.
Dr. Harry Philpott was Director of Religious Activities at
Washington and Lee before coming to the University of Florida
in '47 as professor of religion. He left here, a very unwise
move, to become dean and head of the Department of Religion
and Philosophy at Stephens College, but maybe it wasn't so un-
34 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
wise after all because he returned to the University of Florida
as vice president in 1957. He became president of Auburn
about three years ago. May I present our very fine friend and
colleague, Dr. Harry Philpott, President of Auburn University.
Harry M. Philpott
Thank you very much, Scrooge. (Referring to Dr. Hale's an-
nual reading of "The Christmas Carol.") That's a little bit
better than an introduction I got at Auburn at a Dairy Herd
Improvement Conference. I was introduced as the "Herd Sire
of Auburn University" and I'm still trying to figure that one out.
I am the anchor man. Everyone wants to go over to "HMS
Pinafore," I'm sure, but I am determined to say a few words be-
cause I was asked to by the committee and I consented to do so.
I wish I possessed the qualifications of a boy that we are trying
to recruit at Auburn for our track team. He's a cross-eyed shot
putter. The coach is not sure how good he is at putting a shot
but he says he's never seen anybody that could keep an audience
on their toes like that fellow.
I, too, was asked to do a little reminiscing by Rae Weimer,
and maybe I don't go back to the 20's and the 30's, but I do go
back far enough. As I walked across the campus today I could
recall the time when the only way to tell whether or not a girl
was knock-kneed at the University of Florida was to listen.
I do go back long enough to have worked with the presi-
dents who are represented here tonight by their wives. Dr.
Tigert was president when I came here, I worked under Dr.
Miller and then under Dr. Wayne Reitz. It was a wonderful
privilege to be associated with all of these people.
I know from long experience and association with your new
President that everyone who works with him is going to find it a
wonderful association. The only thing that bothers me is that
he is listed as the sixth president of the University of Florida,
and on your program you will see on the seal, 1853. I'll tell you,
they had long-tenured presidents in those first two. They don't
last like that anymore.
I really believe the quarterback on the Florida freshman foot-
ball team figured out the number of years and number of presi-
dents in this period of time. The way he slaughtered Auburn
today, it looks like a bad season way ahead. However, Ray
Graves was very hospitable to me. I was changing in the elevator
into my tuxedo after the game and he let me use his private
dressing room in the stadium after they had stomped everything
out of us.
Being a college president, of course, is no easy job these days
as you have heard several times tonight. One of my friends was
telling me of a fellow president who died and went to Hell. He
knew that there would be a number of his associates there so he
asked first of all for old President Brown. The Devil asked him,
"You mean President William Brown?" He said, "That's the
one, yes sir. He's here, isn't he?" The Devil shook his head
and said, "Yes, dammit, he's here." He said, "What do you
mean?" Replied the Devil, "He's the most cantankerous indi-
vidual we've got down here. When he arrived, he announced
that he owned the place. I asked him how he got it and he said,
'My Alumni gave it to me back on earth.' "
Steve, you've got a great institution here. You've got a big
institution. I learned that right after I arrived as vice president.
I had been here about ten days and was busy rushing all over
the campus trying to find out all the things that had been built
in my absence of five years. I even went through the anatomy
laboratory at the Health Center and every other new unit trying
to re-orient myself.
Then we had a dedicatory ceremony for the Coastal Engi-
neering Facilities. Wayne (Reitz), do you remember that? We
had three members of the cabinet assembled in the President's
Office, about fifteen legislators and delegations from up and
down the whole state of Florida. Just before time to leave,
Wayne came to me and said, "Philpott, do you know where
this thing is we're supposed to dedicate today?" I said, "Wayne,
I haven't any idea." He said, "For goodness sake, call Joe Weil
and get him over here so we can find it and dedicate it."
So Steve, I relaxed then. I realized that there are a lot of
things around that you really don't have to inspect and look into,
because there are competent and capable people who would do
it for you.
36 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
Wayne has really developed a remarkable record and made
history in the way that he left this institution. You just read
about it in Time Magazine. Prior to Wayne Reitz' resignation,
you'd read of a president resigning with statements like "The
Board of Trustees can go to you-know-where," or "that blank-
blank legislature ran me out," or "the cantankerous students or
the contentious faculty are responsible for my resignation."
Wayne dreamed up "presidential fatigue." It's a perfect way.
He can come back all the time, you see, everybody is happy,
he looks rested and the rest of us are just sweating out the fa-
This morning, the first thing that greeted me when I picked
up the Alligator was the headline, "Here come de Judge" mean-
ing Steve O'Connell, of course. Well, here come de Judge. Let
me say as an outsider, "Here come de Judge" and you are
mighty fortunate to have the Judge.
Some of us in educational circles, as this board had a long
hard search, were very concerned and very worried. We knew
the potential, we knew the possible greatness of this institution,
but we also knew some of the difficulties that the Board of Re-
gents was laboring under in trying to find the proper kind of
leadership for Florida. I stand here tonight to congratulate Dr.
Menser, Mr. Kramer, Mr. Ferguson and the other members of
the Board of Regents, for the magnificent job they did in per-
suading Steve O'Connell to take these responsibilities.
We've watched him function. I sat up four hours past my
bedtime in a hotel room in Tampa trying to argue him into
something and not making much progress. I know how he is
thinking things through. I am confident that he will give great
leadership to a place that I love dearly and a place that I feel
has one of the greatest potentials of any institution of higher
learning in this country. I congratulate you, many of whom
were my former associates, on the fact that you have him here.
"Here come de Judge." Treat him kindly, cooperate with him,
give him your best, and you, in return, will see something won-
derful here. Thank you very much.
In conclusion, then, Dr. Gould, when President of Antioch
Pre-Inaugural Dinner 37
College, said this, "We all sense directly or indirectly, con-
sciously, or unconsciously, that to leave a vestige of oneself in
the development of another is a touch of immortality." These
presidents, on the platform and those represented here, and the
First Ladies who are here before you have left their marks upon
students at this University and upon the citizenry of our state
and our nation and have achieved thereby a touch of immor-
By way of benediction I quote, "We can agree that there is
not much we can do to affect the past and that the present is so
fleeting as we experience it that it is transformed into the past as
we touch it. It is only the future that is amendable to our plans
and our actions." We ask for holy guidance for the future of
the University of Florida under the great leadership of our new
President, Stephen C. O'Connell.
- ~ 4
Chester H. Ferguson Presiding:
The Invocation will be given by the Right Reverend U. S.
Gordon, Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Gainesville.
Dr. U. S. Gordon
Let us pray. Almighty God, our Creator, source of all wisdom,
light, and truth, make us worthy of our heritage in this home
of learning. Accept our gratitude for all teachers who have
quickened our minds in the desire of knowledge and our hearts
in the love of virtue.
We give thanks now for Thy servant, our trusted friend,
Stephen C. O'Connell, the President of this University. We re-
,-call his wholesome influence and leadership as a student on this
Florida campus, his gallant service to America in days of peril
and danger and his distinguished service to the commonwealth
in days of peace. We beseech Thee to equip him with continued
health and vigor for his duties and burdens and arm him with
prudence and foresight, with discernment and dedication in the
unfolding years of this new age.
Oh, Lord, we pray for the young men and women hereabouts
and in schools and colleges across our nation, for the days of
training are about to start the work of life that lies ahead; keep
their vision fresh against the world. Guard them from a selfish
and wasteful use of their talents.
Save us, Oh God, as a people from softness, from fear of
that which is new, or scorn of that which is old, save us from
sins of sloth and self-indulgence, from conceit and vain glory.
Make us honest and diligent and loyal in our several callings
that we may well fulfill the trust reposed in us and grow up to the
40 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
limit of our powers in the service of Him who is the way, the
truth and the life. Amen.
As Chairman of the Board of Regents of the State of Florida,
it is my privilege and pleasure to welcome you to this Inaugural
Convocation during which the Honorable Stephen Cornelius
O'Connell will be installed as President of the University of
We are happy indeed to see some of our former governors
in the audience today. I recognize both Governor Bryant and
Governor Burns and their lovely wives. We are glad to know
that the presidents of most of the universities in the state system
and many of the private institutions are here for this special oc-
casion. We are pleased to note also that many learned societies,
educational and professional organizations and foundations have
honored us by sending delegates to participate in this special
And we are indeed gratified that so many of our own faculty,
our student body and other friends of the University are present
in the audience. The Board of Regents is especially proud that
you are here to honor the new President and this great University.
It gives me great pleasure to have the president of the student
body extend greetings from that body to the President of the
University. I present to you now Mr. Clyde M. Taylor, Jr.,
president of the student body of this University.
Clyde M. Taylor, Jr.
P resident O'Connell, distinguished platform guests, and ladies
and gentlemen. I have the great honor today of speaking and
welcoming our President on behalf of all of the students of this
university. Mr. President, I bring to you this morning the of-
ficial greetings and welcome of the students of the University of
Florida. We share with you today the honor of your inaugura-
tion. We express the sincere hope that your days as President
of the University of Florida will be many and the achievements
of the University will be great.
As students, we will ask much of you, but only because our
need is great. For we, like so many of America's youth, are
caught-up in the seemingly overwhelming and smothering prob-
lems of our present society. We have much to learn, with so
little time to spend learning it. Thus, Mr. President, as stu-
dents, as the most vital segment of the university community,
we seek your help and we welcome your arrival.
Mr. President, we need understanding during our years as
scholars in the classrooms and dormitories of the University of
Florida. We need the understanding that only a former student
of this institution could have, an understanding based on his
years as a scholar here in the city of Gainesville. We need the
understanding that only an individual with a brilliant mind could
possess, understanding based on years of judicial decision-
making-such decisions being made only after hearing all the
facts and all sides of the story. We need this kind of under-
standing to help our University, and its Student Body, overcome
the problems of the quarter system and of inadequate financing,
as well as all the other educational problems most large universi-
Mr. President, we the students need guidance during our
times of disillusionment and despair as the "youth" of America.
We need the guidance that only a former student leader, indeed
a former student body president, could possess, a guidance
coming from personal experience having led his fellow students
through the crises of their day. We need the guidance that only
an individual intimately aware of the proper channels for re-
dress of wrong and review of grievances could give. We need
the guidance of a man who is aware of the credibility problems
often caused by proceeding through the proper channels-the
frustration, the despair, and the wait-all of which take time,
and time is something we, the students, do not have to give.
Mr. President, we need someone to listen to our questions-
for question we must, if we are to learn. We need someone to
answer those questions-for answers we must have, if we are to
make rational decisions.
We are not looking for sympathy, or for a father away from
home; but we are looking for someone we can believe in, we can
42 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
respect and we can trust. To us, this search has been a difficult
Mr. President, we the students of the University of Florida
believe you are the person capable of filling these needs. We
believe that you are understanding, that you can and will guide
us, and that you will listen to our questions and provide us with
So, Mr. President, we welcome you with all the friendship
we have to offer. We have watched you and worked with you for
the past year. We have seen your record start to take shape. We
feel we have started with you. So now, let us get on with it!
The next gentleman is a dedicated member of our academic
family who will bring greetings from our faculty. I present to
you Dr. Raymond E. Crist, Professor of Geography.
Raymond E. Crist
Mr. Chairman, President O'Connell, distinguished guests. It
would seem presumptuous indeed for any one person to
attempt to speak for this faculty, except under unusual circum-
stances-but the circumstances are unusual in this case. When
you, Mr. President, concluded your remarks before the Univer-
sity Assembly on December 1 of last year, you were given a unani-
mous standing ovation and vote of confidence. The great sin-
cerity and quiet dedication, the intellectual capacity and ability
and the maturity and responsibility which you brought to your
office were apparent to us all and called forth this spontaneous
In your remarks to us at that time you spoke of the great uni-
versity you envisioned, and during the past year you have been
methodically initiating procedures to achieve your goal, which is
also ours. For example, the Action Conference formed last
spring is composed of a group of 25 staff members, 25 students
and 25 faculty members, and their role is to receive constructive
criticism and recommend changes where needed. No small part
of the success of this body is due to the fact that, as you wrote
in your letter to the Honorable Robert L. Sikes, and I quote,
"The Conference was organized and has functioned in full ac-
cord with the best American tradition."
This is but one of the many situations in which you have
shown your vision, your courage, your grasp of details as well as
of the whole picture, and your gift with people of diverse opin-
ions and persuasions. We, the faculty, are grateful to you for
your inspired and forward looking leadership.
Whether the young become willing partners in society or re-
main alienated and sullen bystanders depends upon the demon-
strated maturity of such leaders as yourself, keenly aware that
only gradually, by giving more and more responsibility to the
younger members of society, will they become more responsible;
that we, their elders, must create a society with values which
they will want to feel responsible for; that by conceding more
authority and recognition to the less mature elements of society,
the process of maturing is accelerated; and that you cannot
make people mature and responsible by decree, you can only
let them be mature and responsible. Younger members of our
society will strive to achieve the maturity you have revealed to
them, for maturity is learned and passed on to others, like other
cultural traits such as language, largely through the processes of
demonstration and emulation.
We, the faculty, welcome you at the helm, President O'Con-
nell. You have shown yourself to be committed, indeed dedi-
cated, to education through democracy and to democracy through
education, and you have initiated procedures that will certainly
ease for all concerned the process of achieving these goals. You
have helped us, the faculty, to renew our faith in the ability of
each generation to become a little more mature than its prede-
cessor. And we have complete faith in your capacity and ability,
Mr. President, to weld the students, the teaching and research
faculty, and the administrative staff of this institution into a
team that will make a reality of the dream you have and have
shared with us-the great university.
We, the faculty, President O'Connell, most gratefully and
respectfully salute you.
I honestly believe that if the faculty of this University co-
44 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
operates with the administration of this University and the ad-
ministration working with the faculty cooperates with the stu-
dents, this University will achieve what all of us wish for it.
A part of any university is its graduates. They in large
measure establish its competency. They in large measure re-
flect its progress. They in large measure are responsible for its
existence. This University has been richly endowed with many
of its graduates who have served this University in every one
of its efforts. Indeed today, this University is extremely fortu-
nate in that the Alumni Association is in strong hands, in dedi-
cated hands, in responsible hands, in competent hands; so I
present to you the Honorable William O. E. Henry, President
of the Alumni Association.
William O. E. Henry
M r. Chairman, Mr. President, distinguished participants, and
guests, ladies and gentlemen. I am delighted to share this
occasion with representatives of the students, the faculty and the
state, and to have the privilege of bringing greetings from our
alumni, 52,000 of whom have received degrees from this Uni-
versity and another 115,000 who attended summer school or
longer without receiving or seeking degrees.
We alumni are especially happy because at long last one of
our number has been designated as the sixth President of the
University of Florida. We are also pleased because he served
as president of our Alumni Association as recently as 1966 and
was serving on our executive committee at the time of his ap-
pointment as University President.
If we alumni were to adopt a theme for this inauguration,
it would be timely and appropriate to extract these words from
one of our songs: March on Florida until that last white line is
crossed. We would, of course, be referring to much more than
that elusive SEC football championship. We would be referring
to President O'Connell's goal when he asserts that this University
can be "first in the South, second to none in the nation." The
first five presidents have brought this University to the brink of
greatness. We alumni wish to help this University march on
until the last white line of academic excellence is crossed.
The ways we can help are countless but it must be obvious
that our association's efforts must be concentrated on those things
that a great University needs to have done away from the campus
-that is, in our home communities.
We are willing to be arms and legs for the University but
since we are all volunteers, the success of our efforts will depend
largely on the support and encouragement we receive from the
Our alumni annual giving program is only ten years old,
but each year it is raising more and more money for this Uni-
versity. Our contributions to Dollars for Scholars together with
federal matching funds have provided hundreds of thousands
of dollars in student financial aid. We are beginning to be able
to provide President O'Connell and the deans of the several
colleges with thousands of dollars of unrestricted funds. Every
great university needs unrestricted funds because so much of
legislative appropriations, foundation grants and private gifts
are restricted as to use.
We can also help recruit potential scholars from our high
schools and junior colleges just as we now help recruit out-
standing athletes. This state needs to retain in Florida more of
its outstanding young men and women and this is more likely
to be accomplished if they attend college in Florida instead of out
of state. This is true even though the University's increasing
excellence is attracting more and more out-of-state employment
recruiters. Our alumni scholarships and work with guidance
counselors are beginning to have an impact on these efforts.
We can also help develop public support for this University.
Florida citizens must know about this University's needs and its
accomplishments. Our numbers are adequate to carry the clearly
stated messages of this University to the general public. Legisla-
tive reapportionment makes wide-spread public support essential
for the continued growth of this University. The task of an
already sympathetic Board of Regents will be made easier if the
goals of this University are approved in all parts of Florida. Not
one regent lives in Gainesvillc. In fact, all of the regents either
live in a community which has an existing or proposed state uni-
versity or live closer to such a community than they do to Gaines-
ville. Every great university has unrestricted funds, quality
46 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
students and public support. This University shall soon have
more of each.
President O'Connell, we give you our best wishes. Your
fellow alumni are delighted to be marching on until that last
white line is crossed.
I am advised that the weather has grounded our Chief Ex-
ecutive and that we will not have the honor of his presence today.
Not by way of substitution but in his own right, we have today
a man who has served Florida well and long and who is a
member of the Board of Education which is the Board of Higher
Education in our state. It gives me a great deal of pleasure to
present to you now the Honorable Tom Adams, Secretary of
State, to speak on behalf of the state of Florida.
Mr. President, distinguished platform guests, faculty, students
and friends of this great University. This is a most aus-
picious occasion in the history of the University of Florida. We
are gathered here to inaugurate a distinguished alumnus of this
University, an outstanding citizen of this great state, a proven
and dedicated public official.
Might I express the regrets of the governor and the other
members of the Board of Education who have not yet been able
to arrive. I can assure you that the trip from Tallahassee to
Gainesville can take much longer than you think when you find
your plane detouring back and forth to Ocala several times wait-
ing to get on the ground. In this regard, the attorney general
outdid us all. He came along yesterday and spent the night
on the ground, which is always the safe thing to do. At least
we've been legally represented.
The governor, I understand, has gotten as far as the Jackson-
ville Naval Air Station and he's grounded there with the Navy.
So the secretary of state takes great pride in appearing here on
behalf of my colleagues, the members of the Board of Education,
to bring you greetings from our board on this occasion.
Let me assure each of you and the citizens of this great state
that no man we know better epitomizes the forward progressive
thrust that we in Florida must seek to achieve in developing
quality higher education than does the dynamic individual whom
we today inaugurate as president of this great University. It
has been my pleasure and privilege to know Stephen O'Connell
and his lovely wife, Rita, for many, many years, both in a per-
sonal capacity as cherished friends and in an official capacity as
a colleague in positions of public responsibility. Not only is this
University and its faculty, its students and those who are yet to
enter its doors singularly blessed by the leadership that Stephen
O'Connell will furnish this institution, but we in Florida are
equally blessed by the leadership that he will afford as president
of this institution. I am confident that Steve O'Connell will
play a major role in developing quality education and quality
educational opportunities for the wonderful young people of
this state to whom our future truly belongs. It is a great pleasure
and a privilege for me to have the opportunity to share such a
momentous occasion with you. Thank you very much.
Introduction of the President
Now it becomes my privilege to present to you the President
of this University, and to administer to him the charge of his
Florida is indeed fortunate that this is the birthplace of
Stephen Cornelius O'Connell and that he was graduated from
this University. While a student here, he was president of the
student body and he maintained his high sense of purpose, dedi-
cation and interest in this University by being a diligent and in-
terested worker in alumni and university affairs since his gradu-
He achieved every success in his chosen profession of the
law and was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State
of Florida when he accepted the challenging call to head this
great University. He received nearly every honor that the legal
profession could bestow.
He was always a faithful member of the Catholic church,
48 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
and the Knights of Columbus, fourth degree. He was active in
the Brotherhood of the National Conference of Christians and
Jews and many, many other worthwhile causes.
He demonstrated, always, continuously outstanding qualities
of leadership and devotion. His administrative capacity, his de-
cision-making ability, his warm personality, quick wit, and ability
to effectively communicate with people, convinced the Florida
Board of Regents that he would make this University a great
All subsequent events have justified this confidence and I
am sure that he will continue to give this institution the same
great dedication and strong leadership that it deserves and needs.
And so it is with great pride that we now proceed with the in-
stallation of Dr. O'Connell as the sixth president of this Univer-
sity. Dr. O'Connell, will you please join me at the podium.
Stephen Cornelius O'Connell, you have been duly elected
to the presidency of the University of Florida and it becomes
my privilege as the Chairman of the Florida Board of Regents
to install you in that office. I charge you, sir, that in accepting
this office, you should dedicate yourself wholeheartedly and un-
reservingly to those ideals for which this University stands: the
education of our people, both young and old, in mind, in body,
and in spirit, to equip them for their opportunities and responsi-
bilities, both public and private, in a world which grows daily
more complex; to provide for services, both informative and in-
terpretative, that will aid the citizens of our state to make just
and wise decisions concerning the problems confronting them;
to concentrate on the advancement of knowledge through the
encouragement of study, research and artistic creation; to help
make the unknown known, the uncertain certain; and to sub-
stitute truth for ignorance.
I further charge you to dedicate yourself to building the Uni-
versity of Florida into an ever greater university, buttressed by
freedom, founded upon truth, and crowned by wisdom; to keep
open wide its doors of opportunity for all who enter it; and
create an atmosphere of cooperation and understanding among
faculty, students, and administration that shall merit the respect
and support of all the citizens of our state. Thus, by virtue
of the power and authority invested in me by law, I, Chairman
of the Florida Board of Regents, hereby install you, Stephen
Cornelius O'Connell, in the office of President of the University
of Florida with all of its rights, privileges and emoluments.
President Stephen C. O'Connell:
Mr. Chairman, I accept the presidency of the University of
Florida with full knowledge of its many obligations, heavy re-
sponsibilities, and endless opportunities, and with the deepest
respect and gratitude for the high privilege of holding this office.
To you, Mr. Chairman, to the Board of Regents, to the
Board of Education, to the faculty, students, and staff of this
institution, to all of the people of this state and their leaders, I
say with all the dedication that a human heart and mind can
master that I accept the charge that you have laid upon me.
I pledge to you that the cause of higher education in this insti-
tution and in this state will be my cause. With the support, the
assistance and the encouragement of you and the guidance of
Him who made us all, I am confident that this institution and
all who give it life will satisfy, to the fullest and highest expecta-
tion, the greatest demands that can be made upon this Univer-
sity of Florida.
President and Mrs. Stephen C. O'Connell
Stephen Cornelius O'Connell
hank you Chairman Chester Ferguson. To you, members
of the Board of Regents and Board of Education, honored
guests, faculty, students, staff and to all of you friends of this
University, I add my personal welcome to you and express to
each of you my deepest appreciation for your presence here. To
you, Secretary of State Tom Adams, Dr. Ray Crist, President
Clyde Taylor and President W. O. E. Henry, my gratitude for
your kind and reassuring words of encouragement and support.
Fate is indeed fickle. Last year at this time as a supreme
court justice, I was in a position to make decisions for, and
binding on, Chairman Ferguson, and Regents Kibler and Parker
as practicing attorneys. And a few months ago Chancellor
Mautz was the Vice President for Academic Affairs here, with
lesser authority, at least theoretically, than the president. Now
the tables have turned, and you see where I am in relation to
them. But it's a delightful position to be in, and I'm grateful
for it and grateful to be a partner with them in the cause of the
promotion of education in this state and at this institution.
A word about this inaugural ceremony. It has been planned
and executed somewhat differently than tradition dictates in that
the central figures in the processional and on this platform, and
the honored guests listed in the printed program are those who
are determining and will determine the future of higher educa-
tion in this state, and at the University of Florida. Our faculty
walk in the processional, not as representatives of other insti-
tutions as is usually the case, but as members of the faculty of
this University. Some will say this break with tradition adds a
parochial flavor to an institution which has as its stated goal
greater national ranking.
52 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
On the contrary, it is recognition of the hard fact that lasting
recognition of the high standing and merit of this institution
will come not as a result of blind adherence to tradition, not be-
cause of our inviting representatives of the more than 2,000
American institutions to send representatives here today, but
rather because of what we, what you the faculty, at this institu-
tion are willing to do by way of commitment, dedication and
achievement, and by the support that the citizens of Florida and
their leaders give to us in furtherance of the cause we serve.
What others think of this institution is important, but what we
here and the citizens who support us think of it will be deter-
minative of our success.
Few can appreciate the tremendous effort required to ar-
range this ceremony and the events which surround it. It is
tremendous. I am very grateful to all who have contributed to
its success. The renowned speakers who have participated, Dean
Rae Weimer and the members of the Steering Committee, Vice
President Conner and his Advisory Committee, the University
Women's Club, the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, the Col-
lege of Architecture and Fine Arts for the fine art exhibition,
for Pinafore last night-an excellent production-and the
Chamber Orchestra concert this evening, the entire Gator Band
-the finest in the land-the Reitz Union staff, the maintenance
staff, the student ushers, the newly formed Cicerones, and the
host of others, who have participated in making this a glorious
day in the life of this University and particularly for the O'Con-
This is a difficult, trying time in the history of our country
and of this institution. I regard it as an exhilarating period of
exciting promise and I am very happy to be a part of it. We
must make the most of it, demonstrating the courage to try the
new, and the wisdom to do it well, preserving all the while the
best of the old and the true as have those who built before us.
No generation, no institution starts from scratch. Fortu-
nately this University does not. We stand where we are, enjoy
the quality we have achieved because in succession Presidents
Sledd, Murphree, Tigert, Miller and Reitz, their faculties and
staff, and the people of this state, cared enough to do enough
The Inaugural Address
to see that we did move forward and upward. Today we are
able to stand taller, to reach higher, to achieve more and to aspire
to even greater heights because we stand upon their shoulders.
Each of these great men and their faculties dealt with and
mastered or ameliorated problems as great in their time as those
we face in ours. This state, but particularly we here who are
the principal beneficiaries of their labor, their love and their
wisdom, owe each of them an everlasting debt of gratitude.
I am happy that members of President Murphree's family,
Mrs. Tigert and her daughter Mary Jane, Mrs. J. Hillis Miller,
and you, President Reitz, are here so that what I have said and
we all feel can be shared with you.
No one can fully appreciate the present, the progress it repre-
sents, the hope for the future it offers, without understanding,
or at least looking at, the past. To those who doubt that great
progress in every way has been made here on this campus, remi-
nisce with me for a moment.
Fifty years ago President Murphree's University of Florida
had an enrollment of 470 students, 31 being engaged in gradu-
ate work, a faculty of 41, and in that year, 1918, he spent a
total of $217,350 to operate this institution.
Ten years later in 1928, President Tigert presided over a
University of Florida of 2,105 students and expended $1,062,-
000. By 1938, student enrollment had reached 3,311, the
faculty about 400, each of whom earned about as much as the
students who were working their way through the institution.
It was not unusual for the faculty to write home for money.
Expenditures here for that year were just over $2,000,000.
In 1948, President Miller had 10,143 war-weary students
and a budget of almost $8,000,000.
In the next 10 years enrollment increased modestly to 12,304
in 1958, but the budget tripled to almost $24,000,000, ex-
plained in part by the great medical complex which proudly
bears the name of President Miller, whose vision, planning and
irrestible motion made it a reality, and in part by a growing ex-
pansion of our graduate and research programs.
Then in the succeeding ten years, nine of them under the
skillful and dedicated leadership of President Reitz, we reach
today, 1968, with 20,180 students, of which about 3,000 are in
54 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
graduate work, more than 2,000 excellent faculty, and a budget
of almost $80,000,00 of which more than 50 per cent comes
from sources other than state tax funds.
This, of course, does not tell the whole story. When I ar-
rived as a freshman in 1934, all that was required was a certifi-
cation of graduation from high school and about $30 a semester
to cover all fees and tuition. All who came were welcomed and
accepted. This year some 7,000 applicants vied for the 2,800
spaces in our freshman class. At least 80 per cent of those ac-
cepted were in the top 20 per cent of their high school classes.
In the last 10 years, the percentage of graduate students scoring
above the national median on the Graduate Record Examination
increased from 35 per cent in 1957 to 60 per cent in 1967,
and the number of graduate students has more than doubled
in the last seven years.
We are as good here today in many areas as can be found
anywhere, and we are making steady progress in all the areas
in which we operate.
When Freshman O'Connell walked these beautiful grounds
in 1934, the campus extended from the stables on the west to
the law building on the east and was bounded by Stadium Road
on the south and University Avenue on the north. The build-
ings numbered only about 40.
Today our inventory of buildings totals 703. The spread
of the campus here is easy to see. But more important, it has
spread across this state with agricultural and home economics
extension and research programs in 66 of the 67 counties; grad-
uate engineering programs at Daytona Beach, Cape Kennedy,
Orlando, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale; a Center for
Continuing Education and a Hospital Education Program at
Jacksonville, plus continuing education programs in a number
Last month our library and the city of Orlando's library
were connected electronically so as to provide rapid exchange
by photocopy of our tremendous collections here and those there.
And very soon our medical center will have terminals in four
cities in Florida enabling physicians there to call upon our ex-
perts for immediate assistance in medical matters. Our campus
has indeed spread across the whole state.
The Inaugural Address
Our past accomplishments ought to give us confidence in
and hope for the future. They are a prelude to what this Uni-
versity might yet become. However commendable our past
is, we can neither live on it nor in it if this institution is fully to
realize its place as a great university in this modern world.
The function of the university in the modern world is as
difficult of exact definition as is the university's full performance
of the impossible and many times conflicting burdens which
have been thrust upon it by the conditions and demands of this
The university is called upon to transmit to the student
today's vast knowledge to enable him to live effectively in the
present, and simultaneously and hopefully to equip him to ac-
commodate to a future, which the extension of knowledge created
by our own research efforts makes unpredictable even for the
most clairvoyant. Add to this the ever-increasing demands by
all segments of our society for service, the demonstration of the
most effective use of knowledge by its application, which we as
centers of knowledge and learning have proved so well that we
It seems inevitable, too, that as an aspect of service, the
competent minds at the university will be called upon increas-
ingly to be a constructive critic of the forms, the forces, and
the operations which govern our lives in a mass society.
Thus the universities today find themselves on the horns of a
dilemma of increasing demands created not by their failures but
by their successes in extending knowledge, rendering services,
and producing, through educational reforms and training of
better teachers, an ever-increasing wave of young people capable
of benefitting from higher education. The advances we have
pioneered in technology and the sciences make greater educa-
tion for the many a must, not a choice.
The university is simultaneously criticized for becoming too
large and also for not taking more students; that its curriculum
is too specialized and practical and that its programs are irrele-
vant to today's needs; that it is impersonal and also that it is
overprotective; that it devotes both too much and too little of its
faculty to research, pure or applied; that it should become more
involved in and also that it should refrain from meddling in
56 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
the social problems of the community; that it should put more
and less emphasis on graduate programs; that we must shorten
requirements and time required to obtain degrees and that we
must increase them to accommodate to the increase in knowl-
edge; that we should lower our standards to admit the disad-
vantaged and that we should continuously raise them to guaran-
tee excellence in our students; and we are pressured on the one
hand to move our students rapidly through the curriculum and
on the other to afford the student more time for the leisured
study and reflection that makes learning a delightful experience.
Quite obviously the university cannot do all that everyone
asks of it, nor can it be all things to all people. At best, as Clark
Kerr has pointed out, "The university is so many things to so
many different people that it must, of necessity, be partially at
war with itself."
Because we are so broad-gauged in our programs-academic,
research and service-I am told that we are one of only three
among the more than 2,000 institutions in this nation that have
on one campus the wide range of disciplines found here. Be-
cause of all of this, the dilemma of the University, all of the con-
flicting criticisms of it, and Kerr's observation, are heard and
must be dealt with forthrightly by the University of Florida.
Already we have outgrown the careful plans made here only
yesteryear. We must begin anew to set new goals, develop new
plans, establish new priorities, and projections of needs and re-
sources, and agree upon courses of action to achieve them.
No single authority-president, governor, or regent; no sin-
gle group-faculty, student, administration, or the public we
serve-should or will make the decisions that must guide our
future. Our problems and our future belong to all of these and
by utilizing the combined efforts, leadership and wisdom of all,
we can and we shall reach a consensus based firmly on a sense
of necessity, duty and obligation.
But if we on this campus, as we contend, are capable of
aiding in shaping the world without, we ought to be and we
must be, on this campus the originators of whatever process is
necessary to determine our goals and the action that must be
taken to achieve them. If we do not do this, others will do it
The Inaugural Address
An institution, as an entity, can have no goals and make no
meaningful commitments apart from those held by the human
beings that give it life and direction. Therefore, its faculty,
its students, its staff, its governing board and the citizenship it
serves must make the meaningful commitment and must make
the goal. Chief among these groups is the faculty, for in the
beginning and in the end, it is the individual faculty member's
dedication, determination, and proficiency that determine how
well we do and what we do.
It is with the faculty, then, that our search for a consensus in
goals, in priorities, in plans of action must begin.
This is an undertaking fraught with peril and difficult of
achievement because of the wide diversification and conflict of
views held by faculty, both as to personal and institutional goals,
as well as value of programs. Yet it is a risk we must take and a
difficulty we must face forthrightly. Only this way can we ac-
complish that sharing of interests and goals between individuals
and institutions that must prevail if we are to convince that it
will be through the realization of the goals of this institution
that the individual can gain the achievement of greatest personal
satisfaction and accomplishment. That dedication must be to
the welfare and progress of this University as well as to discipline
The administration must be accorded a place rightfully in
the formulation and the guidance of the aspirations of this insti-
This University exists not merely to serve the student, but
for a cause-the preservation, transmission, application and criti-
cal evaluation of knowledge. The student must be convinced
that he is here to enlist and to participate fully in this cause,
and he must be given the opportunity to do so. If we do not fully
involve him in this cause, all we shall have accomplished here is
to have taught him how to eat but not how to cook.
The citizens, the many publics we serve, and upon whom we
are dependent for the resources, the support and the encourage-
ment without which there will be no future here, must be con-
sulted and encouraged to help us develop and meet our plan
for the future. We must convince the people of this state and
58 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
our regents that we exist only to serve their needs, and that only
if we reach our goals can theirs be realized.
Our first goal then, and it is one very personal to me, must
be to create an atmosphere of trust and understanding, a com-
plicity of purpose and objectives, between faculty, student, ad-
ministration and citizen that will enlist the active participation
of all in the continuing process of discussion and decision-
making necessary to a new definition of our reason for existence
and the course we must follow. This is a process that must
utilize most effectively the leadership, the wisdom and the abili-
ties of all groups, give predominance to none, yet evoke the re-
solve, the dedication, support and commitment of each to prog-
ress on the road we must travel.
Our second step must be to define our goals. Starting with a
recognition that while each university shares some objectives
with all others, each is and must be distinctive in character and
purpose; that no one institution can be all things to all con-
stituencies, that while the opportunities and needs are unlimited,
our resources are not. Therefore, we must determine what
roles we are and ought to be playing to serve higher learning
best as part of the system of higher education in this state.
As I have said, we have long since outgrown the generous
projections of growth set for us. The long-range plans, the goals
and the objectives carefully prescribed by Presidents Tigert, Mil-
ler and Reitz have either been or are being achieved in whole or
We have reached another plateau in our proud history. We
must chart another new course or wallow in tracks already
traveled, walk again furrows already well plowed, and ultimately
drift aimlessly into disunity and disarray, performing only the
familiar, not that essential to our progress.
This definition of goals, the establishment of priorities, and
the sculpture of the plan of action is the most difficult job that
I can foresee. Nothing will try the creativity, the patience, and
the stamina of all of us more than will this effort.
None of these things can be done without an organization,
adequate in academic and administrative affairs, with design,
function and personnel to do the job.
An expert, after studying our administrative organization re-
The Inaugural Address 59
cently, observed that this University was the "most over-regulated
and under-administered" he had seen.
I cannot confirm or deny that we are over-regulated but I do
know we are under-administered in several of the critical areas
of need, from the department level to the top echelon of adminis-
tration. As a consequence, all that we do in many instances is
to react and respond to today's problems and needs, rather than
foresee those of tomorrow. We have simply outgrown our ad-
ministrative organization and staffing and we must fill in the
gaps. This is a personal goal for me-sought in the hope of
better serving you.
My short experience here indicates that this institution is on
a sound, constructive course; that our students are as good as
most and better than many; that our faculty are as good as can be
found in any institution of like size; that most persons on this
campus are committed to the constant improvement of what we
do and how we do it. But we are too good not to become much
better. One of the surest ways of becoming better is to under-
take a frank self-assessment, self-evaluation of ourselves and our
efforts as individuals and as an institution. And then honestly
face up to and act decisively on what we find.
We need to ask ourselves again and again what kind of
product we are trying to turn out, and how well we are succeed-
ing; are the courses we teach the right ones, how many are obso-
lete, and what ones should we be teaching that we are not; are
we teaching too many courses, spreading our resources too thin;
have we actually acknowledged the presence of the women stu-
dents on our campus and are we meeting their needs in our
Is what we do in the educational process transferring the
burden of learning to the student as it should, or are we instruct-
ing too much and inspiring too little; is what we do designed to
instill conscience, morality and culture as well as competence.
Just how well are we teaching what we teach; are we using
teaching aids effectively and how well are we rewarding excel-
lence in teaching; is it not high time for us to institute a method
of evaluating the effectiveness of teaching for the benefit of the
individual as well as the bases for determining advancement.
Are we neglecting the undergraduate and devoting too much
60 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
time, too much of our resources and too many of our more
skilled teachers to research and the graduate; is there a proper
relationship between our academic mission and our research, or
are we using too much of our intellectual time in serving the
Is our counselling as bad as the student contends and are
our faculty as inaccessible as the student feels; are all of us as
impersonal and as insensitive to the needs of the student as
is widely proclaimed.
Are many of our rules and regulations, academic and non-
academic, outmoded, unreasonable and unnecessary as so many
argue; is the Honor System ineffective and is honor dead in the
minds and hearts of our students; is student government no
longer representative of the student on this campus; is the "ad-
ministration" the dictator that it is charged to be; is the Univer-
sity Senate not representative of the faculty or unable to act
Should this institution become involved in the affairs of the
community as an instrument of social action and, if so, who then
will carry out the mission of objective free thought and educa-
tion; are we doing our part to aid the disadvantaged but capable
student; and conversely, should we not extend our Honors Pro-
gram for the better student.
This process of self-criticism and evaluation is a difficult
one. It may be dangerous, but we cannot avoid facing frankly
the dangers and hardships that confront us on the road to prog-
Here, in the questions I have outlined, is a demonstration,
a protest that all can join and hail as a constructive effort and
one that I pledge to lead; one in which we can and we will
protest against ineffective and uninteresting teaching wherever
it exists; in which we will wage war on the impersonality and
discourtesy of students as well as teacher and staff; in which we
will require reason and logic to be shown for our policies, rules
and regulations; in which we will treat inefficiency and waste
as an evil that must be rooted out and cured, and obsolescence
as deadwood that must be removed to make room for new growth.
I ask all of you to join with me in this movement, in this
protest, in this kind of a demonstration.
The Inaugural Address
It will require that we reject the position of those who would
maintain the status quo and those who propose radical reforma-
tion by destruction. Instead, it calls for adoption of the course
of evolution in which we build with new bricks on already
firm foundations a university with a new look and a new outlook
through windows which open into the future and into the
There are many views about the roles the president of a great
university must play. Many of you have different views. Some
say he must be innovator and an initiator, and I would hope to
do some of both. But more important, I think my task is to
create that climate which will encourage the faculty, administra-
tion, and students to innovate and initiate, to reward them for
doing it, and to assist in obtaining the resources that will enable
its being done.
Others say the president must be conciliator and referee,
and to some extent he must. But he must be more. He must,
and I will constantly strive to convince all in this state and you on
this campus, that this institution is destined to be, is capable of
and will achieve true distinction in your day and mine; that ob-
jectives which seem impossible today will be possible tomorrow;
and that we will be the "best in the South, second to none in the
Presidents must make decisions. I learned long ago that
most often greater damage is done by failure to decide than by
making the wrong decision. I cannot guarantee that I will offer
complete solutions or make the right decisions in our problems.
I pledge only that each issue will be faced up to and decided in
a responsible, informed and forthright manner, after getting the
best of the facts and the greatest counsel that all of you can offer.
The most important function is that I must and you must
interpret to the citizens of the state what this institution is
doing and how well it is serving this state; what it must do in the
future; what the needs are in this state for our product; what
it will cost for us to meet these needs; and telling the people of
this state what the consequences will be if our needs and theirs
are not met.
We have the necessity to convince the business world and
sources of private funds that we are in need and worthy of their
62 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
help for those things that tax sources either cannot or will not
And we must convince all that this University is uniquely
different from the others in our system in that it has achieved
a degree of distinction and a breadth of purpose which require
that we be treated differently in the legislative halls and at the
budget table, if we are to continue to achieve and progress as we
should and must. We must be careful, all of us, in this state, in
what we do that we do not enforce mediocrity on all the univer-
sities, including this one, in the process of building a system.
This would be tragic for all.
Faith is essential to service in and support of any cause.
Because of the destructive actions of a few on college campuses
across our land, many of our citizens have lost faith in higher
education as the best way to insure progress in our society,
and have serious misgivings about the young people of our day.
We must not lose our faith, either in our young people, or the
educational process. And all of us must do that which is neces-
sary to cause others to reaffirm their faith as well as ours.
The true significance of this occasion, as I view it, is that as
educators, as students, as scholars and as friends of education,
we have met here today to reaffirm our faith in the pursuit of
knowledge and those who pursue it, young and old. It is re-
assuring to me to know that all of you have not lost faith in edu-
cation, in this institution or in me. I have not lost mine. It has
been strengthened in the 11 months that I have been here.
John Erskine described the life of a president as being like
walking on a picket fence-thrilling, but in constant danger of
To all of you, the regents, the faculty, the staff, the students,
the people of the state who in this first year have helped us avoid
being impaled and made it possible for us to enjoy the thrills of
being your First Family, the O'Connells offer to you our deepest
Your acceptance of us, your help, your understanding and
your warm response have been a magnificent thing to us. The
pickets on the picket fence are just as sharp and will be in the
years to come. We will still need and ask for your continued
help in all that we do for this institution. Rita and I feel, as we
Conferring of Honorary Degrees
did a year ago, that being your President and your First Lady is
the highest honor and the greatest privilege that can be accorded
anyone. We are grateful for the honor, for the privilege and the
great opportunity it offers. We thank you for all of it.
Conferring of Honorary Degrees
There are very few things that a university can do other than
award earned degrees to show its appreciation of the efforts of
others and their contributions to this institution. The best thing
we can do is the granting of an honorary degree. We have the
privilege today of honoring four distinguished persons and I
would ask President J. Wayne Reitz to make the first presenta-
Dr. J. Wayne Reitz
DIRECTOR OF GRADUATE PROGRAMS
UNITED STATES OFFICE OF EDUCATION
Mr. President, on this significant day, marking your inaugu-
ration as the first alumnus to assume the presidency of the Uni-
versity of Florida, it is most appropriate that a great lady, Edith
Bristol Tigert, whose ties with this University span forty years,
has been chosen as one especially deserving of honor.
Born in Chicago within the shadow of a great university,
great niece of Ezra Cornell, founder of that university which
bears his name, she was destined to be the wife and helpmate of
one whose roots also were educationally grounded through sev-
eral generations. Her marriage to John James Tigert, son of a
noted theologian and professor, grandson of the spiritual founder
of Vanderbilt University, and himself a scholar, philosopher and
teacher, was a pre-ordained union.
Before coming to Florida in 1928, both John James Tigert
and Edith Bristol Tigert had fruitful years of preparation for
64 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
their future role at the University of Florida. Together they
served at Kentucky Wesleyan College, at the University of Ken-
tucky, and while Dr. Tigert was United States Commissioner of
When her husband assumed the presidency of the Univer-
sity of Florida in 1928, Edith Tigert brought the priceless quality
of exemplary womanhood and a sense of dedication to those high
ideals and humanistic attributes which are ever the mark of a
civilized people. For nineteen years she was the gracious first
lady of this university constantly adding to the smooth and ef-
fective functioning of the University in many official and extra-
official duties and relationships.
Students, like you, Mr. President, will ever associate the
leadership of their revered President with his faithful wife and
helpmate. Townspeople and faculty will remember her untir-
ing efforts to stimulate music appreciation through the Civic
Music Association; city beautification through the medium of
garden clubs; and her leadership of the local Red Cross during
the war years.
For these and many other accomplishments and qualities, I
have the honor and the high privilege of presenting to you
Edith Bristol Tigert for the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters,
President O' Connell
Mrs. Tigert, there are a great many who owe a great deal
to this institution but I can think of very few to whom this uni-
versity owes more than it does to you for what you did, enabling
your great husband to do that which was his cause in his day.
Edith Bristol Tigert, faithful wife and devoted companion of
the University's late, beloved "Dr. John", the generation of stu-
dents of which I am one will ever remember your thoughtful and
gracious acts, and your continued interest in them as individuals
long after their departure from the campus.
Accordingly, in appreciation of your university and com-
munity service, your exemplary role as a wife, mother, and
friend, and especially for your humanistic qualities which have
left their stamp on this University, it is my pleasure and privi-
Conferring of Honorary Degrees
lege, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Board of Re-
gents, to confer upon you the degree Doctor of Humane Letters,
honors causa, together with all the rights, privileges and emolu-
ments thereto appertaining.
Dr. Delton L. Scudder
CHAIRMAN, DEPARTMENT OF RELIGION
Mr. President, I present Monsignor Jeremiah Patrick
O'Mahoney for the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. This
wise and compassionate man has seldom had the time or inclina-
tion to think of himself, so complete has been his service to
Born and educated in early years in Cork City, Ireland, he
came overseas to the New World with Old World charm and the
aspiration to be adopted here by a land where men are offered
the expectation of transcendence and a chance to free the world
of much of its despair and grief. Receiving his Bachelor of Arts
and Master of Arts degrees at St. Viator College in Illinois, he
was ordained to the priesthood at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New
York City. After serving for a number of years as Director of
the Seminary Department of the Catholic Church Extension in
Chicago, he became spiritual adviser to Catholic students at the
University of Florida. Ecumenically minded long before the re-
cent official ecumenical movement began, he proved for twenty-
one years to be a tower of strength to the entire University com-
munity. Since his service at the University, he has filled the
pastorate at St. Edward's Church in Palm Beach.
Father O'Mahoney has achieved many national and inter-
national honors. Pope Pius XII designated him as Domestic
Prelate in 1953, Pope Paul VI named him Protonotary Apostolic
in 1966 with the privilege upon occasion of wearing the Episco-
pal ring and performing some of the offices of a bishop. St.
Joseph's College, Rensselaer, Indiana, conferred upon him the
honorary degree of Doctor of Laws two years ago. The late
President John F. Kennedy found in Father O'Mahoney a close
66 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
confidant and friend and honored him with the gift of his trust
and friendship, even as the men of the University of Florida dis-
covered in him a loyal and discerning advocate and gave him
their affection and gratitude.
Therefore, Mr. President, it is with particular pleasure that
I present Jeremiah Patrick O'Mahoney for the degree of Doctor
of Divinity, honors causa.
President O' Connell
Father O'Mahoney, I suppose, knows more secrets of mine,
than any other individual. He used to be the person to whom I
confessed. He is close-mouthed, very fortunately.
Father, this is a great pleasure and a privilege for this insti-
tution and for me personally to recognize you in this way after
the many, many years you served this institution and its citizens.
Jeremiah Patrick O'Mahoney, one of the privileges of a great
university is to recognize, officially, the fruitful wisdom of men
who bless us with voices of insight and deeds of compassion.
You began your ministry by working with students, but your in-
fluence has transcended the generations. Your abilities have
been equalled by your modesty and your spiritual consecration
by your remarkable skill in human concourse. In recognition
of your lifetime of faithful service to the institutions of faith and
learning, as well as to individuals, by virtue of the authority
vested in me by the Board of Regents of the State of Florida,
it is an honor for me to confer upon you the Degree of Doctor
of Divinity, honors causa, and admit you to all the privileges
and emoluments thereto appertaining. Congratulations, Father.
Dr. Frederick W. Conner
VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
Mr. President, it is my privilege to present Elvis J. Stahr,
lawyer, educator, and public servant. Of such excellence was
his career as an undergraduate at the University of Kentucky
Conferring of Honorary Degrees
that he was designated Rhodes Scholar and subsequently won an
Oxford baccalaureate in civil law. Relinquishing legal practice
in New York City in response to our country's call to arms, he
served in the United States Army in the China-India-Burma
theater of conflict earning seven decorations and the rank of
After the war, he forsook active practice to join the law
faculty at his alma mater and later was named Dean of the Law
School and the provost of the university. From 1949 to 1951
he served on the Kentucky Constitutional Revision Committee.
During the Korean conflict he was twice on leave from his uni-
versity to serve as special assistant to the Secretary of the Army.
In 1956 he spent another year in Washington as Executive Di-
rector of President Eisenhower's Committee on Education Be-
yond the High School, and in 1961 he was appointed Secretary
of the Army by President John F. Kennedy. In the intervals
between these public assignments, he had become, first, Vice
Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh and then President
of the University of West Virginia. In 1962 he was made
President of Indiana University, a post he held with great suc-
cess until, to the great surprise of many, he announced his resig-
nation last July.
President Stahr has shown in high degree two indispensable
requisites of leadership, the willingness to accept responsibility
and the ability to discharge it successfully. His rich experience
and varied accomplishments have made him an elder statesman
in the world of education at such an early age that it is only
natural that educators everywhere should be asking, what next?
It is because of these great achievements and rich continuing
potentialities, Mr. President, that I am honored to present Elvis
J. Stahr for the degree of Doctor of Laws, honors causa.
President O' Connell
President Stahr, you do us honor and have done us honor
by coming to our campus. But this would not be reason enough,
Sir, as you well know, to grant anyone an honorary degree.
Your being here just provided a very happy occasion for us to
68 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
recognize the tremendous contributions that you have made to
your country in so many ways.
Elvis Stahr, we salute your brilliant career in education and
public affairs and the qualities of mind and character which have
made this career possible. Not only your great gifts of mind,
your wit, and resilience of temper, but your steadfastness, your
public spirit, and your innumerable contributions to your fellow-
men make it a privilege to confer upon you, by virtue of the
authority vested in me by the Board of Regents of the State of
Florida, the degree Doctor of Laws, honors causa, and to admit
you to all its rights and privileges. Congratulations.
Dr. Linton E. Grinter
DEAN OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
Mr. President, it is my privilege to present Jack Kenny Wil-
liams. A native of Virginia, he received the Bachelor of Arts
degree from Emory and Henry College in that state, and the
Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Emory
University in Atlanta, Georgia, with major studies in American
history. He taught high school in Virginia and served a year
as principal of the Lambsburg, Virginia, High School before
spending four years from 1942 to 1946 as an officer with the
4th Division, United States Marine Corps.
Employed by Clemson University in 1947 as an instructor
in history and government, he advanced to professor and was
appointed Dean of the Graduate School in 1957, Dean of the
University in 1960 and Vice President in 1963. In 1966 he
accepted the post of Commissioner of Public Higher Education
for the State of Texas. In 1968 he decided to regain a closer
association with university affairs and became Vice President
for Academic Affairs, University of Tennessee System at Knox-
Dr. Williams has thus served three southern states in posi-
tions that have leen highly influential in aiding those states to
achieve higher quality in undergraduate and graduate education.
He has served on the Executive Council and the Plans and Poli-
Conferring of Honorary Degrees
cies Committee of the Commission on Colleges, Southern As-
sociation of Colleges and Schools, and he has aided numerous
institutions by serving as consultant or member of a visiting
committee. In all instances, his influence has been placed on the
side of quality in higher education, upon true scholarship and
Therefore, Mr. President, because of his great contributions
to improvement of higher education in the South, I take particu-
lar pleasure in presenting Jack Kenny Williams for the degree
of Doctor of Laws, honors causa.
President O' Connell
Dr. Williams, it has been a privilege to have you here on our
campus, and may I say, too, that we are glad to have you back
closer to us in Tennessee. Texas was a long way.
Jack Kenny Williams, scholar, teacher, educational adminis-
trator and leader, we salute you for your contributions to higher
education in the South. The range of your abilities and the ex-
tent of your leadership in university education at all levels are
demonstrated clearly by the great responsibility of the positions
you have held. In recognition of your extended services and
constructive efforts toward improvement of both undergraduate
and graduate education and research, it is my privilege, by vir-
tue of the authority vested in me by the Board of Regents of
the State of Florida, to confer on you the degree of Doctor of
Laws, honors causa, and admit you to all its rights and privileges.
Congratulations to you, Sir.
I am particularly pleased to have on this occasion the right
to present to you several of the best reasons for the existence of
this institution and I am happy to be able to do it on the occasion
of my inauguration. I would like to recognize and present to
you some of our students who have demonstrated scholastic ex-
70 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
There has been given to all of you a program which lists
the scholarship awards. I do not have, of course, the time to
acknowledge all or even those by groups but we have about 700
students that have been honored and their names have been
printed in this program. I wish to present them to you col-
lectively and, in addition to those listed in the program, we also
have 53 cadets who have received Army and Air Force scholar-
ships. To all of you young scholars, all of us salute you. Your
achievement reflects and will determine the real degree of dis-
tinction that this institution will achieve.
I would add also to some who may be here and some who
may hear this message that we are very grateful for the support
which comes to us from private sources as well as from the
Board of Regents, that private support that has made these
scholarships possible. We have too few. I know of no finer in-
vestment that can be made in any way than in the lives of these
young men and women.
I would recognize also the winner of the Thomas Jefferson
award. This award was established in 1965 by the Robert Earl
McConnell Foundation. Each year the award is made to a
member of the teaching faculty at the University College in the
ranks below that of full professor. It is in the amount of $500.
The recipient is chosen for his broad interest, his distinguished
classroom teaching, and his exceptional influence upon the in-
tellectual life of students. I would like to recognize Dr. Allie
May I say to you, Sir, that your teaching excellence is a credit
to this institution, an inspiration to students, an example that I
hope will be emulated by all in the furtherance of the ideals for
which Thomas Jefferson stood. Thank you all. Mr. Chairman,
I have finished my part in your program.
Mr. President, you have just begun your work.
Before we conclude this ceremony, I would like to say on
behalf of the Board of Regents of the State of Florida, that
progress in higher education at this University and at all other
state universities in our system would be completely impossible
and unattainable if it were not for the dedicated and under-
standing legislators of our state who are interested in and sup-
port higher education. They are the people who provide the
money through which the programs are conducted, and I say
to you, the people of Florida, you have a responsible body rep-
resenting you in both the senate and the house of our govern-
ment. These men are keenly alert to the changes taking place
in our society and in our economy and in our educational pro-
We will now have the benediction by Rabbi Simeon Ko-
brinetz of Miami.
Rabbi Simeon Kobrinetz:
Dear Lord and Father of all men, we thank Thee for this
day which renews our hope and brings us fresh faith. Accept
our heartfelt gratitude for the gift of these memorable exercises
which brings added joy and meaning to our lives.
Strengthen him who consecrates himself at this hour as the
President of this distinguished University. Imbue him with
the spirit of sincerity, of modesty, and reverence for Thee. In-
spire him with love of truth and cause Thy grace to rest upon
him, that by example he may lead us to ever greater achieve-
ments. Endow him with an understanding heart that he may
use his powers of thought for the enhancement of our Univer-
sity. Give him the zeal and the courage to lift his voice as
a trumpet so that he may pronounce and promote the goals and
the aspirations of the students, the faculty, and the administra-
tion. Bless him with the gift of heart and mind to lead us in
the pursuits of excellence and achievement. Bless Thou his
going and his coming, that in all ways, he may find favor in
Thy sight and the eyes of the upright in heart.
Be also, Almighty God, with all those who labor in behalf
of this glorious University and who assemble here this morning to
pledge our loyalty and devotion to our new President. Through
him, may we be strengthened in our devotion to the cause of
higher education and to the continued growth and development
of this institution. May the unity of purpose direct all our en-
deavors so that the University of Florida may be worthy of Thy
72 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
presence and of Thy favor. May this memorable event stir us
to meet our duties with renewed vigor and determination as
citizens of a great and powerful nation and state. May the heri-
tage of our lands stimulate us to foster those ideals and those
virtues which make our country not only a land of freedom and
equality but a nation truly great because of the contributions of
its young people. Towards this goal of an educated and en-
lightened citizenry do we commit our hearts, our minds, and our
resources. Through the inspired leadership of our new Presi-
dent, may this University pursue a course of excellence and
achievement so that we may better serve Thee, our nation and
Therefore, Almighty God, may this hour ever be a fountain
of inspiration and encouragement to us. We ask Thy blessings
upon our new President. Uphold his hands with faith, his voice
with courage and his leadership with devotion. May this be a
Robert B. Mautz Presiding:
Distinguished Guests, ladies and gentlemen, if you please,
my name is Bob Mautz and I am the intermediary between the
audience and those participants in this inaugural luncheon.
And so, if I may ask you to rise, please, I should like to ask
Father Gannon to give the invocation.
Father Michael V. Gannon
Thank you, Almighty God, for this day in the life of our Uni-
versity. Thank you for the joy, the pageantry, the fellow-
ship, and the sense we share of impending greatness.
Thank you, in particular, for our new President. Bless him
with your most abundant blessings for he is the symbol and, in
great part, the agent of our bright promise for tomorrow.
Finally, Lord God, bless this meal which we share together
in happy union. Thank you for this and for all your gifts.
President and Mrs. O'Connell, Governors Farris Bryant and
Haydon Burns, members of the Cabinet, Chairman Ferguson,
members of the Board of Regents, and distinguished guests all.
One of the principal activities by which man distinguishes
himself from other forms of life is his ability to accumulate and
transmit knowledge. The capstone of this effort is the univer-
sity. The university is called an institution of higher education
and few would argue that it could not properly be called insti-
tution of "highest" learning. Gathered in one spot are those
whose training and ability and preference enable them to per-
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form the function of creation and transmission of knowledge
in its most rarefied form. A university holds in trust the hopes
and aspirations of the civilization it has helped create and which
in turn has created and makes possible its endeavors.
An inaugural ceremony constitutes a pledge of support to
the philosophy which embraces reason as the means through
which man progresses and which assures that his progeny may
advance. It is a time during which all pause to reaffirm this faith
in the process through which reason is brought to prevail and to
pledge their renewed dedication to the institution which ad-
vances their basic faith.
Stephen Cornelius O'Connell, I am confident that I speak
for all when I affirm my pleasure that you have agreed to accept
a position of leadership in charge of this trust; state my confi-
dence that the future lies in strong, sensitive, and competent
hands; and pledge support in helping you to discharge your
great and newly assumed responsibilities.
There are in this room many distinguished citizens of Flor-
ida who have worked with the University and who will continue
to work for the University and for you, Steve, because they
share the philosophy of which I just spoke and because they
want to give you support as we join you in working toward com-
mon goals. Many of them were presented to you and to the
audience by the Chairman of the Board of Regents at the inau-
Since they were presented at that time, at various other
functions in connection with your inauguration and are well-
known and all important to you, I simply would like to acknowl-
edge their presence as symbolic of the fact that they share our
goals, that they have labored for common ends, that they will sup-
port you as you discharge your duties in the future. And I might
add, as you discharge them as outlined in your superb inaugural
An inaugural ceremony enables man to pause and reflect
upon the past and the future. Expressions of support in the
form of greetings add to the solemnity of the occasion and
buttress hopes for the future by indicating a uniformity of pur-
pose. A number of individuals are here to bring greetings to
76 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
you as representatives of various groups in the state which are
vitally interested in and affected by higher education. The gov-
ernor of the state planned to be present. Despite the fact that
he is head of a state which lives in a technological age, his mo-
tions and movements are subject to the whims of machines as
controlled by weather. The weather prevented his airplane from
landing. Representing him to bring you greetings of the people
of the state is Secretary of State, Mr. Tom Adams.
teve, Rita, distinguished friends and guests. They say the
best things happen most unexpectedly, and certainly it has
been a wonderful opportunity for me, representing my distin-
guished colleagues of the cabinet, to participate in the inaugural
festivities for such a dear friend as Steve O'Connell.
Mr. President, you have been greeted sufficiently already
today and obviously will be greeted more. I would simply like
to state that for each one here and for the citizens of our state,
you do us honor by accepting the responsibilities as the sixth
president of this great University.
And while, obviously, I am not authorized to speak for all
members of the state cabinet, I can with some degree of authority
speak for six. And I would say to you, Sir, that whether it be
as a Budget Commission, a Board of Education, or whatever
official capacity we might assume, that we stand fully behind you
and your expressed desire and determination to make this a truly
In addition to that, within the context of our responsibility,
we are determined to furnish our share of the leadership to in-
sure that this state, our great state of Florida, moves forward in
the development of higher education to the quality peaks that
we must assume. It is a great pleasure and a very real privilege
on behalf of my colleagues to participate again in these wonder-
ful ceremonies. Thank you very much.
Representing the supreme court is the Honorable Campbell
When Rae Weimer directed an invitation to our court to send
a delegate to speak of Justice O'Connell's professional at-
tainments, his judicial administrative capacities and his vast con-
tributions to the administration of justice, he added that the
speaker could feel free to use up to five minutes if he needed
it. I don't plan to consume the allotted time.
I come here today, privileged to represent a group that was
once identified as the "six old men and O'Connell." My com-
mission from my colleagues, as conveyed to me by the chief
justice, is to let you know of our great respect and warm regard
for President O'Connell. We of the law are extremely proud
that the Board of Regents turned to our profession when it con-
cluded its quest for a president of this significant institution. We
of the court are complimented, of course, that they turned to our
branch of the government and called one of our most distin-
During these troublesome times, it is perhaps quite logical,
and certainly justifiable, that you look to the discipline of the
law for leadership. The magnitude of social and political con-
flicts, the inordinate pressures from without and within, the am-
bitions and the impatience of youth, their sense of change that
constantly demands a shifting of emphasis, all of these condi-
tions and many others require leadership that is intelligent, pa-
tient, understanding, considerate of opposition. These are the
qualities of the experienced judge and servant of the law that
Steve O'Connell brings to the presidency.
In facing the challenges of our times, I know of no man,
who more ably personified the rule of reason. When resolving
the issues of our time, his devotion to the law as the institu-
tionalized medium of reason, fragile as it sometimes is, has pre-
pared the new President to remain calm in turbulence, to delib-
erate when necessary but decide with finality, to be fair in his
judgments, but aggressive in the pursuit of his objectives. As a
lawyer, this University now becomes his client, and you will find
him to be its tireless, unshakeable advocate. This quality, he has
already demonstrated, and it will, I am sure, be the professional
trademark of his future.
78 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
I bring to you, Stephen, the warm and affectionate good
wishes of your former colleagues, who miss you dreadfully in
the work of the court. You have our prayerful hope that a
Divine Providence will richly bless your administration of the
affairs of this institution, which is so dear to you and to so many
The State Board of Education plays a major role in higher
education and the person with whom I have my principle con-
tact on behalf of that board, who works closely with me in a sup-
porting role, and who represents us so vigorously and favorably
in the Board of Education meetings is Floyd T. Christian. He
is a good friend of higher education. To speak on behalf of the
State Board of Education, I present to you Floyd T. Christian,
Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Floyd T. Christian
Chancellor Bob, President Steve, First Lady Rita, and distin-
guished friends all. It gives me a great deal of pleasure to
represent the State Board and the cabinet on this distinguished
occasion. I think I should tell this audience, Steve knows better
than anyone, that it is very difficult to get a unanimous decision
out of our board. But on this occasion they did vote 4 to 3 to
send the state superintendent here to extend greetings and best
I was told several weeks ago by Rae Weimer that I would be
asked to say something on behalf of Steve. He has many out-
standing characteristics and many good attributes that I could
mention. My wife thinks he is extremely thoughtful. Now
let me give you an example. After the Air Force-Florida game
in Tampa the other day, when Tommy got his nose broken,
Steve was the first one over to assure Margaret it wasn't anything
serious, that he had had his nose broken nine times and "look
how good I look now," he said.
And at the FSU-Florida game I consider him a very kind and
considerate friend-if you will remember that game when Flor-
Inaugural Luncheon 79
ida was ahead nine to three and FSU had the ball on the four-
yard line and first and goal to go. Steve, showing you how con-
siderate he is, ran over with his field glasses and said, "Floyd,
you look, I can't." I thought that was rather considerate.
And he's a gracious man. Because last week when I was
in his box in the stadium and Tom, our famous son, had
knocked off a couple of fast runs, he ran down where the whole
box could hear him, saying, "That's a lot better than his dad ever
I could go on; such as I've always found him a generous man,
for we have been together on many occasions, at lunch and other
things, and he'll just fight you for the check. I'll tell you right
now, I've won every one of those battles.
There are many other examples that I could give you why
this man would make a great president of the University of
Florida but I want to be serious just for a minute. I think a
man stands tall by how he accepts responsibility and how he
leads. For as long as I've known Stephen O'Connell, which is
more than both of us like to admit, he always has stood tall as a
leader of men.
When we think about the characteristics that he brings to
this great University, they are characteristics that I've known of
Steve ever since we were in college here together. When we
were on campus here together he was a leader of men; in his
university days and all through his adult life he's been a leader
of men. He has that unique gift of inspiring people to do their
best. That was one of the great reasons I think the Board of
Regents and the others selected him to run this University.
But even more important than these characteristics are two
I hold the highest: Steve O'Connell is a man of honor and in-
tegrity. I don't think you can pay a greater tribute to a man
than to say that he is a man of honor and integrity. Our former
chief justice, Campbell Thornal, said that better than anyone
The reason I was so happy when Chairman Chester Fergu-
son phoned me to say that they'd asked Steve to take this job, I
knew he was a man of dedication and a man that loved this
University. And I'm predicting in front of all this audience
and all of his close personal friends that Steve will be one of the
80 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
greatest university presidents that we have ever had in this state
and its a great honor for me to bring, on behalf of the State
Board of Education and our State Cabinet, our best wishes and
our happiness for Steve and Rita as they serve this great Uni-
versity and our great state.
The federal government is increasingly involved in support
of higher education and as we look to the future, unquestion-
ably that role will increase. Part of the inaugural ceremonies
included the dedication of a building funded almost completely
by NASA with federal funds. To bring you greetings on behalf
of the congressional delegation is our representative in Con-
gress, a graduate of the University of Florida, Don Fuqua.
P resident Steve and Rita, I bring you greetings from the two
senators and the House delegation.
Sometimes in the course of human events, great men and
great challenges meet. In my opinion, this is the case as Stephen
Cornelius O'Connell is inaugurated as the sixth President of the
University of Florida.
Florida is a diverse state, but its people share a common
pride and a determination that our university system will be
second to none. We want the University of Florida to be in the
front rank of the universities in the nation, not so that we can
boast or brag, but because we want our young people to have the
finest educational opportunities that it is possible to give.
I take particular pride in the fact that President O'Connell
is the first native born Floridian and alumnus of this institution
to ascend to its presidency. As an alumnus of the University of
Florida myself, I share with him the feeling that we owe more
to this hallowed institution than we can ever repay.
Others have pointed to his distinguished career as a student
leader, attorney, civic leader and supreme court justice.
As the congressman from this district, and taking particular
pride in the fact that I have the opportunity to represent my alma
mater, let me say a word about my personal friendship with
Steve and the role of the United States government in higher
Our people have recognized the need for our government
to assist in the cause of higher education. Our nation is en-
riched and most of the research programs which are carried on
by grants can be accomplished at much less cost by utilizing
our existing institutions, such as the University of Florida. Last
year the University of Florida received $21,917,000 from fed-
eral sources. This represents 25.9 per cent of the total Univer-
Look at the grant of $1,796,000 from the National Science
Foundation for science development and its impact-or the
$636,000 from NASA for the Space Science Building that was
just dedicated yesterday-or the $494,000 for the Law Center
Complex Building. This is federal and state partnership at its
There are many areas in medicine, agriculture, space, hu-
manities and other areas of human existence where federal agen-
cies must obtain information.
Steve O'Connell is a man of rare attributes. He combines
high idealism with hard realism, a fighting spirit coupled with
compassion, a keen mind coupled with an astounding ability to
listen and to analyze, and a love for the University of Florida
and its real purpose that knows no bounds.
A man and a challenge have met. He is meeting those
challenges-and the University of Florida will ascend to the
heights of educational acclaim because of men like Steve O'Con-
I gave you one-half of an equation, I assumed that perhaps
you know the other half. It may be that you do not. Congress-
man Fuqua serves on the committee which has NASA as one
of its responsibilities. Some time ago he sent to me a copy of
the committee report which pointed the way to the future in
terms of the committee's thinking. I wrote him for enough
copies to send one to each of our deans under cover of a state-
ment that, in order for this University to benefit from the op-
82 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
portunities which were present in terms of the future action and
direction of Congress, it was necessary to be familiar with their
thinking. I believe that I speak for all of them when I say they
were pleased with the thinking which underlay that committee's
The other half of the state-federal partnership is, of course,
the state legislature. Through appropriations, it makes the final
decision as to how much money will be available for state support
of higher education. Last session the legislature was extremely
kind to higher education. The Speaker of the House at that
time was a former professor of the University of Florida and a
resident of Gainesville, the Honorable Ralph B. Turlington. To
bring you greetings from the state legislature, I present to you,
Thank you Mr. Chancellor, President Steve and First Lady
Rita O'Connell. This has indeed been a great day for the
University of Florida and for the state of Florida.
When we had a discussion as to who should be the new
president, and when I say we, nobody discussed it with me, but
when there was discussion under way, I could hear other people
talking about it as to who should be president. But our new
President was not one that was mentioned, at least not in any
conversation that I heard. Then he was named, frankly to the
amazement of a number of people, and over the last 11 months
there has been a constantly growing realization that no institution
could have chosen better.
I think that this is what we can look forward to in terms of
the great future the University of Florida and higher education
in Florida will have. I think that President O'Connell's leader-
ship is going to leave its mark, not just on the University of
Florida, but on all of the institutions of higher learning in our
I think the message that was brought by him at the inaugura-
tion this morning is one that will stand through the years as the
mark of true educational statesmanship and leadership. I know
all of you join me in saying that this is the type of approach
that we in Florida want to follow and we are most grateful for
your inspiration and leadership, President Steve.
I think the legislature, and you always have to say "I think,"
because the problem in the legislature is that other than myself
there are some other people who often vote incorrectly. And
you don't always come up with exactly what you had in mind
and later on sometimes you're grateful that you didn't.
But I can say sincerely that this legislature, and I believe
the legislature that the people of Florida will elect in November,
is going to be a legislature which will want to follow your in-
spiration, your leadership and your guidance. President Steve
and Chancellor Bob, I think that we are going to have strong
state legislative support for educational programs for Florida of
which we can all be proud.
Again we thank you for having accepted the presidency of
the University of Florida. The very fact that you were sought
rather than seeking the office, I think, speaks well for the won-
derful challenge and opportunity that Florida has ahead of it
for you as President of this great institution.
The Board of Regents, as you all know, is the policy-making
body for the State University System and there are currently
seven universities in the state system. Two more have been
authorized by the legislature.
The board operates through a number of bodies, one of
which is the Council of Presidents. The presidents of the insti-
tutions and myself sit as a group bringing to the board policy
recommendations; deliberating upon questions which the board
has referred to us. Steve is one of us in that group.
Representing all presidents is a former vice president of the
University of Florida, now president ot the University of South
Florida-a university which was but a dream eight years ago
and which is now a thriving, bustling institution with almost
13,000 students. Representing your colleagues, Steve, with
whom you work on the Council of Presidents, and representing
the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities is Presi-
dent John Allen.
84 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
John S. Allen
C hancellor Mautz and ladies and gentlemen, I have known
Steve O'Connell all of the two decades that I have been in
Florida. First I came to know him as an active and loyal alum-
nus of the University of Florida. He was busy being a lawyer
and civic leader down on the lower east coast, but he was not too
busy to participate regularly in Alumni Association meetings held
on the campus. His record as a supreme court justice and as a
citizen you know.
I'm proud to have the privilege of welcoming Dr. O'Connell
into the order of college presidents with all of the responsibilities
and whatever rights it may have. I respect his clear thinking.
I admire his decisiveness that follows thorough cogitation.
President O'Connell's task will not be easy. Never before
has the public so concerned itself with the functions of the fac-
ulty and staff of the university. Never before has it been so es-
sential to make both the supporters and the students of our
universities understand that great schools have unique and
double duties. They must both generate and transmit the in-
formation and the ideas that will shape the future. To fulfill
this obligation, these universities must command the services of
faculties who can be creative, who can communicate clearly
and thus earn the confidence of the public.
President O'Connell and I see each other at monthly meet-
ings of the Board of Regents, and we also work closely together
on the Council of Presidents of the State University System of
Florida. Thus, speaking as a former president of the Florida
Association of Colleges and Universities and speaking as a mem-
ber of the State University System, I welcome Dr. O'Connell into
the order and congratulate the University of Florida in having
such a fine leader.
Florida's higher education operates in a unique two-tiered
system. The first tier consists of 28 community colleges located
in the population centers of the state so that no student need
leave home to attend school but rather can commute to a junior
college in his locality. Representing those junior colleges is
Joseph Fordyce, president of the Santa Fe Junior College, a
junior college opened two years ago in Alachua County serving
Alachua and Bradford counties.
I should say, Steve, before I ask Joe to bring greetings to
you from his colleagues, the junior college presidents, that from
the moment Santa Fe opened in this community or before it
opened, President Fordyce sought us out and offered his col-
laboration to ensure that the student would be served in terms
of an easy transition between Sante Fe and the University of
Florida and to ensure that the advent of a new institution in this
community was one which would represent maximum collabora-
tion with the existing institutions. President Fordyce.
Joseph W. Fordyce
M r. Chairman, thank you very much indeed. Mr. President,
Mrs. O'Connell, distinguished ladies and gentlemen. As
public junior colleges we are indeed new institutions as part-
ners in the very challenging enterprise of higher education in this
state. We are delighted, however, with the newness of the as-
sociation, both personal and professional, and it is a great honor
to bring you greetings from the faculty, staff and students of
Santa Fe Junior College. We hope we are not too presumptuous
to suggest that the greeting comes also from the Florida system
of junior colleges, the first to be completed in the nation, Mr.
President, and one that represents an integral part of the move-
ment that has now seen the development of 1,000 such insti-
tutions shortly to enroll over 1,000,000 students in the United
These are new and in many ways different institutions that
will have many points of similarity and many points of dis-
similarity with existing four-year colleges and universities. The
relationship that probably is most frequently thought of stems
from the fact that many of the students who attend junior col-
leges transfer to four-year colleges and universities. We were
greatly privileged last week to attend a meeting here on this
campus in which we discovered (we had already suspected it)
that over half of the students from a considerable number of
86 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
upper division colleges of this great University now take their
first two years of college education at the junior colleges in the
State of Florida. Certainly we are proud of that kind of relation-
We have been extremely pleased with the reception of the
University of Florida, both from Dr. Reitz and now from Chan-
cellor Mautz, and now more recently from President O'Con-
nell, in the real attempt to make this kind of relationship a
meaningful one, a viable one for the young people, whose con-
cern we do indeed attempt to represent in all of our ambitions
and all of our goals.
President O'Connell, we look forward to an extremely happy
relationship in the years ahead. We know that there are many,
many aspects of the relationship toward which we can plan to-
gether, and we hope and believe that, in the leadership that you
will provide for the University of Florida many of these ambi-
tions and goals of ours can indeed become a reality.
Coming from a nontraditional institution, I was particu-
larly pleased to hear, along with all of the other wonderful
things that you said this morning, that your approach is not
necessarily one of tradition as you face the problems and the
challenges of the development of this institution. To hold fast
to that which is good and that which is proved, but to have
courage to meet new challenges with new approaches and new
procedures, will be of the utmost importance over the years
ahead; your fruitful and productive life bears testimony to your
ability to provide this kind of approach.
We wish you great good fortune and perhaps above all,
some good measure of the happiness that we know you will
bring to countless thousands by your leadership of this univer-
sity. Thank you sir.
A university is a self-contained community in many ways
and yet it is very far from being an island. It is a resident of a
larger community. In this case, one of these larger commu-
nities is the city of Gainesville. To bring you greetings from
the city of Gainesville I present to you Mr. Ted Williams, Mayor.
Theodore E. Williams
Mr. Chancellor, Mr. President, Mrs. O'Connell, honorable
platform dignitaries and honored guests. It is a privilege
for me to be here and speak for the Gainesville City Commission
at this landmark of progress in our community. First let me
extend to all of you who are here the most warm and cordial
welcome on behalf of the city of Gainesville.
Stephen C. O'Connell is a citizen of Gainesville. He has
come to live in this city with us, and he has accepted the chal-
lenge as President of our University at a time when it stands
on the very threshold of greatness where leadership will truly
determine its destiny.
We have observed the new President for a year. I know
this has been a pretty short time for us but I know it must have
been a lifetime for him. We have seen him demonstrate that
at some point in his life he learned how young people think and
he never forgot it-that young, dynamic minds are also delicate
and that for young minds, which is our most important asset to
develop, a president's responsibility is to stimulate imagination
and hope and pride.
We have watched him as he has dealt with the problems of a
truly modern university and he has made it even more modern.
He has presided at times when tempers flared, when big deci-
sions had to be made under fire; and at those times he could
have slammed down an iron fist-he could have done many
things-but he faced the problems foursquare.
We are most proud of our new citizen. He has promised to
make our University one of the greatest in the nation, and we
We in the city look upon the University with pride. Cer-
tainly we are most fortunate to be the University City. We
realize that when so many young people reside in our com-
munity, we, too, have an unwritten responsibility to the officials
of the University and to the parents all over this state, and that
is to maintain the high standard of quality that is conducive to
what we think this University should be.
We have vast numbers of students who come here without
endless resources. They're inclined at times to live in sub-
88 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
standard housing and to make many sacrifices to keep up with
the requirements of a demanding academic program. Because
we want to fulfill our responsibility, we pay a little more for fire
protection and police protection and we provide many services
that we might not ordinarily place so much emphasis on.
Our President did not come here to limit himself to those
boundaries that stipulate what could be just "beautiful meadows
of meditation." We can say that is truly the remarkable thing
about him. When he said he would make our University really
great, he knew what he would have to face and that it does
really matter what the common, ordinary citizen thinks about an
institution of higher education.
We want him to succeed and we as a city accept our chal-
lenge to him and to our University. We know that if he does
succeed, we will enjoy great benefits and will become a truly
greater city with a greater University.
I know that the selection of a president must focus con-
sideration on some distinguished and remarkably qualified men.
In this case, we could say that an excellent choice was made
for the city of Gainesville. We look upon Steve O'Connell with
pride because we've gotten to know him as our President, as a
citizen in the community. We feel that there was one man, and
they found him.
Mr. President, we want to wish you all of the success in
the world as you guide this complex and dynamic institution,
as it attacks the problems of all mankind-where daily new in-
formation in the field of science and medicine and research will
be put to work.
We know there will be times as you must make decisions
from the office of president, that these decisions will not always
be popular. But we want you to know we will try real hard to
understand. We share your concern and the city of Gainesville
is extremely proud of you.
The University spills over city boundaries which are, in a
sense, unnatural boundaries, and the University is also a citizen
and resident of a larger community--in this case, the county.
The county is quite involved in the University's activities, and
is working hard to help the University solve some of its traffic
problems and some of its egress-ingress problems as well as
other problems which affect the University and community.
To give the President greetings on behalf of the county is Mr.
Sidney Martin, chairman of the Alachua County Commission.
Mr. President, Rita, distinguished guests and especially citi-
zens of Alachua County.
I recently searched our county files to see if they would pro-
vide any insight into Steve O'Connell's arrival at the University
of Florida. At the time he arrived by train in Waldo, Florida,
we had one sheriff, and if I remember right in reading the rec-
ords, there was a fire at that time at Crane Hall so our one sheriff
was there. If that sheriff had been in Waldo, and had inspected
Steve and looked at his finances, he would have turned him
around and sent him back to South Florida.
The county of Alachua knows and realizes that we would
be nothing without the University of Florida. And Steve, today
on behalf of the people of Alachua County, I pledge to you that
working together, the county, the city and the federal govern-
ment will solve the road problems here. I also pledge to you,
Steve, that although we may not always understand what you
are trying to accomplish, we will certainly be with you and have
the faith in you to know that whatever it is, it is good for the
We also pledge to you, Steve, and the faculty and the stu-
dents, that we will provide proper recreation for your students
when they wish to leave the University of Florida campus to
play, and to find ways to do things that you and I didn't do at
night time around the campus at the University of Florida.
We also pledge to you, Steve, we will do proper planning,
and proper zoning.
We also pledge to you, Steve, that with your know-how and
your kind understanding of the problems that men in office
have and the way that you know and we know how you are
going to con us, we offer you nothing but the best from Alachua
90 INAUGURATION OF STEPHEN CORNELIUS O'CONNELL
We saved until last the better half. Rita has been men-
tioned as part of a team, The First Lady of the University. In
fact, all of our wives have sacrificed more than I think most
people know and they make it possible for all of us to be that
which we are and to labor in the way we do. We are grateful
to all of them. In the University, there exists an organization
known as the University Women's Club. It provides University
women with some focus for their discontent with our activities
and also is a constructive force in the University both in terms
of morals and the deeds it performs as well as the social life it
provides. Representing the University women is Mrs. Williard
E. Stone, president of the University Women's Club.
Mrs. Williard E. Stone
P resident O'Connell and distinguished guests. In speaking for
the University women and the University Women's Club, in
particular, first of all I should like to include President O'Con-
nell's very charming First Lady in my greeting. I am sure, that
in the ups and downs that are to come, her presence is going
to be of immeasurable importance to him. And to us, her
charm, her dignity and her very special sweetness is going to be
a great inspiration.
A recent editorial in the Gainesville Sun said pretty much
about our new President what I should like to have said but
didn't know how. It began with the question "Who is going to
face this staggering task ahead?" and ended with this, "By as-
suming this burdensome mantle of the University of Florida,
Steve O'Connell is raising his hand and responding, 'I will.'
Dare the rest of us let him go it alone?"
My immediate response to this was, "No." The challenge is
there for me, too, as I feel it surely is for all of the women who
are closely involved with what goes on at this University.
I should like to offer our help. The potential of the women
on this campus is great, and I trust that each one of us in her
own way will make the utmost use of that potential for the bet-
terment of the University of Florida. Congratulations to you
and thank you for accepting this position.
CLAUDE R. KIRK, JR.
Secretary of State
EARL E. FAIRCLOTH
FRED O. DICKINSON, JR.
FLOYD T. CHRISTIAN
DOYLE E. CONNER
Commissioner of Agriculture
THE BOARD OF REGENTS
CHESTER H. FERGUSON, Chairman
HENRY KRAMER, Vice Chairman
MRS. JOHN C. BEHRINGER
D. BURKE KIBLER, III
CLARENCE L. MENSER
Louis C. MURRAY
JOHN C. PACE
JULIUS F. PARKER
MRS. E. D. PEARCE
ROBERT B. MAUTZ, Chancellor
PRESIDENTS OF OTHER UNIVERSITIES
IN THE STATE SYSTEM
JOHN E. CHAMPION
Florida State University
BENJAMIN L. PERRY, JR.
Florida A & M University
JOHN S. ALLEN
University of South Florida
Florida Atlantic University
HAROLD B. CROSBY
University of West Florida
Florida Technological University
STEERING COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN
RAE O. WEIMER
PHYLLIS B. DURELL REID POOLE
Social Coordinator Music and Entertainment
WILLIAM E. ELMORE HAROLD C. RIKER
GEORGE R. FREEMAN ELEANOR F. ROBERTS
LESTER L. HALE ALAN J. ROBERTSON
Inaugural Convocation City
MARJORIE SUE LASLEY MELVIN L. SHARPE
University Women's Club Invitations
ROBERT R. LYNCH CLYDE M. TAYLOR, JR.
MICKIE NEWBILL WILLIAM J. WATSON
Meals and Recording Alumni
FREDERICK W. CONNER
SAMUEL P. MARTIN
E. T. YORK, JR.
L. E. GRINTER
MANNING J. DAUER
GEORGE K. DAVIS
FRANKLIN A. DOTY
J. C. DICKINSON, JR.
HARRY H. SISLER
DONALD J. HART
RICHARD W. BOWLES
G. PAUL MOORE