A commencement address

Title: University record
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00075594/00443
 Material Information
Title: University record
Uniform Title: University record (Gainesville, Fla.)
Physical Description: v. : ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: University of the State of Florida
University of Florida
Publisher: University of the State of Florida,
University of the State of Florida
Place of Publication: Lake city Fla
Publication Date: November 1, 1931
Copyright Date: 1932
Frequency: quarterly
Subject: College publications -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Universities and colleges -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Agricultural education -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
University extension -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Teachers colleges -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Law schools -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
Dates or Sequential Designation: Vol. 1, no. 1 (Feb. 1906)-
Numbering Peculiarities: Issue for Vol. 2, no. 1 (Feb. 1907) is misnumbered as Vol. 1, no. 1.
General Note: Title from cover.
General Note: Imprint varies: <vol. 1, no. 2-v.4, no. 2> Gainesville, Fla. : University of the State of Florida, ; <vol. 4, no. 4-> Gainesville, Fla. : University of Florida.
General Note: Issues also have individual titles.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00075594
Volume ID: VID00443
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: ltuf - AEM7602
oclc - 01390268
alephbibnum - 000917307
lccn - 2003229026
lccn - 2003229026

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Full Text

The University Record

of the

University of Florida

Commencement Address

Judge Spessard L. Holland

Summer Session

Vol. XXVI, Series I No. 20

Nov. 1, 1931

Published Semi-monthly by the -University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
Entered in the post office in Gainesville, Florida, as second-class matter,
under Act of Congress, August 24, 1912
Office of Publication, Gainesville, Fla.

The University Record of the University of Florida is issued once every month.

The Record comprises:

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M. ~.


A Commencement Address

President Tigcrt, Members of the Graduating Class, Members of the Faculty,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
AY I congratulate you, Members of the Graduating Class, on your
achievements here. I am grateful not only personally but as an
active participant in the affairs of the Alumni Association for the
privilege of addressing you on this occasion. I welcome the opportunity of dis-
cussing from the viewpoint of a layman and an alumnus the institution which is
most dear to all of us, the University of Florida.
I shall first consider the University objectively. I shall attempt to picture
it as it is. Of what does it actually consist?
The University has ample grounds, beautifully endowed by nature and
located in the heart of an ancient Spanish grant where the lover of nature may
still capture the romantic charm and the traditions of bygone Spanish days.
The University comprises a spacious and adequate group of buildings con-
structed in general accordance with an original plan and harmonizing architec-
turally with each other and with the natural setting.
The University consists of seven colleges and two schools, all functioning
as separately equipped units in the bringing of higher education in their respective
fields to the youth of Florida.
The University includes a devoted, highly trained, and splendidly qualified
faculty of 169 members, without including the personnel of 90 at the Experiment
Station and the substations.
The University comprises a student body numbering in the last regular
session 2,389 students..
The University includes a summer school student body of approxi-
mately 1,500.
The University has a general extension division carrying opportunity for
intellectual development to some 6,500 citizens of the State who are not so fortu-
nate as to be able to attend the University or any other institution of higher
learning, about 4,000 of whom are school teachers.
The University boasts an agricultural extension division reaching into prac-
tically every county and corner of the State of Florida, bringing instruction,
greater opportunity, higher standards of living, and more adequate financial
agricultural returns to our citizens.
The University includes an experiment station engaged in agricultural
research, the benefits of which are passed on to the agricultural industry of the
The University has a military department bringing training in fundamental
military matters to our youth as a matter of physical, intellectual, and patriotic


development, and as a matter of preparing them for the defense of our Nation
if the need should arise.

Lastly, the University has the State Radio Station, the State Museum and
various other component parts of value, all worthy of note. In the aggregate,
this vast institution gives regular instructional service each year to about 80,000
of our citizens, who are enrolled for work in classes in one of the many depart-

But, aside from the mere objective consideration of the tremendous piece
of educational machinery which is the University of Florida, it is necessary to
consider the University from the subjective viewpoint if we hope to thoroughly
grasp its significance. Why does the University exist, and what are its purposes
and objects? The answering of this question involves a consideration of the
history of the movement which lies behind the creation of state universities as
a distinctive feature of American life. At the close of the American Revolution
it was realized by the founders of our Nation that it was absolutely essential to
furnish adequate facilities for the higher education of our youth in order that
our experiment in democracy, or rather in a republican form of government,
should not fail. It was necessary to replace the foreign institutions of learning,
which had previously educated most of our young people, with American institu-
tions, and it was particularly necessary that these institutions should understand
the American theory of government in order that our youth could be trained
for leadership in the development of our nation. Thomas Jefferson was the
outstanding leader in this school of thought, first making his recommendations
to the State of Virginia in 1779 for the establishment by the State Government
of a great public university which would be the crown of the system of free
public education of the State. The Encyclopedia Americana states the Jeffer-
sonian theory as embodying three foremost objectives lying behind a state univer-
sity, as follows:

"1. To form statesmen, legislators, and judges;

"2. To expound the principles and structure of government, the laws which
regulate the intercourse of nations, and a sound spirit of legislation;
"3. To promote industry, agriculture, manufacturing, and commerce."

The general educational objectives of developing the reasoning faculties of
the youth, enlarging their minds, cultivating their morals, instilling in their
minds the precepts of virtue and order, and enlightening them with knowledge
of mathematics and the sciences, are stated by Jefferson; but he places them in
a secondary position, subject always to the primary objective of training the
youth of the land in essential American ideals and fitting them for leadership
in the development of the American Nation and the several American states. So
thoroughly imbued did our forefathers become with this Jeffersonian theory of
higher education that in the early years of our nation we find in at least three
states a definite effort to take over and convert into state controlled institutions
private colleges which already existed there. The decision of the United States
Supreme Court in the famous Dartmouth College case was the outgrowth of


one of these efforts and finally put an end to them. The growth and development
of the state universities as such, however, was not curbed, and they continued
to assume places of greater and greater importance in our educational system
and in our governmental life. The Federal Government, beginning with land
grants in 1787, has participated in a large measure in the development of the
state universities, including among the Federal objectives the promotion of
agricultural development, the training of needed mechanical and engineering
experts, the training of teachers, and the military training of our youth as a
measure of preparedness for national defense. I do not think it important to
mention separately the several acts of the Congress by which the Federal Gov-
ernment has manifested a greater and greater interest in the state university
movement and has assumed a larger participation in it. Suffice it to say that the
University of Florida is the local fruition, so far as the State of Florida is con-
cerned, of a state university movement which is distinctively and uniquely Ameri-
can, and which has been one of the greatest factors in the speedy development
of America.

The University of Florida has been made possible by the sustained effort,
interest, and participation of the State of Florida, in conjunction with the Federal
Government, as manifested by continuing generous appropriations from year
to year throughout the life of the university and even in this year of grave finan-
cial depression. It is a creature of the State and Federal Governments, created
not with the primary idea of giving increased opportunity and advantages for
personal advancement to the youth of our state, important as this end may be,
but with the deliberate idea and intention of heading up our public school system,
promoting the development of the state agriculturally and industrially, raising
our standards of living, giving greater happiness to the general body of our citi-
zens, affording greater and more intelligent leadership to our people in the various
professions and fields of endeavor, and assuring the greatest possible under-
standing of American ideals and the most thorough adherence to those ideals by
the people of our State.

The natural question, therefore, after considering the great physical piece
of machinery which is the University of Florida, and after considering the under-
lying motives which are responsible for its creation and for its continued
existence, would be: Is the University of Florida realizing its objectives? Is
it carrying out its purposes? Is it showing leadership as the active head and
crown of the common school system of the state? Is it functioning as an active
agency in the upbuilding of our state agriculturally, industrially, socially and
morally, and in the bringing of a greater measure of happiness and prosperity
to our people? Every friend of the University must admit that these are fair
questions, that unless they can be answered affirmatively the existence of the
university is not justified, and the immense piece of machinery should be de-
stroyed, or at least such portions of it as are not aiding in the fulfillment of the
general purpose.

I am happy that we know, entirely apart from the activities of the alumni,
that many branches of the university have performed outstanding services and
have made of their work an unqualified success. I like to think, for instance,


of the service which is being performed by the Agricultural Extension Division.
There can be no question but that the large group of men and women who are
serving our state, and particularly its agricultural interests, as county agents
and as home demonstration workers, are serving effectively in producing among
our people higher standards agriculturally, economically, and socially. That
branch of the university has succeeded admirably. The same must be admitted
with reference to the Experiment Station-that the labors of those earnest
research workers who have been and are yet delving into the secrets of nature
and passing on the fruits of their labors to the agricultural and horticultural
interests of the state, are productive of untold good. Likewise with reference to
the General Extension Division. One cannot but be proud of those activities,
extending clear across our state into every one of the 67 counties, so that it may
be said with truth that the campus of the university is the state itself. This
department involves in a year 6,500 of our citizens, to whom are being brought
opportunities for advancement which they could never otherwise enjoy. Then
there are the State Radio Station, the State Museum, and other extra-curricular
activities of the university, which in the aggregate are performing a very great
service for our people. I do not think it too much to say that every one of these
activities has so served as to far more than justify its continued existence.

May I digress at this moment to say that the administration of the univer-
sity, likewise, by zeal, foresight, and leadership of the highest order, has been
paving the way for the rendition of even greater service to the State in the future.
I would refer particularly to the activity of your distinguished President in
securing the cooperation of the General Education Board in matching, dollar for
dollar, the appropriations of the State of Florida in building an adequate College
of Education. As a result of those efforts and the recent appropriation of our
Legislature, there will be spent in the near future $350,000 for the construction
and equipment of an adequate and thoroughly modern plant for a new and better
College of Education. What a stimulus that will be to the cause of education in
this state! I feel that I should also refer to the founding a little more than a
year ago of the Institute of Inter-American Relations, which has been successful
already in commanding the interest and enlisting the cooperation and support of
outstanding national and international figures who are lending their assistance
solely because they believe that the Institute is a splendid conception, capable
of rendering great service to Florida, to the United States as a whole, and to
all of Latin-America. Entirely aside from cultural considerations of vast impor-
tance, from the standpoint of invaluable horticultural cooperation with nations
whose problems are much like ours, and the further standpoint of increased indus-
trial growth through the building up of international good will and understand-
ing such as has not existed heretofore between us and our brethren to the south,
the foundation of the Institute is a most progressive and far reaching step.

But, despite these splendid activities of which I have been speaking, the
chief question, the question as to whether the University is fulfilling its truly
greatest objectives, must in all cases be answered only after considering the
quality and quantity of the service which is being rendered to the State by the
Alumni. The greatness of this university cannot be measured by the number


of students in attendance, by the number of splendid buildings which have been
built here, by the splendid success of her extra-curricular activities, or by the
outstanding vision of her administration, nor even by the devoted service of a
faculty of which we are justly proud, but must be ultimately measured by the
achievement, the loyalty, and the reputation of her alumni. Through them,
whether we like it or not, the University fulfills or fails to fulfill her destiny. She
is primarily a Maker of Men, and the truest test of her greatness is the stature
of the men whom she makes.
It would ill become me as an alumnus and as the present head of the alumni
organization to make any comment upon the achievement, the loyalty, and the
reputation of the present alumni of this institution. I shall attempt no such com-
ment. The right to pass judgment on that subject reposes with the people of
the state. Whatever that judgment may be, it determines the relative success
or failure of the University of Florida, in its primary curricular work.

But, speaking to you men and women who are becoming alumni today, I
can say with all truth that other men have made this University what it now is;
what it will be hereafter depends largely upon what you will make it. You
have been trained in this governmental school of citizenship for service in the
fields where the State and National Government realized there must be sane and
intelligent and progressive and American leadership. You are going out pre-
pared, perhaps, to teach as a part of our general system of education, or to par-
ticipate in agricultural work in the building up of our major industry, or to lead
in business affairs, or to serve in any of the honorable professions in which you
have been trained. What a splendid field of endeavor awaits you! We have a
wonderful state, of boundless natural wealth. We have a resourceful and vital
population composed of the descendants of pioneers who came here many years
ago, added to other pioneers of recent years who have come here fired by ambi-
tion and energetic purpose to take advantage of what they deemed to be unsur-
passed opportunities for the procuring of health, prosperity, and happiness. I
do not believe there is in any State of the Union such a virile and aggressive citizen-
ship, gathered as is ours from the pioneering individuals of all of our States and
of many of the other nations of the world.

And, too, you come into this splendid field of service at a time when not only
in this state but throughout the nation there has been apparent a woeful dearth
of leadership and a woeful lack of understanding of the human factor in business
and governmental problems.
In a recent address Dr. Glenn Frank, President of the University of Wiscon-
sin, called attention to the fact that our current depression is unique in that it has
been caused not by our failure to master want, but by our failure to master plenty.
In the midst of plenty we are in want. Dr. Frank said: "We have plenty of
money. We have plenty of raw material. We have plenty of clothes. We have
plenty of shoes. We have plenty of coal. And yet there has never been a time
in our Nation when so many men are going hungry, ragged, shoeless, and shiv-
ering. We are a Nation of Midases. We turn to gold everything that we touch
and then starve in the presence of its glitter. We search eagerly for a shortage


to explain our depression, but there is no shortage of the obvious things that men
need. The only famine from which we are suffering is a famine of leadership."
And that means not only leadership in high places, but leadership in our various
communities, and businesses, and leadership in all phases of our life. You are
going out of college at a time when, as never before, the trained man of broad
sympathies is needed to help in the solution of the problems that are so pressing.
Such a field and such times as these should challenge the very best that is in you.

I am not here to offer you advice as you go. I have neither the experience,
the wisdom, nor the temerity to attempt such a course. The field of service which
is open to you is as wide as the state itself, and embraces every creditable activity
within the state. You know as well as I that the training which you have had here,
plus the experience which you will gain hereafter, plus the willingness and the
desire to serve, will enable you to find proper outlets for service in literally
hundreds of different activities. There is, however, one general activity within
the state to which I earnestly call your attention. I beg of you that, regardless
of what your business may be or how thoroughly you may be engrossed in it,
you may always find time to assist in the building up in this state of a more
adequate public school system. And when I speak of the inadequacy of our public
schools I bring no criticism upon the devoted public servants who have done
their utmost to bring better conditions. My criticism is of ourselves, the people
of this state, who have heretofore failed to envision the tremendous importance
to us, to our children, and to the future of this state of an up-to-date system of
public education. The state university should be and is the inspirational head
of our public school system. The present unsatisfactory condition of our public
schools is a direct reflection upon the university and upon all of us who love the
cause of public education. We are today withholding from our own children
opportunities which we should give them and to which they are entitled. Besides,
we are failing to attract and to attach to us as valuable additions to our citizen-
ship many of the splendid people from other states who visit us from time to
time. They fall in love with our climate, they become entranced with the beauty
of our scenery, they openly marvel at our material developments which have so
far outstripped our intellectual growth, they think well of our business possi-
bilities; but they find us so far behind the times in the field of public school
education that they are unwilling to make their permanent homes among us. And
so it is that I urge you to give largely of your time, of your effort, of your enthu-
siasm to the building of a more adequate system of public schools in this state.

I should like to call your attention not only to the splendid field of service to
the state which awaits you, however, but also to the particular service which you
may render to this institution through active participation in the affairs of the
Alumni Association. There are several reasons why the number of the alumni
who have actively participated in studying the needs of the university and in
aiding to fulfill them, has been relatively small. In the first place, many of our
alumni are graduates of former institutions which were consolidated twenty-five
years ago into this university. They lack the closeness of contact which is essen-
tial to create the maximum of interest and enthusiasm. I feel that those older
alumni are entitled to have the same fullness of pride in the accomplishments of


this splendid new university that thrills us who have been so recently and so
closely in contact with it. I invite your particular assistance in carrying the
message of the new university to these, our older alumni. Then, too, there is
that large group of alumni who attended the institution here at Gainesville in
the early days, and before there had been built up the tradition and the prestige
that comes only with age. I do not believe that many of these have had the oppor-
tunity to appreciate the growth of the university since their day and the greater
capacity for service which has come with its growth. I, therefore, invite you to
carry to these older alumni of both groups the information and inspiration which
I am sure will give to them increased pride and increased determination to work
to subserve the interests of this institution.

In closing, may I repeat my congratulations to you for your achievements
here. I rejoice with you in your success. And may I express the sincere wish
that you shall go out into the field of splendid service which awaits you, a field
of two-fold service, to your State and to your Alma Mater, with eager hearts, with
a passionate desire to serve, and with the definite assurance in mind that the
greatness of your university is in your hands. It is my hope and belief that as
sons and daughters of this institution you may see clearly, work diligently, lead
safely, follow loyally, and serve splendidly, so that through you the existence
of this great university may be not only justified, but may be shown to be increas-
ingly vital to the welfare and prosperity of our State.

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