ADDRESS

Delivered at

Laying of the Corner Stone
of the

morial Stadium
of the University of Minnesota
By

Albert McClure Welles
(Class of 1877)

June 17th, 1924

Dedication
To my Classmates-.:...the seven who remain and the eight who have graduated into a higher sphere-in memory of the days passed at the dear , ld "U", where, on June 7th. o 1877, we received our sheepskins from the hands of our beloved and honored "Prexy", Dr. William Watts Folwell, this modest address is affectionately dedicated. "The shadows are lengthening, but the sunset glow is beautiful." A. M. W. Worthington, Minn., J une 17th., 1924.

ADDRESS
N THE first chapter of Genesis it is recorded that when the work of creation was finished: "G 0 d saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was v e r y good." Of all the material products of His handiwork none was fairer than a wide-flung region near the a pex of which we now stand; a region rich in minerals, forests, lakes, rivers and fertile plains. Indeed, it was very good. As the centuries passed, Nature, under God's guiding hand, molded this region into a veritable garden spot of the world. For years the Red Man ruled supreme. Then the White Man came, set metes and bounds to this magnificent domain, established a government over it and called it "Minnesota." And what men they were who laid deep and strong the foundations of the new state. Sibley, Ramsey, Marshall and other sturdy pioneers, the mere mention of whose names thrills and inspires. One there was who especially saw the need of an institution where the youth of the new commonwealth, and succeeding generations of youth, might acquire a d van c e d mental training. Broad of vision, heroic of soul, mighty of accomplishment, this man gave freely of himself and

of his worldly possessions that such an institution might become a reality. And today his bronze statue looks benignly down u p 0 n the campus, the Father of the University, the honorable and honored John S. Pillsbury. It is a far cry from the struggling school with one unfinished building on a knoll among the oaks, to the University of today with an enlarged and improved 1 campus embellished with 41 noble structures, and an Agricultural school with a beautiful campus and 49 buildings; from a faculty of 8 and 150 students in 1871 to a faculty of 1100 and students totaling over 10,000 in 1924; from the first graduating class of two in 1873, to 1200 graduates the present year; from an occasional scrub game of base ball in the early seventies to the great gridiron contests of recent years; from a rough corner on the campus where athletics first took root, to this great amphitheatre whose corner stone we have just placed. The University today is great and strong, and it owes its greatness and its strength largely to the character of the men who founded it and guided it through its formative stage; and to the men who directed its growth and expansion until it reached its present proud eminence. Folwell, Northrop, Vincent, Burton, Coffman-these be names to con-

jure with. Men of culture and of character; exemplars of right thinking and right living; men to whom the citizenry of Minnesota might safely entrust the training of their sons and daughters. To one of these men who in the prime of life cast his fortunes with the infant institution, who laid its foundations firm and secure, who after years of faithful work retired, not to rest, but to turn his activities into other channels, who to many of us was "guide, philosopher and friend", who was our "Prexy"-to this man who is rounding out a century of life spent in active, honorable service-it is our proud privilege today to pay loving tribute. William Watts Folwell, first President of the University, Grand Old Man of Minnesota, we salute you. While the students 'o f the early days were deprived of many of the advantages now so freely and fully offered, yet the lack was supplied in the charact8r of the men of the faculty and the impress they left on those under their charge. And while I would in no way detract from the character and attainments of later instructors, yet I cannot refrain from calling the names of a quartet of those pioneer teachers-Brooks, Walker, Campbell, Marston. Few schools have been so richly endowed with men in the days of their beginnings.

The best asset of the University of Minnesota always has been and always must be, her men and women. Our Alma Mater has little cause to blush for her offspring, either when swathed in the swaddling clothes of the undergraduate or when clad in the full habiliments of the alumnus. In athletics, Gil Dobie, Ed Rogers, Sig Harris, Bobby Marshall, John McGovern, Lyle Johnson, Bert Baston, Earl Martineau and many others have carried the Maroon and Gold to distinguished victory on the gridiron, and we thrill with pride at the mention of their names. In scholarship, in forensics and in other lines of undergraduate activity, University boys and girls have honorably upheld Minnesota colors. Many of the alumni have achieved distinction in various fields of human end·3avOl·, while the rank and file have worthily borile their parts. The bronze statue of a soldier on this campus bears eloquent testimony to the high idealism of the boys of the "U" who in tropical jungles bared their breasts to Mauser bullets that Cuba might be free. The list of brave young men whose names are sealed in this stone and which shall adorn a. suitable monument, planned to be a part of this great memorial, testify to the lofty patriotism of the University's sons . who gave their all to help quench a world aflame.

So, with these memories of an honorable past and promises of a distinguished future, we come today to make a thank offering to the institution that has done so much for Minnesota and for her sons and daughters. It is a pleasure and a privilege to give of our means toward the erection of this great memorial to the University and the men who have lived and died for it. This stadium stands for physical training; yonder buildings for mental discipline; and neither should be exploited at the expense of the other. A sound mind in a sound body is greatly to be desired, but to ensure symmetrical development of character, they should be supplemented by a sound soul. N ever before has the world so needed men as it l1eeds them today. Men of honor, men of wisdom, men of culture, men of character, men of unflinching courage and unimpeachable integrity, men whose trust is in God; who shall address themselves to the arduous task of readjusting uns<ettled economic conditions and stemming the tide of unreason that threatens to sweep the Republic from the safe moorings of constitutional government established by our forefathers. And the University of Minnesota must furnish its quota. This day marks the beginning of a new epoch in the history of the University. The pioneer days are

but a memory. The institution has outgrown its infancy, passed the' period of youth, and entered upon the full stature of manhood. In these Twentieth Century days of keen . competition, the University cannot lag behind; it must lead the procession. It must be in the van in the doing of those things that add to the sum total of human knowledge, that make for a great state, that contribute to the betterment · of humanity, Regents, faculty, students and alumni, must realize as never before the importance of their attitude toward the great problems that confront the world. As the walls of the magnificent memorial of which this great stadium forms a part, assume visible form, and as the different structures develop into one artistic and harmonious whole, so, in the fullness of time, may the high hopes and ardent ambitions of the men and women who go forth from this ' University blossom forth into the full fruitage of glorious achievement.