(Some of you will, I would guess, be seriously tempted to forfeit Yale's privilege sometillle during the next four

years. This' will he not because you cannot make the grade, but, because you will lose the will and the heart for it. One of you will chafe at what you feel is the eicessice paternalism of Yale; the distribution requirements, the parietal rules, coat and tie checkers, the length of time it takes to get through. You will be sure that you are too advanced, too creative, too much needed lr] the real world to suffer academia's requirements. Another aile of you will at some time here fester and sulk, not because life seems too directed, but because it seems to lack direction. Freedom amidst abundant variety will spell confusion and seem without purpose. Your yearning is for a clean slate, any clean slate, so that you can "find" yourself. I congratulate you both for enjoying to the full the privilege of doubt. For if only you will be patient with us and with yourself, your capacity for doubt, even self-doubt, will serve you well. These are the years to put authority in question. These are the years to test the assumptions of life, of beauty and of faith. Test them to the hilt with experience, with learning, uiith. criticism, with skepticism, even with heresy. But beware of your own arrogance. The arrogance of self-pity is perhaps the worst form of impatience. It is also a crashing bore to your friends. Next to it in frightfulness is the arrogant scoffing for all purposes, or values, or ideals. Treasure ijour privilege of doubt. Prize your skepticism. Develop tjour capacity for reasoned criticism. But let your patience be sustained by a vision, however dim, of what man could be, what you, could be, and, in passing, what Yale could be. These are the years for unabashed idealism. This is not only worthy, it can be fun, as it has been for the best in the generations before you. A very great Yale man, Henry Lewis Stimson, put it to the readers of his biography, when he wrote in the z.a.stparagraph of the epilogue: "Those who read this book will mostly be younger than I, men of the generations who must bear the active part in the work ahead. Let them learn from our adventures what they can. Let them charge us with 'our failures and do better in their turn. But let them not turn aside from what they have to do, nor think that criticism excuses inaction. Let them have hope, and virtue, and let them believe in mankind and its future, for there is good as icell as evil, and the man who tries to uiork for the good, believing in its eventual victory, while he may suffer setback and even disaster, will never know defeat. The only deadly sin I know is cynicism."


I•••• r

.he Preslclen.


of the entering


Eom this hour [oricard, wherever you go, whatever you do, whatever you think of Yale, uihatecer Yale, thinks of you, you are Yale men, You are, by yO'ltr IJ1'esence here credited, honored, sometimes the object of jest, more often envied, by association with a very special historical continuity. It is a continuity recognized wherever people care about civilization. Yale is older than the republic which it serves. It has seen American society evolve from a coastal colony of fanners and fishermen to a highly organized continental com-plex of awesome power. It has seen the union survive threats of tear, rebellion, panic, depression, black reaction and wild-eyed reform. Through. the birth pangs and grotting pains of the nation, Yale has kept the faith and transmitted it down the generations. It has preserved and passed along the values of civilization while training some of the best of each generation for creative and constructioe thought and art and action. I welcome you to this continuitu. What has gone before will have its impact upon you, [ust as sureln as what your generation is and does icill leave its mark on those to follow. Perhaps patience is the best counsel for ijou icho have beenled to believe that Yale i9 as great and as good as it is hard to get into. Perhaps no institution i.y that good. And don't let the pressure of the time squeeze out tll gaiety. Surely a sense of the absurd uihicli lurks in all exasperatio should sustain most of YOll.



of Yale University


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