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Opening Centennial Convocation: Douglas Maitland Knight
Published 19 June 2006
Opening Centennial Convocation - Celebrating Carleton’s 100th Anniversary 1966-09
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Opening Centennial Convocation - Celebrating Carleton’s 100th Anniversary
President Nason speaks:
- In 1866, in the First Congregational Church of Faribault, there was a meeting of the general congregational conference in Minnesota. They adopted a resolution accepting the invitation by the city of Northfield to found a college in this city. Norhfield had made a bid for twenty-five acres of land and $18,529. Initiative of Charles Goodsell, who had recently moved from Wisconsin. The college was to be non-sectarian, but having a congregational basis.
- College opened in September 1867. Only in 1870 were collegiate level students accepted in Carleton. The first class was of 1874, and consisted of one man and one woman.
- Speaker goes into the events taking place to commemorate the centennial. Compares it with the celebrations that took place fifty years ago, at the fiftieth birthday.
- The anthem “the woods and every sweet smelling tree” was probably anticipating the way the college would look than it did at that time.
- Announces the various congratulatory messages the college has received.
- Describes how, over the years, the joint interests of faculty and students have led to closer and more cordial relations between the two colleges.
President Rand (?) of St. Olaf:
- The relationship between St. Olaf and Carleton is thoroughly wholesome, with the rivalry. Carleton is a distinguished institution, and St. Olaf has through the years also looked at Carleton with gratitude for giving them an aim to reach for.
- Speaks also on behalf of the other colleges of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, and the other colleges and universities in Minnesota.
The speaker, Douglas M. Knight, President of Duke University, is introduced. His topic is tradition and the individual college.
- He does not want to give a general or “inspirational” talk.
- Talks about the ethos of a “small college” and how it is understood. Talks about the catalytic effect Larry Gould had on science departments in colleges all over the country. A smaller college must make up in velocity what it lacks in mass. There is nowhere to hide in the small college.
- No college should delude itself about being bale to do things that it in fact cannot do.
- If these issues are not going to be fatal in the 20th century, hen which problems should they focus on?
- Colleges and Universities do not realize how they have shaped the society around them. There are problems to which colleges have given form, and must address, e.g.: freedom and order. There needs to be a living tension between freedom and order, otherwise there will be anarchy and then terror. We in colleges and universities have to take the time to think about these things on behalf of those who do not have the privilege to think about these things.
- We must be responsible for the things that we learn and the ideas that we bring into life. Colleges cannot be neutral about their own creative process.
- He is not here to congratulate Carleton on what it has achieved, but tell us what it means to have achieved so much. We have more opportunity than most to achieve what he has described, and because so much has been given to us much will be expected from us.
President Knight is presented an honorary degree.
Larry Gould introduces the recipients of the other honorary degrees and presents them.
Ceremony concludes with a prayer.
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