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Final Speech from President John Nason

Published 21 March 2008

By PEPS

In address to the Alumni Association, President Nason discusses the tumultuous years of his presidency in his final formal speech on campus. As his last talk, this speech ends his career as an educator. 05/1970

Transcript

Summer 1970

Introduced by Richard L. Gale

In address to the Alumni Association, President Nason discusses the tumultuous years of his presidency in his final formal speech on campus. As his last talk, this speech ends his career as an educator.
Nason began by talking about the student protests that characterized the year. He read from the latest Newsweek commenting on how universities are the national soapboxes and “the most sensitive barometer to social change”.
He also speaks to the ‘social role of the college’. Using an example of a conflict between the students and the administration, he confirms that the neutrality of Carleton as an institution must be maintained. Students supported Ralph Nader’s environmentalist policies and encouraged the board of trustees to side with them in their proxy vote and sell their stock in GM to show their opposition to GM’s contribution to pollution. However, the trustees voted to keep their stocks in GM. But Nason asserts that the college should maintain its neutrality in order to foster an open environment for individuals to hold their own opinions.
He approves of the committees’ decision, which selected Howard Swearer as the new president. Nason closes by discussing his plans for retirement and thanking the trustees and alumni for supplying funds to create permanent endowments in his name and in his wife Elizabeth Nason’s name.

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