Nicholas Butler, “Commencement Speech to Columbia University”

Category : Founding

President Nicholas Murray Butler of Columbia University, in an address at a luncheon of alumni held in the university gymnasium at the close of the commencement exercises yesterday, denounced members of the university who resist the Government in time of war.

“Virtue and valor are so general among American youth,” he said, “as to be in danger of becoming commonplace, while vice and cowardice stick out their horrid heads in ways that, at least for the moment, attract and often enchain public attention. For every instance of failure to rise to the high plane of patriotic duty and loyal service there have been here a hundre, yes, a thousand, instances of a splendid and contrary sort.”

Source: The New York Times (7 June 1917)

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