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Be mature, the State University president told the students, and avoid arrogance: You are tomorrow's world.
The speaker was Dr. Samuel B. Gould. His audience was col1lege B and above-B juniors and seniors at an honors convocation in Plattsburgh's Hawkins Hall.
The honors convocation preceded dedication of the campus's new Hudson Hall science -building Friday afternoon.
"The world will not condone your errors of omission and commission indefinitely without forcing you to pay a penalty," Gould told the honor students. "And if you insist on shirking your responsibilities, you in turn will be forcing a penalty on the world, for you will be shaping it in your own decisive image." "After all, individually and collectively, you are tomorrow's world."
Gould said the university will give its students a sense of the "action and passion of the turn toward constructive ends." "If you. have some identifiable urge to learn, to think, to act, and so to be helpful in this world to the utmost of your capacity, then there is no limit to your potentiality as a scholar and as a human being," he said.
And what is maturing? Gould defined it many ways. First, it is a two-way street:
"The philosophy the university adopts in its relationship with individual students has great effect upon whether they will accept and champion such an altitude."
"When the university uses rules and regulations inflexibly and without regard for the human, equation, then the student - even with his occasional rebellions against such edicts - will learn the selfsame habits of inflexibility."
"He will tend to think in terms of groups or conglomerations or associations that can be classified and categorized rather than of persons, each with his individual prerogatives and responsibilities, and. most of all, each with a dignity of self that calls for preservation, and nurture."
"his is an important lesson for the maturing student and the maturing university to learn together."
"It is a well-worn adage, but a valid one, that a university is dedicated to the search for truth."
"This seems a simple and, in many ways, obvious kind of statement with which everyone can piously agree."
"But-I should warn you that in the straightforwardness of this belief lies a power greater than all our man-made nuclear weapons."
And private meditation:
Gould said if he could create the Utopian university, he would have every student live alone. "This would guarantee that after all his gregarious urges were fulfilled, there would be a place to which he could retire, shut the door, and be alone with his thoughts, his books, and his dreams."
"The University cannot even come close to providing Utopia in this regard, but it can urge the student to struggle mightily for whatever privacy he can achieve."
"It can help him by using more of the facilities it has as places for quiet study."
"The danger of our arrogance grows even greater in a world where the pace of scientific and technological discovery has accelerated by geometric proportions."
"The student who becomes adept in both writing and speaking can eventually be a scholar with communicative ability in both, and thus is more likely to be a truly great teacher."
"And even if he chooses not to be a scholar or teacher, such skills will serve him well in his career and his citizenship."
And a passion to participate:
"The eagerness and the sense of belonging you develop now can and will be a major factor in how large will be the satisfactions of life you find eventually."
"Such satisfaction will grow in proportion to how much you work for others. Maturity encourages selflessness."