As nearly 1 million graduates poured forth from American colleges and universities this spring, they listened to the words of leaders in many fields -- among them politicians, scientists, educators, journalists, and business people.Skip to next paragraph
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Excerpts from selected commencement addresses in yesterday's Monitor looked at the personal advice offered graduates. Todays' paper focuses on the larger issues of national and international concern graduates were urged to consider.m Flora Lewis Nationally syndicated columnist Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pa.m
America must not give the Europeans the mistaken impression that economically and militarily it wants to put the squeez on the Soviet Union and other communist states. The Europeans know this is not possible. They know the capacity of the Russian people to suffer. And they know the uncommon readiness of communist dictatorships to call on their people's capacity to suffer. So Western Europe wants balance and Europe wants peace through balance, Europe wants economic health and social peace. No matter whether their political leaders are conservative, liberal, or social democrat. Those are the things Americans really want, too, I am convinced.
The question of missiles and morality is an issue that shows how hard it is to find a balance between our own immediate interests, those of other nations, and those of all humanity. So long as we don't all agree, and by all I mean everbody in the world, not just in the United States, that the use of force, that war itself, is immoral, a refusal to defend ourselves is also a refusal to defen our moral values. The difficult point is to establish what is true defense that does not threaten others, and what is an arrogant demand for superior security which makes others feel insecure. I'm glad this debate is going on. I think it's very useful. But I hope it will bring us to understand these awesome issues better and will bring us to be more prudent and flexible at once. If it is take as one or more attempt to find a simple perfect answer to the dilemma of the human condition, it is bound to lead to more and perhaps tragic mistakes. A. Bartlett Giamatti President of Yale University Yale Universitym
Insofar as the institutions of the family and of the college have been losing their sense of shared values, I lament the changes. Insofar as the institution of the college, however, has become more accessible and inclusive, I applaud the change.
For all the gains in public awareness of social needs in the last 35 years, there has been a private loss, the loss of certitude about the ability of certain crucial institutions upon which we all depend to sustain us. You come at the end of a period of expansion of resources and of processes for justice and of fragmentation of faith in older certitudes. With the rest of us, you will be part of the necessary effort to recreate stable institutions and reconfigured social and personal partnerships. I believe, for example, the American family will have to assume, again, the primary responsibility for promoting the education of the young (the unmistakable message, in the recent critiques of our public schools). I also believe the American college will have to recall that it has some responsibility for forms of nurture and for affirming common moral values as well as for fostering intellectual prowess. These two institutions, so basic to our best hopes and our deepest pleasures, must be among others the beneficiaries of a regeneration and redefinition of obligations. Paul Adolph Volcker Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.m
Sometimes the objection is made that the whole thing is undemocratic -- that the policy decisions of the Federal Reserve are not made by elected officials. But it is elected officials who have created and maintained the structure and choose the members of the Board of Governors. And, of course, in a larger sense we are not, indeed, we should not and could not be, independent of the "body politic." We are a part of government in a larger sense, and no monetary policy could be sustained for long without broad understanding and support of the people whose lives, in the end, are affected.