Herbert Hoover photo

Radio Remarks Endorsing Liberal Arts Colleges.

November 14, 1931

I AM GLAD to express appreciation of the service of the liberal arts college, that is the small college. I do this the more freely because of the more than 600 such institutions in our land. Most of them have little, if any, endowment or State support. In these times of trends toward larger units, the difficulties of the unsupported small college multiply, which make their successful operations less hopeful and, in many cases, a desperate struggle.

The important place which these institutions hold in our system of education renders their support of the utmost importance. Whatever be the magnificent services of the larger and highly specialized universities, the liberal arts college places an emphasis upon personal contacts of teacher and student which render them a vital part of our educational system.

A primary purpose of education is a product of high character and noble ideals, which regard moral and spiritual qualities superior to mere material things, without which any purely economic system would collapse.

Throughout our history these colleges have been and are now the seedbeds of leadership. They have contributed a large part to the presence in our land of nearly 2 million college-trained men and women. Theirs is a great honor roll of men and women in our Nation. The finest traditions of our country are rooted in their associations and their inspiration.

The disadvantage of the small college is obvious. The dramatic element in education does not play a great part in its activities. It must remain content with the character of service it renders to the individual man and woman and to the public weal. In the last analysis the chief service to higher education in our country must rest not with the few highly endowed universities but, in large degree, with the more than 600 smaller colleges for whose future welfare I am now speaking.

It is through them that each State and section must maintain ample cultural opportunities for the youth within reasonable distance from their homes and in circumstances fitted to the needs of each community and its people.

That service for the youth is a guarantee of equality of cultural opportunity and a bulwark for the spiritual life of the generation in which our children will have to live, a service which I sincerely commend.

Note: The President spoke at 9 a.m. from the Cabinet Room in the White House. His remarks were part of a radio program in which educational leaders appealed for public support of small liberal arts colleges. The program, sponsored by the Liberal Arts College Association, was carried over the National Broadcasting Company radio network.

A reading copy of this item with holograph changes by the President is available for examination at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.

Herbert Hoover, Radio Remarks Endorsing Liberal Arts Colleges. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/206869

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