Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks on Greeting Students at the Fort Hayes Career Center in Columbus

November 01, 1976

Let me say that coming to the Fort Hayes Career Education Center is a real thrill and a great experience for me. I would like to stay and get to know all of you better and to see all of the wonderful opportunities that you are getting through the leadership of people like Jim Rhodes, your great Governor, your mayor, Members of Congress and, of course, the faculty--Jack Gibbs and all of those who have worked so hard to see to it that young people like you have a real opportunity to develop your talents in areas where there are great career opportunities.

I can't help but think what a wonderful vocational educational facility like this means to the future of America, to hear the rendition of "The Lord's Prayer" and "I Could Have Danced All Night." I was thinking that I hope Betty and I can dance all night tomorrow night. [Laughter]

But the main thing is that all of you are learning occupations which will give you great personal satisfaction. It will give you a great inspiration to become the best in your respective fields. And excellence--regardless of what part you play in our great society--excellence is the achievement objective that I hope all of you have.

I have great respect for technicians, I have great respect for educators, I have great respect for all people in our society that make a contribution among 215 million Americans--the greatest country in the history of mankind. We should be proud of it, as we are.

I was also thinking, as I went from one of your places to another within this facility, how great it is that we can be putting young people like you into making plowshares, not weapons of war. This is what we want with the peace that we have in America. Yes, we have to do certain things to be strong, to maintain the peace. But all of you are devoting your best talents, your fine leadership to things that are constructive in America. And I congratulate you, each and every one, and wish you the very, very best as you move ahead in your career and in your lives.

I have great faith in the younger people in this country. Betty and I have three boys and a little girl--she is not so little anymore, but we still think she is--and they are just like you. They want to get out and participate in our society to make America better, like all of you are trying to do.

So, I thank you for your hospitality here at the Fort Hayes Career Education Center. And as I look at every one of you, I have faith in you; I know you will do a great job. And America is proud of you, and I know you are proud of America.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 2:10 p.m. In his remarks, he referred to Jack Gibbs, director of the center.

Prior to his remarks, the President toured the center's facilities.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks on Greeting Students at the Fort Hayes Career Center in Columbus Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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