John F. Kennedy photo

Remarks at the Swearing In of Francis Keppel as Commissioner of Education.

December 10, 1962


I want to express our very warm welcome to Mr. Keppel. We are very glad to have present with us today representatives of some of the distinguished American organizations who have 'made their life's work the advancement of education in the United States.

This is a matter which has been of concern to the National Government since our inception. The Northwest Ordinance, the Land Grant College Act, and all the rest indicate the strong belief of our rounding Fathers and this present administration that no free society can possibly survive unless it has an educated citizenry.

And therefore it is natural that the National Government, representing all the people, the State governments, the private community, the local communities both private and public--all will combine to provide the best education for the most informed citizenry in this great free country.

We are particularly fortunate to have Mr. Keppel to give leadership to this cause, working with Secretary Celebrezze. This office can be most important and I think that he undertook this job recognizing that he would have the strong support of the Secretary-and my strong support. I believe that he's rendering a distinguished service. And while Harvard University, under his leadership, played a most important role in the field of education, we believe that this office has wide horizon and has great opportunity to develop responsibilities. We are very glad to have you down here and to express our appreciation.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at noon in the Cabinet Room at the White House.

John F. Kennedy, Remarks at the Swearing In of Francis Keppel as Commissioner of Education. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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