Harvard, June 19, 1919

As I am currently reading a book on the great American psychologist Gordon Allport, I noted with interest that Calvin Coolidge makes an appearance:


Allport graduated from Harvard in June 1919 along with his brother Floyd, who received his PhD. It was a proud day – the first graduation ceremony since the end of the war – and at the commencement address future U.S. president Calvin Coolidge struck an appropriately inspirational note. Observing that the “salaries of college professors are much less than like training and ability in the commercial world,” Coolidge argued that “we have lost our reverence for the profession of teaching and bestowed it upon the profession of acquiring.” What was needed, he told the class of 1919, was a commitment to the “cause of education…with a soul.”


Interestingly, this does not sound like the high priest of crass materialism Coolidge has been portrayed as.

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