MARCH 30, 1946
NEW YORK, Friday—I spoke in Omaha, Neb., last night and, immediately afterwards, took a plane. So here I am—back in New York on Friday morning, having left San Francisco on Wednesday evening and stopped over in Omaha for eighteen hours! That such changes in locality can be made in such a short time should be impressed on all of us, I think, because it gives us an added reason for real interest in parts of the world which, in the past, we considered too far away to affect our daily lives in any way.
On my last day in San Francisco, I had the pleasure of lunching with my old friend Flora Rose, who was for many years the head of the College of Home Economics at Cornell University and who now lives in Berkeley, Cal. I was also able to accept Mrs. Henry Grady's invitation to look in for a few minutes at a luncheon which my son James was attending at the St. Francis Hotel. I am particularly happy to be back in New York today, for I find my daughter and son-in-law still here, so we can have a short time together before they return to Phoenix, Ariz.
I imagine that everyone these days, like myself, is taking out maps of the Near East and studying them with interest, in order to follow the questions that are under consideration at the UNO Security Council sessions. Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, Palestine and Saudi Arabia have been just names to many of us. Often, we have not had a very clear idea of how much territory they covered or where they were. Now we are going to hear about them day in and day out, since what happens in the Security Council affects the peace of the world.
We in the United States have long had a stake in many of these countries, but too few of us know much about what some of our citizens have been accomplishing in the Near East Colleges. There are eight of these colleges, one of which is just beginning its work. In January of this year, a campaign was begun to raise $15,000,000 to support the work now going on and to assist its growth.
These colleges were started and have been supported by Americans. Robert College and Istanbul Woman's College are both near Istanbul. The others are Athens College, The American College of Sofia, The American University and International College at Beirut, Baghdad College, and the proposed new Damascus College.
The people of this country should support these educational institutions and should know much more about them than they do at the present time, because everyone of them is a center of good citizenship. They do not try to Americanize their students, but they try to make them more valuable as citizens in their own countries. At the San Francisco Conference, where the Charter of the United Nations was written, there were 29 delegates and advisers who had graduated from these colleges—which is evidence, I think, of the good work they have done and of the value they can have for the UNO.
The students are gaining knowledge which is much needed in the modernization of their countries. For instance, at The American University and International College at Beirut, the School of Medicine Pharmacy and Nursing has 318 students—which will make a tremendous difference in the health of that part of the world.
We can no longer feel that the conditions existing in other parts of the world are not of interest in our country. For instance, with people flying so rapidly from place to place, an epidemic started in Syria could spread to this country in record time. So I bespeak the interest of my readers for these colleges, which so long have been a tie between our nation and the little-known Near East.