MARCH 27, 1958
NEW YORK—Recent news reports have emphasized the fact that we have a real crisis in education in this country.
Harold Taylor told a large group of people in rather blunt terms, I thought, that we are not giving our young people the opportunity to develop into the scientists, educators, and engineers that we will need when they grow up.
This is no time, it seems to me, not to give financial support to any really good educational institution and the financial support must come from foundations and individuals.
On Monday James Case had lunch with me and told me of the effort that Bard College, my close neighbor on the Hudson River, is making to pull itself out of its ever-recurring financial instability.
For 98 years this college has managed to exist because of a devoted faculty, students and segments of the public who in each crisis found a way to meet the college's needs. It is now at long last a genuinely independent institution. When it became a completely free and independent college, it was without endowment, without working capital and had to begin from scratch. Its assets, however, were "a startlingly effective faculty, a conviction that education involves individuals rather than units, an intellectually dedicated academic community, proven success in graduating students on whom liberal education has made a permanent mark, a magnificent setting in the mid-Hudson Valley and a plant with an insured value of $3,000,000 (the replacement value of the plant today would be more than $5,000,000), an overwhelming courage and will to live."
With these assets, Bard College annually sends 60 percent of its men and women graduates to the country's leading graduate schools. It is fighting to raise its centennial fund goal of two and a half million dollars and in the next few weeks the president must raise $200,000.
Somehow it seems to me that somewhere there must be people who want to give, and I hope very much that President Case will be successful in his efforts to raise this money and create stability for Bard in the future.
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On Monday night I went to the New York City Center "Showcase" performance. The evening was dedicated to actress Helen Hayes and it gave you just tidbits of things that had been done or may be done soon at the center.
On the whole, while it was a benefit performance, it certainly gave one a desire to go more often to the regular performances, and I hope many people felt as I did and registered the same resolution for the future.