MAY 29, 1959
HYDE PARK—I had the pleasure on Wednesday of calling for Mme. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit and traveling to Chicago with her. There we were met by Dr. and Mrs. Edward J. Sparling, who took us at once to Roosevelt University and showed us the various restorations that have taken place.
And we looked again at the old and very beautiful auditorium which many of those interested would like to see restored not only because it would be of value to Roosevelt University but because it would be of great value to the whole of Chicago's youth. The acoustics of this auditorium are simply remarkable. You can speak from the stage in a conversational voice and be heard in the farthest gallery. Here opera, concerts, ballet and theatre could be given at moderate prices for young people, and this would mean much to the cultural development of youth in this great metropolis.
We had a couple of hours to rest and than gathered for the inevitable picture-taking which always precede a dinner of this kind and a very pleasant reception for the guests of honor.
The dinner itself was very well attended, though the committee in charge was a little disappointed because a number of their guest speakers had to send in their speeches and have them read. This was done by very competent substitutes, many of whom could have made speeches equally as well!
I was, of course, touched by the many messages that did come and by the kindness of those who could not come, and especially by the great effort made by Mme. Pandit, who came all the way from London in order to speak at this dinner.
The highest honor that the Roosevelt University could bestow was to rededicate the school. Fourteen years ago I had dedicated it in honor of my husband, and on Wednesday night President Sparling rededicated it, adding my name to that of my husband. This was a very great honor and I appreciate it very much. I was also very much pleased to receive a charming gold bracelet which will someday belong to one of my grand-daughters.
In addition, I was able to give a new scholarship, which has been established to a young student who has "A" marks in everything. So that I think it is fair to assume that he will make his mark during his university years.
Mme. Pandit returned with me on a plane that reached New York at 4:10 a.m. But it had been for me a rewarding and very pleasant occasion, and I hope that Mme. Pandit also will look back upon it as a trip that was not too difficult and that held some interest and pleasure for her, also.