My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

EMPORIA, Kan. —As I was starting Tuesday morning on a four-day lecture trip the same thing happened to me at the airport that happened on a previous trip not long ago. We taxied out to the take-off and were told that engine trouble had developed and that we would return to the ramp. A few minutes after our return we were told we would transfer to another plane, would we please collect our belongings and go back to the waiting room. They hoped we could start in an hour or so.

Under these circumstances the members of the staff of the airlines are extremely kind. They escorted us back, took us out when the other plane was ready and put us in comparable seats, and even offered to telephone our destination. But Miss Corr, who was with me, had already called my agent and told him to wire the people in Kansas City of our delay.

Our only worry was that we had a two-and-a-half-hour drive to reach Emporia and a six o'clock dinner. But, once started, all went well and we reached our hotel in Emporia at six p.m. and were called for at 6:25 to go to dinner.

Governor and Mrs. George Docking were there, and they are always not only kind and thoughtful but very delightful people to be with. Mrs. Docking introduced me at the evening meeting which opened the series of events to be held during the winter at the Kansas State Teachers College here in Emporia. Next month they will have the pleasure of seeing Katharine Cornell and Brian Aherne.

On the way out here today I read a little pamphlet which is a statement of the American Association of Land Grant Colleges and State Universities and the State Universities Association, on the need for broad educational opportunity of the highest quality through low-cost public higher education.

Among the things said in the pamphlet there are two quotations which I will give you here:

"Two premises, entirely false upon examination, support a trend that contradicts the whole philosophy and history of public higher education in America: The first of these spurious premises insists that higher education benefits only the individual. Therefore, he should pay at once, or borrow, all or most of the cost of his education. The second premise insists that colleges and universities should charge the full cost of education to the individual. This has never been believed possible or sound in either privately or publicly-supported higher education."

Further on I read: "This statement is issued in the public interest. The past generation of far-sighted Americans who built the institutions we now call our state universities and land-grant institutions speak to us across the years. And what they say is this: `The children of the children for whom we dreamt brave dreams and in whom we invested our faith and treasure are now your sons and daughters. You are at once the legatees of the past, guardians of the present, trustees of the future.' Shall we believe with fainter hearts in the future of a freedom wrought of the historic American purpose of education opportunity and its outcome?"

We must be true to our past and give opportunities for higher education at the lowest possible cost to all our children who are capable of profiting from this opportunity.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL