OBERLIN COLLEGE COMMENCEMENT

 

June 30, 1883

Oberlin, Ohio

 

I know very well this day and all jubilee days belong to Oberlin’s sons, and one from outside the charmed circle and hardly enter. I may say how great has been the blessing of this institution to all the world. I am not one of the family, but I feel the grandeur of the work. After the speech of last night, and the felicitous orations of the morning, I may not touch on the theology of this school, but will touch on the secular side. This is a school where a dollar will do as much as anywhere in the world. This school has not been characterized by going about with hat in hand, but every dime given will be well used. Here are old students, and the second generation, who will bring their children in turn to study here. Oberlin bore the flag, and fought for equal rights, and now wears the crown thus gained. Some are here who remember how the Seventh Regiment was mutilated; and when the men were wounded and dying I heard words from those dying lips that made me more willing to meet the hardships on the field; and anyone who heard those Oberlin boys speak was impressed with the thought that they were leaving us, but were going to a better country, and with braver hearts we could take up our toils and fight with more fervid spirits than without them. So Oberlin was a power in the field. She has taken a position in the van of reform and has maintained her place, and may she long hold it, and continue to bless the world.