COMMENCEMENT KENYON COLLEGE

June 24, 1880
Gambier, Ohio

Mr. President and Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is the preference of the audience, I am confident that the agreeable impressions left on all our minds by the thoughtful and excellent addresses to which we have had the privilege of listening, shall not be disturbed by any irregular speaking, of which no warning has been given in the programme which has been furnished to us. With this your reasonable preference, I am in full accord. I do not therefore wish, and it is not my purpose long to detain you. But it is my duty and happiness to acknowledge with dearest thanks your friendly greeting. It gives me the great pleasure to meet again so many of the friends, and fellow students of former years. To this pleasure another great gratification is added. I rejoice to see the encouraging improvement in the condition and prospects of Kenyon College which every where meets our eyes. Kenyon College plainly now stands on a solid foundation. Situated as it is near the centre of the Central State of the Union--easily reached from all parts of the country--with a site of unsurpassed beauty--perfectly healthy and comfortable for labor and study at all seasons--removed completely from every influence unfriendly to virtue and to scholarly pursuits--with ample grounds and buildings and out of debt. There is every reason for hoping and believing that Kenyon College and its attendant institutions are about to share in full measure, the abounding prosperity with which our Country is blessed.

There is one remark further which I wish to make for the encouragement of the students of Kenyon College, and especially of those who graduating today will soon test that accuracy and soundness of the observation I am about to make. The student of the small college who has diligently and thoroughly mastered the studies of his courses will surely find that he is at no disadvantage as compared with the greatest of what are known as the great-Colleges in the training, elementary knowledge, and habits of thought and study which are requisite for success in the professions or in any field of learning or science which he may choose to enter. There are compensations in the little colleges for the well known advantages of the larger institutions. I do not disparage the great colleges. I know by comparison of results. I merely say to you as students of one of the smaller colleges you need not dread more than others the competitions by which in practical life merit is discovered and determined.

I close by congratulating the authorities, the friends, and students and graduates of Kenyon College one and all on the auspicious circumstances of this beautiful Commencement day.

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June 24, 1880
Commencement exercises Kenyon College
Gambier, Ohio

[After the conferring of degrees, Bishop Bedell introduced President Hayes, who spoke as follows:]

MR. PRESIDENT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN--It is the preference of the audience that the agreeable impression left on all our minds by the thoughtful and excellent addresses to which we have had the privilege of listening, shall not be disturbed by any irregular speaking, of which no warning has been given in the programmes which have been furnished to us. With this, your reasonable preference, I am in full accord. I do not, therefore, wish, and it is not my purpose, long to detain you. But it is my duty and happiness to acknowledge with heartiest thanks your friendly greeting. I naturally desire to say a word expressive of the happiness it gives me in being again in Kenyon, surrounded by so many friends, College acquaintances and comrades of former years. To this pleasure another great gratification is added. I rejoiced to see the encouraging improvement in the condition and prospects of Kenyon College which ever where meets our eyes. Kenyon College plainly now stands on a solid foundation. Situated as it is near the center of the central State of the Union, easily reached from all parts of the country, with a site of unsurpassed beauty, perfectly healthy and comfortable for labor and study at all seasons, removed completely from every influence unfriendly to virtue and scholarly pursuits, with ample grounds and buildings and out of debt, there is every reason for hoping and believing that Kenyon College and its attendant institutions, and about to share in full measure the abounding prosperity with which our country is blessed. There is one remark further which I wish to make for the encouragement of the students of Kenyon College, and especially those who graduate to-day will soon test the accuracy and soundness of the observation I am about to make. The student of the small College who has diligently and thoroughly mastered the duties of the course will surely find that he is at no disadvantage as compared with the great colleges in the training of elementary knowledge and habits of thought and study which are required for success in the profession or in any field which he may choose to enter. There are compensations in the little colleges for the well known advantages of the larger institutions. I do not discourage the great colleges. I know by the comparison of results. I merely say to you, as students of one of the small colleges, you need not dread more than others the competition by which in practical life merit is discovered and determined.

I close by congratulating the authorities, the friends and students and graduates of Kenyon College, one and all, on the auspicious circumstances of this beautiful commencement day.

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June 24, 1880
Commencement exercises Kenyon College
Gambier, Ohio

Extract from the remarks of President Hayes, at the commencement exercises of Kenyon College, June 24, 1880:

"I naturally desire to say a word expressive of the happiness it gives me in being again in Gambier, surrounded by so many friends, college acquaintances, and comrades of former years. To this pleasure another great gratification is added. I rejoice to see the encouraging improvement in the condition and prospects of Kenyon College. Situated as it is, near the center of the central State of the Union, easily reached from all parts of the country, with a site of unsurpassed beauty, perfectly healthy and comfortable for labor and study at all seasons, removed completely from every influence unfriendly to virtue and scholarly pursuits, with ample grounds and buildings, and out of debt, there is every reason for believing that Kenyon College and its attendant institutions are about to share in full measure the abounding prosperity with which our country is blessed."

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