‘Education, and Not Instruction’
An Address Delivered at the Celebration of the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Founding of Salem College, at Salem, WV, June 12, 1913 [excerpt]
By Corliss Fitz Randolph
Today, still in the first flush of the glory of her youth, this college stands at the threshold of a magnificent opportunity.
Reared upon soil that has been stained by the bloody footprints of devoted service to humanity—a trail of footprints that extends, for a thousand years, all the way from the embarkation of Hrolf, the majestic Norseman, upon his voyage of adventure, to this spot, whither his lineal descendant, of kingly physique and fiery zeal, led a company, more than six score years ago, to establish new homes for themselves amid the freedom of the wilderness—a wilderness speedily transformed into comfortable, hospitable homes dedicated to the faith and mission of Palestine’s Nazarene, and where, but a generation ago, another son of the warrior from the German Sea, his life also dedicated to the uplift of humanity, performed the greatest service ever yet rendered by any one man in all that part of the state which constitutes the geographical setting of this temple of learning; reared upon such soil, I repeat, amid the scenes of achievements which bear witness to the nobility of character that distinguishes the people who first made this institution possible and then tenderly nursed it through all the anxious, precarious years of its early existence, growing slowly, but surely, into such sturdiness of stature and character as to inspire generations yet unborn with lofty zeal and purpose.
Salem College is face to face with a tremendous responsibility—a responsibility she can not escape if she would, nor would she if she could. A flood of golden opportunities is rising at her portals in portentous volume—opportunities which she can not afford to ignore or lose. Upon the bosom of this flood is borne her destiny.
If in its physical, intellectual, and spiritual fiber, the fabric of her walls is strong enough to withstand the mighty pressure to which they are subjected; if the material of which they are constructed is drawn from the storehouse of enduring ages; if the walls are rooted deep down upon the solid rock of unselfish devotion to the eternal verities of humanity; if thus embedded, and then reared by hands kept clean from the grim of unworthy motive; then this college, guided by a discerning judgment of the elemental qualities of life, no less than of the perfect, delicate flower of its highest culture and humanity, will be, through all the changing years, an impregnable fortress against the powers of ignorance and darkness and decay—a beacon light to guide the footsteps of wayfaring humanity, and to impel to supreme effort, to noble purpose, and to lofty aims.
So standing, she will become an enduring monument with a living voice, a law and an oracle to the throngs that hang upon her words, inspiring them to zealous devotion, to high aspirations and determined endeavor; and the ever-widening circles of her influence, following swiftly, one upon another, ever increasing in volume and power, ultimately will extend to the confines of the world, and bring joy and hope and comfort and peace, with purity of life, strength of character, magnanimity of courage, and glorious achievement, to successive multitudes through coming centuries.
Source: Published by the American Sabbath Trust Society, Plainfield NJ, 1913