The following is the content of a speech which I was honored to give at the Baccalaureate Service the day before my 1961 graduation at Indiana State Teachers College. I had been elected by my fellow graduates from a list of graduates. There was one male and one female presenter selected. I don’t think I ever found out who had created the list. I presume it was some dean.
Note that I really graduated from Indiana State College as it says on my diploma. We were in the middle of a name change in 1961. In fact, my alma mater became Indiana State University in 1965.
I find my words were very spiritual as I was in those days. These significant occasions seemed to have to take on a spiritual dimension. Although I was not a fundamentalist by any means, my multiple quotes from the Bible might have made my audience think they were hearing a sermon. On the other hand, considering my audience was largely from conservative southern Indiana, the content might have been just right.
I had the writing reviewed by one of my friends, Professor Schick, from whom I had taken a year of English Literature and a year of American Literature. No conflicts arose from that review. Dr. Schick offered some wording changes.
I have always believed that I should have practiced more on my delivery. Considering my experience speaking to large groups, I should have practiced more. I believe my delivery was too slow and deliberate to provide the proper emphasis when and where I intended. It was as if, during my delivery, I was still concerning how these few pages would fall on the ears of my peers.
I wonder if anyone remembers that speech. We have all heard so many speeches and sermons over our lives I know full well how few I remember. Maybe speeches are just made to set a tempo or provide ideas for our brain’s ever-growing knowledge base. Ideas from which we can choose or reject.
[Excuse the faint typing. This was typed in 1961. The yellow background is the tone of the aged white paper from an original copy.]