Woodrow Wilson


Woodrow Wilson




On March 27, 1903, Woodrow Wilson, then President of Princeton University, gave a speech at the annual reunion and dinner of the Princeton Alumni of the District of Columbia, in which he refers to Centre College. The following is the paragraph in which the reference appears, as reported in the Washington Post, March 28, 1903.

"There is a little college down in Kentucky which in sixty years has graduated more men who have acquired prominence and fame than has Princeton in her 150 years. But we must not allow ourselves to be fooled by this practical test. The best college is the one where the faculties are generalized. The man who aspires to a restricted technical task, is not the man for a university. In formulating your policy for life you should find out what you want, form your ideal, and then stick to it. Characters should not be changed, as the general rule, but appreciated. Find out what you have, and cultivate among the best lines conducive to its greatest success. There is to-day a false sort of rivalry among universities – the rivalry of imitation. There is the tendency to keep within the beaten path. But Princeton is noticeable because of her individuality, because she stands for something different, and when you reflect that she has 150 years behind her you may rely that her course is a safe and solid one."


“Woodrow Wilson,” Centre College Digital Archives, accessed September 27, 2022, https://centre.omeka.net/items/show/1343.

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