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[[four objects on page - a label, a newspaper clipping, cover of 1954 Bethune College graduation program, buff colored page-possibly an insert or the back cover of the program]] [[label]] CHICAGO, ILL. DEFENDER Circ. W. 73,254 JUL 31 1954 [[/label]] [[newspaper clipping]] MARY McLEOD Bethune 1954 College Graduates Greatest Proportion of Youth of Any Country "The largest proportion of youth in any country of the world graduated from college this year in the United States." These are the words of Dr. Frederick Douglas Patterson, who recently visited Bethune-Cookman college. One of America's foremost educators and lecturers, founder of the [[underlined in pencil]]United Negro College Fund,[[/underlined in pencil]] recipient of honorary degrees from Wilberforce and Lincoln universities and Virginia State college, from 1935 to 1953 and now director of the The Phelps-Stokes Fund, Inc., Dr. Patterson addressed our seniors who were challenged by the brilliance of his mind and the breadth of his spirit. He wisely observed that the most sound comments on the Supreme Court decision banning segregation in the public schools had come from the high school youth of both races. Dr. Patterson believes in young people and in America. A friend of long standing, he was a great inspiration to me when he was on the campus. His words reminded us all of our school mottoes written, on above the door as we enter: "Enter to Learn," and one visible above the door as we leave: "Depart to Serve." I thought of the thousands of college graduates turned out by our colleges this year and of the increasing proportion of Negroes among them every year. I have told our students, "We cannot go higher than you are. What we have not given you, we cannot give." For I think, as I see each student, of the sacrifices made by parents. I have known them to borrow and to mortgage so that educational opportunities not open to them. An education born of such sacrificial love should produce a type of graduate ideally suited to serve, in turn. Not only should the country be glad for the truth enunciated by Dr. Patterson that we have sent forth from our colleges a larger proportion of our youth than has any country in the world, but that also there is growing opportunity for minorities in this country and these may yet rise from the underprivileged to redeem the whole, even as Joseph was saved at last to serve his brethren. Dr. Patterson's own heart must rejoice through the years as he sees how like a might army the United Negro College Fund has arisen to strengthen the Negro colleges. The people of our race must rise to the occasion of our new, more nearly equal opportunities, with more than ordinary preparation: we must excell. In a land where the proportion of college graduates is constantly growing, we must have something that the others do not have. When everyone else wishes to get technical education and the arts are neglected, when the demand is great for wealth-producing training, perhaps this is a time for us to rise with a vision of service. Perhaps for a day like this, God has preserved us in America. Before your youth are law, medicine, ministry, nursing and innumerable other fields. Let us find the wealth of Christian service in these occupations. If our people could turn to these vocations with a view not to making money merely, but now, increasingly unrestricted in a more integrated society, turn to them as ways of being useful citizens, we could make America vital and strong. We know what it is to suffer: we are prepared to understand suffering. We know what it is to be underprivileged we; are prepared by history to redeem others from want. I have heard a few, oh, a very few of our people express their fear that integration may mean the loss of their jobs. If that is so, it might be well in some cases. Also, there will be loss of jobs or at least replacements on the other side as the best that is in the whole body of our society is allowed to rise to the top, regardless of color. Let us look at the larger good. And let each try to excell. I speak of the excellence of service. By the best I mean those who serve most willingly. I firmly believe that the greatest among us are those who serve. [[/clipping]] [[program cover]][[image red backgound with dates 1854 1954 in white above and below black Mortarboard with tassel]] THE CLASS THAT GREW FROM 3 TO 23,000 [[/program cover]] [[buff page - printed text]] [[ext]] ... this is democracy's work and I have a fierce belief in democracy. RALPH J. BUNCHE [[/text]
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