By: Commentator Staff  | 

Keep “Free Mind” Says Stevenson at Y.U. Dinner (Vol. 19, Issue 5)

Adlai E. Stevenson, Mayor Vincent R. Impellitteri and Dr. Samuel Belkin, president of Yeshiva University, were the principal speakers at a dinner held Sunday, December 13, at the Waldorf-Astoria, launching the 25th Anniversary Year of the establishment of the College of Arts and Sciences of Yeshiva University. Charles H. Silver was the dinner chairman.

Preceding the dinner Mr. Stevenson received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University at a special convocation held in the Hotel’s Jade Room.

Opening his speech with the traditional “shalom aleichem,” Mr. Stevenson declared that in the name Yeshiva University “there is the happy suggestion that theology and science need be separated only by a hyphen.” The warfare between these two forces, he said, had left “a great split in the soul of twentieth century man — intellectual expansion on the one hand, and moral contraction on the other,” which he called “potentially as dangerous as the split atom.”

Enemies Of The Free Mind

“But reason will not triumph unless the mind is free,” he explained. “The struggle of our times is the struggle to preserve the integrity and the creativity of the free mind. It has many enemies. The most menacing of these foes have been the nihilistic political systems like fascism, nazism and communism.

“But freedom has its enemies in our midst too, and we ignore them at desperate peril. An academic ceremony should be an occasion for the reconsecration of free men to the struggle for the free mind, a struggle that will never, never end.”

Dr. Belkin traced the history of Yeshiva in his address and restated the principles upon which the institution stands. “Yeshiva College was founded for the sake of creating a unity between the Yeshiva, the most ancient of institutions of higher learning, and the College, the most modern. The Yeshiva endeavors to give a moral and spiritual purpose for human knowledge which the student acquires in the College of Arts and Sciences,” he said.