By: Commentator Staff  | 

Guests Hear Nixon’s Address As Belkin Pleads For Funds (Vol. 36, Issue 5)

In a message read before 500 persons at the Yeshiva’s Forty-Second Annual Chanukah Dinner held at the Plaza Hotel, President Nixon, noting the theme of the event, the twenty-fifth anniversary of Yeshiva’s being granted university status, said, “It is particularly appropriate that this celebration be held during the holiday that is called the ‘Festival of Lights,’ since the mission of this fine institution has been to enlighten the youth of our country and brighten the future of our society.” 

Citing the role of Dr. Samuel Belkin, president of Yeshiva since 1943, the President said, “Under the effective leadership of Dr. Samuel Belkin, Yeshiva continues to further its reputation for excellence in both Judaic and secular studies.” Mr. Nixon added, “May the years ahead further  this splendid reputation and enhance the individual will, as well as the opportunity to achieve.”

In addition to the Presidential message, praise and congratulations were also received from  U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger, Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Mayor John Lindsay and numerous other dignitaries.

A traditional university event, the dinner served to honor community leaders S. M. Elowsky, president, Sporteens, Inc., Joseph Lorch, president, Lorch Electronics Corp., and Ephraim Propp, president, Propp & Co., members N. Y. Stock Exchange. They were awarded university citations for “leadership in higher education, in expressing the Judaic heritage, and in contributing to the vitality and progress of the nation.”

Dr. Belkin, the main speaker, in citing those honored, said, “Higher education is today more than ever in need of public and private support if it is to survive. At Yeshiva and at private colleges and universities throughout the nation there is a financial crisis of unprecedented proportions. It is a crisis which affects all of us, and one which demands from all of us a new awareness and concern for the future of our children and our country.”

Reflecting upon the past quarter century, Dr. Belkin said, “Yeshiva’s growth, not only in size, but in areas of human concern, is testimony to those individuals who recognize higher education as the foundation of our democratic society. In recent years, however, government support greatly increased to strengthen that foundation and allow for the the expansion of the university structure. A reduction in government support, such as is occurring today, has left many of our schools ‘high and dry’ — with expenses it cannot control, and during a period of greatly increased costs. To survive, there must be a return to substantial government aid, and a reduction in national policy which allows for the continuation of private support. Without this combination, there can be little assurance of the future of private higher education in America.”