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Congressman Lee Hamilton '52 Addresses DePauw's 556 Graduates

May 23, 1971

Lee Hamilton 1971.jpgMay 23, 1971, Greencastle, Ind. - Rain forced DePauw University graduates, their family and friends, and faculty and staff to gather in Bowman Gynasium today for DePauw University's 132nd commencement exercises. A total of 556 undergraduates and graduates marched across the stage to receive their diplomas. It was the first time the ceremonies have been held indoors since 1968. (at left: DePauw President William E. Kerstetter presents Lee Hamilton '52 with an honorary degree)

Lee H. Hamilton, the United States Congressman representing Indiana's 9th District and 1952 graduate of DePauw University, provided the keynote address. Speaking 19 years after receiving his bachelors degree from DePauw, Hamilton noted that men and women who possess the finest qualities of a liberal arts education hold some of the best hopes for resolving the crises that confront society today. 

"This nation needs people who see that too many for too long have been in a headlong rush toward progress and power in the measure of dollars, miles of concrete laid, miles an hour in speed, kilowatts generated and nuclear missiles stockpiled," he said. "One of the answers to the current crises is to break free from the limitations of ignorance, from the prisons of class, race, time and self interests and the servitude of the crowd."East College Tower 2005.jpg

The Democrat continued, "The man or women unecumbered by these limitations brings to to the challenge of these crises a freshness of perspective and a quality of judgment that is rare and essential ... These crises come crashing down on us in the form of tax dollars demanded, congested traffic, assault on the streets, an impoverished family, or an unresponsive elected official. These things happen because the institutions that have served many of us well serve others very inadequately or not at all. It is our duty to deal with them," Hamilton asserted.

Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees were awarded Rep. Hamilton and John J. Wittich '43, president of MacMurray Harry Blackmun Mrs Kerstetter.jpgCollege and former director of admissions at DePauw. Reverend Joe Graham Emerson, superintendent, Evansville District, South Indiana Conference, United Methodist Church; and Reverend James F. Morin, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church and chairman of the board of directors of the Indiana United Methodist Children's Home, received honorary Doctor of Divinity Degrees.

The degrees conferred included 471 bachelor of arts; 15 bachelor of music; 14 bachelor of science in nursing; 40 master of arts in teaching; 14 master of arts; and 2 master of music.

Austin D. Sprague, professor of physics, and Elizabeth Turnell, professor of speech, were granted emeritus status.

United States Supreme Court Justice Harry Andrew Blackmun (seen at right at a dinner at the president's house with Mrs. Leona Kerstetter) was on campus yesterday to address a special Commencement-Alumni Convocation. Read more in this story.

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