100 years ago: KU chancellor advises graduates on social, moral issues

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for June 7, 1915:

  • “Despite the threatening weather a large crowd gathered at the auditorium of Robinson gymnasium last night to hear the annual baccalaureate address to the graduating class of the University, by Chancellor Strong…. The baccalaureate sermon was not really to be a sermon on the commonly accepted sense of the term, Chancellor Strong explained, but was to be a talk by him to the class of 1915, and was to embody his advice to the class members who were going out into the world…. ‘Every year we of the faculty see a stream of student go out, and a new stream flow in,’ the speaker said…. Continuing his advice as to the personal relations he advised the seniors as to their social and moral welfare. ‘There should be no divorces, no double standards, and no marriage failures in this class,’ the speaker declared, ‘for if the graduates of the University of Kansas have not learned the necessity and the satisfaction of living a clean moral life then their education has been a failure. Morality is the basis of all true success and I want every man and woman in this class to be truly successful.’… Regarding the public relations of the graduate the chancellor spoke at length, dwelling upon the present European war and the way it appears to the students of world affairs. The world had begun to consider itself as free from wars, at the outbreak of the great struggle, the speaker pointed out, and it had been argued that war was no longer possible on a large scale because business, labor and the peace courts and conferences would combine to prevent it. However, all of these agents having failed as preventions for war, it now remains for mankind to go back to the old principle outlined in the Sermon on the Mount and rely upon the brotherhood of man to make peace.”
  • “A little walk of 3,000 miles is just a vacation jaunt for Francis P. Coffin and Arthur M. Hays, of Jacksonville, Florida, who were the guests of Reverend Fred Ainsley, of 1111 Vermont street, over Sunday. The two left the Jacksonville Y. M. C. A. on the fourth of last March to walk to San Francisco and the fair, and have averaged from twenty-five to thirty miles a day. They do not travel on Sunday…. ‘We carry a complete camping outfit,’ said Mr. Coffin, pointing to a pack across his shoulders, ‘and nearly always sleep out of doors. The only inconvenience we have ever experienced is when we have had the misfortune to miss our checks which we have mailed to us at points along the way. We expect to arrive in San Francisco by the middle of October, and will visit all the places of interest in California.’ The men will walk from Lawrence to Solomon, Kansas, and expect to spend a few days there. When asked their reason for taking the trip, Mr. Hays laughingly replied, ‘just two fools happened to get together and agreed upon the scheme. We wanted to go to the fair and since we had plenty of time and very little money, we decided that it would be best for us to walk.'”