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have a thought that I want to bring. Always, with any class, the joys and the satisfaction, of course, of a graduation reunion make for a happy occasion, but for our Class of 1923 perhaps it would be more fitting to think briefly of the time of our arrival here as Freshmen four years before our graduation. To borrow a term now in vogue in Washington because of the famous Watergate controversy, when we arrived here we were just the “raw files," the raw files of the forthcoming Class of 1923. And although we did not realize at that time, the most important fact of life for us was that some fifty years previously worthy leaders had come to the place of this campus and had planted a college. Those were hard times, those were times not encouraging; those were times that discouraged hope, in 1878. But those founders were persons who had faith in the future and faith in the youth of our Nation. And when we entered here fifty years later the college might not have been fully adequate even by standards of fifty years ago, but it was here, its doors were open to us, and it gave us a chance. And with everyone of us, that was a big thing, a great thing.
At least we were from a background that represented western civilization, I think, at its best, and we had some aptitudes that were on the positive side, the favorable side. And above all, I think these included a willingness to apply enough time and personal effort and hard work to accomplish a definite and worthy purpose.
However, I don't want to dwell here this morning, even for a few minutes, just on the past. The big news of this campus does not relate to the past. Happily, the big news relates to the future, and the present; the greatly expanded role of our University; the greatly increased number of youth who are served here each year; the vision, the planning, and the courageous leadership of President William Giles, his staff and the faculty of the University; the success of the University in becoming a greater and greater channel for service and leadership for the people of our State; the tremendous strength which the extensive and in-depth support of alumni and other friends have given to the University, and it is enough to really count. Great days are ahead for our Alumni Association. These things are the news of the day here at Mississippi State; these things are the current pattern of the day here. There is still plenty of room, fellow alumni, for all of us to help and to serve.
Specifically, I want to mention one point which is a contribution that all of us can make to the youth of today, to the youth in whom I have an abounding faith. That is, we can help make the individual realize early that his or her attainments and satisfactions must come largely, inevitably, from his or her willingness to apply steady personal effort to accomplish a worthy purpose. As was true with all of us in every generation, it is motivation which is the truly essential need of every individual, motivation of both youth and adult. There is nothing that I've found that's worthwhile that someone can give you, and there's nothing that the Government can give you that's enduring or worthwhile that really goes to make character, and goes to make enduring, worthwhile things upon which our society and our civilization, our government, even our family is built. So let it continue to be the rule of life here, as it is with Dr. Giles now, and may it always be the rule of life on this Campus, that every person, to stay here, has to apply himself and has to work at making a contribution, and has to earn and pay his own way. May it ever be such, and I think as long as our Nation stays on that path, allowing for some ups and downs and temporary clouds, that our form of government will prevail; that our society will prevail; and our civilization will stand.
God give us strength and the Light that can come from On High, the courage to do our part, and the will to look for and find and use that added strength that comes from a Higher Power. God bless you all.
Tommy Everett (President, Mississippi State Alumni Association). Thank you, Senator STENNIS. I think we will all acknowledge that modern medicine and techniques, and skilled physicians and skilled surgeons have a great deal to do with this remarkable recovery. But I feel we will all recognize also that God had a hand in it and that many prayers were answered when this man began his road to recovery. Senator STENNIS, God bless you.
SENATOR STENNIS REMARKS AT LUNCHEON
Mr. Chairman, unaccustomed as I am to public speaking—I really haven't been called on in a good while, since we were in the other building—with all these fine people here I don't like to talk about myself or my personal experiences. Just let me say this, friends, that I know how much help it is to have messages and expressions from thousands of you; to say that the encouraging words and expressions of good wishes, I know how much that means it means a great deal. I shall always be grateful to the people that, whether they took time to file an expression or not, they manifested their interest and said a prayer and sent a prayer that I might recover. It did mean a lot; it still means a lot to me, and makes me very humble. As I said this morning, in introducing a man who is now my personal friend (I'm not going to introduce him again), with the help of Providence and some other good surgeons he saved my life, and I believe that with all my heart and I'm most grateful for it. Now I'm not going to make a speech, but I do want to mention two things here. Most of us are alumni and the four corners of the Nation are represented here today. I'm mighty proud of the way that Dr. Giles and his administration and all those connected with the University now, in making it a going concern (the Alumni Association included, the Development Foundation included)
I'm very proud of the fine work they are doing and the constructive outlook they have, and the talent and natural resources that they have. Every alumnus should be proud to walk down the street, any time, anywhere, and point with pride to the fact that he is an alumnus, or was at one time a student. I think we are moving forward to even greater and bigger events. Dr. Giles, I say that we can go down the street and look anyone in the eye, even right after a bad football score. We don't have any apologies to make for that. There may be someone else having to apologize before long, about some of their scores.
I want to mention another thing that makes me feel mighty good. It's the spirit and attitude and dedication and devotion of the alumni who do not live in the State, who went beyond the borders of our own State. They keep their connections, their interest, their support, and they come back here and visit with us and give time and attention. It means a great deal, often it's a considerable leavening in the bread. We want you all to come, in that group. We never take you for granted, but appreciate you.
And I'll illustrate the way we feel toward you in just a little brief story. Ike Hoover (not Herbert Hoover), was the head butler or waiter in the White House for many, many years. Like so many others, he wrote a book. And he tells a story in there about the first time he delivered a pay check to former President Calvin Coolidge, whom some of you may remember, especially for the way he squeezed a dollar, both public and private, and for his very few words. Hoover said he planned the idea of getting his own picture on the front page of every paper in the United States, so he planted a photographer outside the door, and following custom carried the new President Calvin Coolidge his paycheck from the Treasurer on a silver platter. He thought the conversation would open up one way or another, and that he would have a chance to suggest a picture and the photographer would walk right in. He said he went in and Coolidge was busy at his desk looking at some documents. He bowed, but the President didn't look up. He stepped over in front of him and said, “Mr. President, your first paycheck.” Without looking up, the President ran his hand in his pocket, pulled out a little key and put it in the drawer of his desk and turned the key and unlocked it, and pulled the drawer out and pulled out a little letter opener and slit the letter open, took the check out and laid it face down on the desk, smoothed out the envelope and put it in the drawer as if it might be put to further use, closed the drawer, turned the key, put the key back in his pocket. He said by then he (Hoover) decided there wasn't a chance to get a picture, so he was backing out in great embarrassment, and just as he clicked the door knob, though, President Coolidge looked up to him and said, “Come again."
Mississippi Dinner Honoring United
States Senator John C. Stennis
HOTEL HEIDELBERG, JACKSON, MS,
March 3, 1969.
When Mississippians sent JOHN STENNIS to the U.S. Senate in 1947, he promised to “plow a straight furrow right to the end of my row.” He has kept that promise, but his record of public service has surpassed the expectations of even his closest and warmest friends. During his twenty-two years in the Senate, JOHN STENNIS has built a solid record of achievements for Mississippi and the Nation—a conservative, sound and constructive record in which every Mississippian can take pride.
Senator STENNIS has repeatedly said that he is first a Senator from Mississippi and that his first duty and loyalty is to the State and the people he represents. He has actively supported legislation to encourage all segments of Mississippi's economy, with special emphasis on agriculture, forestry, industrial development, small businesses and public works. He has worked consistently to improve education at all levels and has given particular attention to improving the opportunities for young Mississippians.
While fully and capably representing his State, he continues to be a valuable servant of the Nation. For eight years, as chairman of the Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee, he has stood watch over our national security.
As chairman of the Senate's Select Committee on Ethics, Standards and Conduct, he has been guardian of Senate ethics, presiding over his duties with judicial integrity, marked by a thorough knowledge and deep respect for the law based upon principles of constitutional government.
As senior member of the Aeronautical and Space Sciences Committee, he has played a major role in the development and support of our space projects. As an influential member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator STENNIS has a strong voice in the appropriation of funds for every agency of the U.S. Government. He is a member of the Agriculture, Defense, Deficiencies and Supplemental, Independent Offices, Labor, Health, Education and Welfare, and Public Works Subcommittees.
Senator STENNIS is chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, has the duty to review and approve all money appropriated for the Federal Aviation Agency, the Coast Guard, the Bureau of Public Roads, and the Civil Aeronautics Board and the Interstate Commerce Commission.
He now must shoulder additional responsibilities as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. His thoughts and actions will have a direct bearing on world peace and the security of free nations.
As he assumes that great responsibility, Mississippians unite in expressing our confidence that he will meet the challenges of these new tasks in the same splendid and successful way he has met challenges of the past.
As a Mississippian, an American and a Statesman, he will continue to plow his furrow right down to the end of his row.
Dr. W. Douglas Hudgins
THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
Naval Air Training Command Choir
Lieutenant Governor Charles L. Sullivan, presiding.
INTRODUCTION OF SENATOR STENNIS
Honorable Robert D. Morrow, Sr.
Senator John C. Stennis
Most Reverend Joseph B. Brunini.
GOD BLESS AMERICA
14th Army Band, Womens Army Corps