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Draft of Charles Seymour’s Inaugural Speech, September 22, 1937.
Office of the Provost Papers. Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University.

Thomas Ginakakis ’09, Charles Seymour on Experts and Education

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In 1937, Seymour became the President of Yale University. In his inaugural address, Seymour expressed his vision of the purpose of a university: not only to contribute to the world's store of knowledge, but to train and enlighten men for service to the nation. This practical component to university education helped further his view that universities should not "become ‘ivory towers' isolated from the main currents of national thought." Furthermore, in this address he urges the university to be flexible in its courses and programs in order to be able to adapt to changing times. Later in his presidency, Seymour would take a practical step towards university education and establish a Foreign Area Studies department to fill the shortcomings in diplomacy training that he perceived during his time with the Inquiry.