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Letter from A. Whitney Griswold to Thomas Swan, December 24, 1936.
Yale Political Union Records. Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University.

Adam Hirst 10, On the Yale Political Union

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The Political Union, the largest undergraduate organization at Yale, was founded in 1934 to combat an apathetic political culture that had developed on campus. A. Whitney Griswold, President of Yale College, and Thomas Swan, former Dean of the Law School were the two individuals primarily responsible for founding the Union. This page from a 1936 letter written by Griswold to Swan sheds light on what Griswold considers necessary for the Union to fulfill its mission and engage the Yale student with the larger political world. To Griswold, the success of the Union “depends largely on two things: 1) faculty direction + 2) outside speakers from the government.” The Faculty would connect students with the intellectualism of the university; government officials would connect students with the world of politics. Griswold believed that the Union could engage students with the political world and continue a Yale tradition of service to country that had waned following World War One.