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Kingman Brewster, Speech to the American Council on Education, October 8, 1965.
Kingman Brewster Papers. Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University.

Samuel Jackson 11, On University Leadership

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Yale President Kingman Brewster, who served as president from 1963 to 1977, saw the University through one of its most tumultuous decades. The 1960s were years of great change for America but also for Yale, with the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War and coeducation all leaving lasting marks. Brewster was concerned about how to direct the attention of students to the importance of intellectual life in light of tremendous political unrest. Brewster delivers a potent warning to his fellow educators, arguing that they must redouble their efforts to impress upon students the importance of “intellectual tools” for political battles. In cultural battles throughout that era, education and intellectualism were attacked for the their emphasis on the past and unwillingness to change: these same conserving qualities were hailed triumphantly just twenty years earlier by the Corporation, Wriston, and others. Brewster frequently subordinated his own desire to speak out as an intellectual for causes he believed in to what he felt was his Presidential duty to be neutral; faculty under his leadership often had no such qualms.