Chapter XXVI

CAMPUS CRISIS

   CAMPUS, as we use it in America, carries a sense of belonging to something old, honorable and beneficent. It is a far cry from the Roman field of war, the Campus Martius. Yet in very recent American memory campus was a combat zone, a smoldering place of confrontation. In 175 years of history Miami University has had many seasons of growth, progress and development, as well as a few episodes of threat and crisis. The direst experience came in April 1970 when winds of change were lashing this nation and its institutions. At that time an unprecedented turmoil brought disruption to hundreds of campuses. A contagion of violence rocked foremost universities–Berkeley, Cornell, Harvard, Columbia–as well as remote colleges. Miami suffered less than many and survived intact. But it was tried by flood and fire.
   In 1969 there were more than nine million fulltime students in American universities, nearly twice the student population of 1960. This was an angry and assertive generation, fedup with the Vietnam War, with corruption in politics and injustice in race relations. In many colleges students defied authority and derided tradition. They disrupted scheduled speeches, invaded classrooms, seized administrative offices, and halted normal operation. Their spokesmen vowed to destroy the universities in order to build a better world.
   The Miami crisis came in a context of problems and upheaval. As spring of 1970 spread its green miracle over the land, this nation hovered on the edge of precipice. Nearly eight hundred universities closed their doors, or prepared to close, while massed and marching students cried for revolution. In Ohio three State-run universities rumbled and erupted like volcanoes–Ohio University at Athens in the southeastern region, Ohio State University in the capitol city, and Kent State in the northeastern sect or. The violence at Kent was less destructive than that at Athens and Columbus, but it was most bitter and frightening. Ostensibly in protest to the bombing of Cambodia, 12,000 miles away, three nights of rioting resulted in the burning of Kent's ROTC building, the trashing of downtown streets and the arrival of the Ohio National Guard. The ensuing tragedy–four students killed and nine others wounded–dismayed the nation and startled the world.
   At Miami University the confrontation began in mid-April. For a year student groups across the country had held monthly "Vietnam Moratoriums" in protest of America's continued escalation of the frustrating and sickening war. During the past winter Miami participation in that protest had been curbed by severe weather, examination periods, and vacation breaks. With pent-up purpose the Miami Student Mobilization Committee planned a day-long demonstration on Wednesday, 15 April. The plan embraced a student "strike" for that day with "Free University" lectures replacing morning classes, a People's Lunch at the campus hub just west of Upham Hall, and an afternoon peace rally on the north lawn of the Administration Building. The rally leaflet did not mention racial concern although handbills circulated that morning called for a student strike on April 20, in support of demands previously made by the Black Students Association.
   Moratorium Day passed quietly, with no general boycott of routine classes, a mere 75 students (of the campus 14,000) gathering for People's Lunch, and the afternoon rally peaking with a turnout of five hundred. That affair began with a Philosophy professor's talk on "Morality and the War," followed by a higher-pitched speech by a black graduate student whose announced subject "Racism and Vietnam" was belied by his focus on racism in Miami. Finally the president of the Black Student Action Association stressed the proposed April 20 strike and called on a coalition of concerned whites to support five points on a handbill. These points listed, he said," were requests when we started discussing them with the Administration last January and now they are demands. " The points included extension of the Educational Opportunity Program to increase Miami's black enrollment, a plan of tutorial help for additional black students, the creation of graduate assistantships for black students, and the hiring of additional black faculty. At the close of the rally a black senior seized the microphone and announced a march on the ROTC building (Rowan Hall) in protest of militarism.
   Rowan Hall, a small building of quiet dignity erected in 1949, was named for a Miami man who became a Rear-Admiral in the U.S. Navy. Stephen Clegg Rowan, born in Ireland in 1809 and brought to America at age 10, came to Miami in 1825 when collegiate instruction began. After continued education at the Naval Academy he served as midshipman on the first naval vessel to sail around the world. During the Mexican War as executive officer of the sloop Cayene he led a platoon of marines into San Diego; in the Old Town Plaza they raised the first U.S. flag on soil that became California. No one then could imagine an American war in Indo-China. Rowan Hall, standing between the Miami Sesquicentennial Chapel and the power plant, could not accommodate the full ROTC unit. It contained offices and a simulated Destroyer navigation bridge above a "main deck" housing a pair of anti-aircraft guns and a single-barrel gunmount of the Destroyer class. The installation was of limited use in naval officer training, and it could not contain a mass student rally.
   Student marchers on that April late afternoon found the brick building closed and empty, but they broke in with racket that drew a number of bystanders. Soon a hundred students surged in. Laughing and jeering they swarmed around the naval emplacements. A petty officer appeared, asking the intruders to stay on the main "deck" away from the Corps command posts. About 5 p.m. a rock combo pushed in. Quickly a party was under way--music and laughter, clapping and dancing, and cheers for the arrival of food and drink. There were no blacks among these early occupants.
   In recent weeks, after upheavals on other campuses, the Ohio State government had outlined a contingency plan for crowd control. Accordingly Vice President Etheridge shouldered into the room and made his way up the stairs to the "bridge" level. There th rough a bullhorn he read a statement that students breaking into university buildings were trespassers, subject to arrest. That announcement added zest to the demonstration. After a few minutes Etheridge again raised his bullhorn. He stated that the st udents, having made their anti-ROTC point, should now vacate this U.S. Navy building. He added that they could regroup in Hall Auditorium at the west end of the central campus, a more suitable place for discussion and debate. While his words were hooted down, a student leader, using his own amplifier, voiced three demands: immediate canceling of academic credit for ROTC classes, promise of abolishing ROTC from Miami University, and the granting of Black Student Action Association terms.
   In line with the state government's contingency plan the Miami Security chief notified the Hamilton office of the State Highway Patrol. On arrival at Rowan Hall four of those officers were greeted with hoots, boos and jeers. Word went to Hamilton that more men were needed. The Butler County officer notified Columbus, and in the April dusk the Commander of the Ohio Highway Patrol, with sirens blaring, arrived in Oxford to take charge. Meanwhile student leaders vowed to sit-in night and day until their demands were met. The most assertive of the agitators was a young man no one seemed to know. When asked if he was enrolled at Miami he said he was a former student who had been editor of the underground news sheet Mandella. When Etheridge once more read the state ruling, some of the students left. To those remaining he stated "You are no longer students of Miami University, but trespassers subject to state authority and arrest." When a phalanx of some forty uniformed partolmen moved in, certai n other students departed. The rest, about 160 in number, locked arms in defiance.
   By this time hundreds of students had gathered outside the building, and troopers were showered with sticks, stones and debris. For transport to the Oxford City Hall, apprehended students were pressed into an old school bus, which broke down after a single trip. When Hamilton was asked to send more men and transportation, 160 police and sheriff's deputies responded. While milling students immobilized their vehicles, the police sprayed mace and tossed canisters of tear gas. Police dogs on half-leash scattered crowds, which soon massed again.
   Inside Rowan Hall voice horns repeated that all students remaining there were liable to arrest. Highway patrol men, on standby in noisy Spring Street, then moved in to clear the building. About 160 arrests were made. Some proved to be non-students, former students and local high school pupils. They were later called the "Miami 176," though the number booked was 155. Over the midnight campus went rumors, threats, alarms and fulminations. Roudebush Hall was locked tight but a throng of students heard black and white spokesmen declare that the classroom boycott previously set for April 20 should begin that very morning, April 16. The strategy was to strike while the iron was hot. Silence came to the littered campus at 2:30 a.m., while sheriff's deputies patroled the uptown streets.
   Before daybreak Governor Rhodes telephoned from Columbus. He was about to fly to Oxford while a convoy of trucks was bringing National Guard troops to the Nike base just west of town. Arrived at 7 a.m. the governor conferred with President Shriver and held an impromptu news conference. That morning fresh posters called for immediate student strike and a noon rally on Roudebush front lawn. At that gathering, under a lowering sky, speakers denounced Governor Rhodes, cursed the police, chanted Strike! Strike! Strike! and appealed for campus-wide support. Handbills from the Black Students Association and a "concerned" white coalition demanded: support of black action terms, reinstatement of suspended students, and creation of a committee to investigate allactivities of the ROTC and determine whether it should be abolished from the university. While the coalition offered to dictate the makeup of this committee, thunder rolled and rumbled overhead.
   A gust of rain drove the crowd in to nearby Withrow Court, where Student Senate leaders asked President Shriver to speak. Before he could mount the platform a black leader seized the microphone. "The president wants to say something. . . . Shall we let him ? . . . Okay let's let the dude speak." To a massed 4500 students President Shriver declared that the university was already committed to increase black enrollment and black faculty, that though he opposed admission of unqualified students he had already been approving trial admission of slightly sub-standard blacks who did not apply for financial aid.He added that qualified black students were assured of finacial grants and loans, and that black assistantships could be provided in departments with certified graduate programs. He refused, however, to waive suspension of students who had refused to vacate the ROTC building; their way to reinstatement was through due process. Proposal of an ROTC evaluation had recently been rejected by both the Faculty Council and the University Senate. This short direct presidential speech was interrupted by boos, cheers, affirming shouts and heckling questions, and repeated chants of Strike! Strike! Strike!
   When President Shriver left the hall a somewhat shrunken crowd heard a black leader declare that the strike was now in force. Actual attendance of scheduled classes was diminished by one-fourth. That afternoon a gathering of faculty members, vexed that they had not shared in official discussion of the student demands, sent word to the president's office asking him to call special meetings of the Faculty Council and the University Senate on Friday (the next day), adding their intention to call their own meeting of "concerned faculty" if he did not concur. Response from the president's office was that the scheduled Faculty Council session on Monday, April 20, would be sufficient. While gossip and rumor gusted over the cloudy campus a steadying voice ca me from the Political Science department. In a widely circulated open letter Professor Reo Christenson emphasized that civil disobedience entailed a responsibility to accept its own consequences, and that demanding amnesty while denouncing University paternalism was contradictory. "Faculty and student wrath," he concluded, "should be focused on two groups: those who needlessly precipitated this wretched affair, and those police officers . . . who seemed to relish the opportunity to exercise their power in unbridled fashion."
   The Student Senate issued a statement: "Justice requires that civil law be restored, that all National Guardsmen, State Patrolmen and Butler County Sheriff's Deputies be immediately withdrawn." It concluded: "We do not condone the illegal occupation of st ate property, but feel the temporary reinstatement of those students involved is necessary until the legal procedure of due process can take place."
   On the following day, April 17, President Shriver announced that the Highway Patrol had departed at noon, and the National Guard began leaving the Nike base at 2 p.m. without having come onto the Miami campus. Pronouncing the situation stabilized, he added t hat while amnesty had not been granted, suspended students could continue to live in their residence halls while due process was observed. Trespass cases were heard in Butler County Court One, and admission to classrooms would be subject to ruling by ind ividual professors. The Students Senate created a special committee on the Abuse of Rights (SCAR) to begin investigation, with legal counsel, on the alleged violation of civil rights. Three uptown fraternities formed their own coalition to achieve publi c censure of law enforcement agencies "which indiscriminately used dogs, tear gas and clubs, and overtly broke the law on the night of April 15 and early 16." Under cloudy April sky the campus was still teeming and steaming.
   On April 18, Saturday, the usual weekend diversion was replaced by heated debate and disputation. An unofficial meeting of "concerned faculty" drew some 120 members–a bare one–sixth of the Senate roll--who after three hours of talk went on record as "supp orting the demands of the student coalition." They postponed for a Sunday meeting the question of faculty participation in the student strike, and the forming of a teachers' union. At the Sunday meeting– another three-hour session–about one hundred members approved two motions: to go, themselves, on strike in abetting the student demands, and to resolve that no punitive measures be taken against striking faculty. These were open meetings, attended by a student audience a thousand on Saturday and some four hundred on Sunday.
   On Monday morning hearings began in the Oxford City building for the Wednesday night trespassers in Rowan Hall. That evening over the University's radio and TV channels and in an open meeting of the Faculty Council President Shriver announced plans that he hoped would resolve the strike: 1) proposal of a "pilot project" to admit 100 students of no racial restriction who though academically substandard would not seek financial waivers, 2) increasing recruiting efforts for black students and faculty, 3) continued encouragement of contributions to the Educational Opportunity Program. While the Faculty Council adjourned a black spokesman stood with clenched fist declaring "The strike is still on."
   The next day's attention was focused on the process of appeal for the suspended students. To lighten their liability and soften their penalty a "concerned" faction of Faculty Council moved to commit the suspension appeal collectively to the entire University Senate rather than to continue individual hearings. The effort was defeated. Established procedure, with the Disciplinary Appeals Board making judgments, was affirmed. Response to this action was a wave of threats and fulmination. There was talk of a "library run" removing hundreds of books on course reading lists, of a telephone tie-up that would fill the university lines with "busy" signals, of a power sabotage that would darken the whole campus, of picketing food services and fuel deliveries. These rumors emerged from a rally where strike leaders spoke of "renewed efforts in non-violent ways." What followed was an act of absurd madness. At 6 p.m. hurrying through 14 campus buildings students lashed open water faucets in lavatories, shower rooms, and laundromats. In twenty minutes more than two million gallons were drained from Oxford's two water towers. Floors were flooded, sewers overflowed, water pressure vanished, and Oxford was helpless if a fire broke out. City officials closed all t he university mains until pressure could be restored. This was vandalism to the point of sabotage. Damage exceeding $5,000 was done to the town and college water systems.
   On Wednesday the campus was strewn with handbills from the "Student Faculty Coalition." Under heavy MORATORIUM headline came: "A period of negotiation. Everyone should return to classes. The moratorium does not mean the demands have been met. It means a shift in tactics. The moratorium indicates on the behalf of the strikers a willingness to negotiate. The moratorium will give the strikers a chance to return to classes and encourage further discussion of the issues. It doesn't mean you should lose f aith or that the Coalition demands won't be met, but it does mean a shift in tactics to increase the effectiveness of our sincerity." The redundancy of this missive poorly masked a mingled frustration and wit's end, a feeling of directly expressed by the withdrawal of pickets outside classroom buildings.
   That evening, in a fact-sheet called "What's Right," the University Administration tried to replace gossip, rumors and distortions with a plain statement. Yet another blitz of handbills signed "The Coalition" stated that "the Coalition will not sanction any continuation of the flush-in or such things as taking books from the library to disrupt education, calling the administration building for the purpose of disrupting communications, or shutting off the electricity." It added: "This strike is against the administration. Turning off water turns off students."
   On Thursday a new page appeared from a new source–concerned "Miami Students." Condemning violence and disruption it pledged "unqualified support to President Shriver in his efforts to handle this critical situation," and urged all students to attend the Saturday morning University Senate meeting. A statement from the Student Senate deplored the flush-in and urged that it be "the last thoughtless and disruptive activity at our university." The statement was handed to President Shriver with 1036 signatures while many leaflets were still in circulation. The Saturday morning Senate meeting drew more than six hundred faculty members, a thousand students, and various reporters from the outside press. A standing ovation responded to President Shriver's pledge to increase efforts in attracting black students and faculty. Declaring full responsibility for his decisions in the past ten days and nights, he adjourned the meeting with the suggestion that people talk with each other "so that each may be heard."
 & nbsp; During a few days of quiet the Faculty Council Disciplinary Appeals Board continued hearings with men and women students. Some stated opposition to the appeals procedure. Others offered reasons for their actions on the Rowan Hall scene and asked to be reinstated. To normal curricular routine was added a previously scheduled Orientation for Black Students from Ohio high schools. No one reported their impressions.
   Age-old weather-lore tells of "the lull before the storm." The week of May 4 began with shocking news and riveting scenes on television. At noon on the sunwashed campus of Kent State University four students were shot to death by the Ohio National Guard. On the stunned Miami campus small groups of students talked with professors in the hallways and with President Shriver between telephone calls at Lewis Place and in his Roudebush office. The tragedy at Kent was brewing violence across the state and nation. Reports of turmoil on other campuses led Shriver to declare Tuesday a "Day of Reflection" with classes replaced by informal dialogue throughout the Miami community. He hoped that free and general communication might lead toward "rational solutions of our problems." He would speak in the open air next morning.
   At ten o'clock, May 5, a crowd of 4,000 gathered on the south campus overlook, heard their president ask that concern over the Kent crisis be kept low-key and orderly. (No one could have more concern than Phillip Shriver himself; for eighteen years prior to his Miami connection he had served Kent State from History instructor to Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.) He hoped that Miami students would talk together not as partisans but as fellow citizens; he would be on campus throughout the day, ready to talk and listen. Soon he was the center of 200 students seated on the ground of the Hub quadrangle, where other groups were gathered around various professors. After the lunch hour 3,000 students quietly formed a mile-long "Solidarity March" which circled the campus and in growing numbers massed below the Sun Dial Overlook. There two leaders of the Student Mobilization Committee used bull horns to denounce the Rhodes-Nixon measures in Ohio and Vietnam. The day of reflection was turning into a tim e of turmoil.
   In dusk and darkness a restive student traffic streamed up the Slant Walk and dotted the uptown streets. At twenty-eight minutes past midnight a fire-bomb shattered a ground-office window in Roudebush Hall. Interior damage was limited by action of a sec urity patrolman who chanced to be nearby.
   On May 6, Wednesday, afternoon broadcasts reported Governor Rhodes' proposal of immediate closure of any disorderly state university. In Columbus Ohio State students were out of control, looting and pillaging academic and commercial buildings and snarling traffic in the streets. At 6 p.m. word came that Ohio State University was closed. During the next three hours in Oxford voices shrilled through town and campus: "Rally at the water tower!" From that uptown center an inchoate march began, gathering numbers and tension as it moved down the Slant Walk and through mid-campus guards to the Sun Dial Overlook. President Shriver joined six thousand students there. He proposed that the next days, Thursday and Friday, be "Days of National Peace" devoted to dialogue and rational discussion, classes to resume on Monday "with determination to keep going until the end of the spring quarter." He would return to the sun dial next morning at 10 o'clock for talk with any and all who sought him. As the crowd dispersed in the warm May midnight it seemed to many that Phillip Shriver "once more had cooled off an explosive situation by this presence and his willingness to listen."
   The apparent cooling was deceptive. Between midnight and 1:30 a.m. three fires were set. Security patrols extinguished a blaze in Kreger hall on the campus hub and another in a storage hut on the south campus. Students passing on the Slant Walk saw smoke from a ground floor window of Hall Auditorium. With the help of security men they checked the flames in a store room under the wooden stage. This seemed the arson target, with the other fires meant as diversion. Once aflame the wood and plaster auditorium would burn like a barn. At daybreak of May 7 stacks of new Strike posters were by chance discovered in an alley across the street from Hall Auditorium. That morning the campus was strewn with new handbills demanding a Friday strike to begin with a rally at the Overlook, and urging a mass migration to Columbus.
   Soon after 10 o'clock that Thursday morning President Shriver faced a crowd at the sun dial Overlook. He declared that as of that moment Miami University and its branches at Hamilton and Middletown were closed indefinitely. All students must be gone by 8 o'clock that evening.
   At an afternoon press conference the president gave three reasons for his decision: a prospect of uncontrolled turmoil, the safety of students and security of buildings, and the recent recommendation of the Ohio governor. He added that the faculty would immediately make plans for completing the academic requirements of the spring term. By president's ruling the executive Board of the Student Senate could remain in Oxford during the shut-down to assist in efforts to reopen the university. In its first ac tion this Student Board released a constructive statement: "The overwhelming majority of the Miami University student body are convinced that violence is neither a legitimate nor an effective method of settling differences." It concluded that students, fa culty and administration were doing everything possible to accomplish the early reopening of Miami University.
   During ten days of closed campus the University Senate had a busy agenda. For the harrowed spring quarter it made concessions on course work and grading. Course content could be curtailed proportionately to time lost in the closed period. Students would be give the option of letter grade or of credit-no credit record in any or all courses. For incomplete course work the instructor could use S--meaning satisfactory progress. In the area of university governance decision was made on the long pondered question of student representation. The Faculty Council now voted to add 12 student members to its roster of 24 faculty and administration personnel. Many faculty felt, as did most of the students, that this reform was overdue. To all Miami students went letters from the president's office and a "Status Report" from the Student Senate explaining plans for reopening the university. As a precaution against fire or other destruction, a corps of faculty marshals was organized for night time surveillance of empty buildings.
   On Sunday, May 17, the campus came to life with an influx of students and the resuming of schedules. On Monday evening a Forum for an Open University was held in Withrow Court. Its sponsors, the Student Mobilization Committee, declared their desire to keep Miami open as a base for their operation of protest and reform. Amid continuous noise and confusion they elected a ten-members steering committee to coordinate further activities. In that direction they proposed an all-campus referendum on an immediate reform–the replacing of scheduled classes by a curriculum of informal courses "more relevant" than the classes scheduled. By the time this "alternate university" was described the initial forum turnout of 3,000 had shrunk to about 800. As this meeting dispersed there were calls for a "Rally at the Water Tower." By 10:30 a thousand were milling on the red brick blocks of High Street.
   For some time President Shriver had been talking with students on the front lawn of Lewis Place. Now he went uptown and offered to talk at Lewis Place "all night if you want." Some few followed him there. At midnight he returned uptown and persuaded a larger group to leave with him. To free the traffic-clogged High Street where angry and frustrated drivers imperiled the heedless crowd, they clustered around a lamp post on the Slant Walk. Talk with several hundred students and some sixty faculty members began as discussion but turned into harrangue. Unless something was done, here and now, to relieve tensions over course work and grading, the university would be violently disrupted. Under that threat President Shriver offered another option: in any class students could choose credit or no-credit on work completed to that point in order to concentrate on courses they considered more desirable or more important. This decision at 1:30 a.m. concluded for President Shriver five unbroken hours of confront ation.
   The next day was quiet but at evening streams of students again usurped the uptown streets. About 9:30 a fire was reported in a storage shed behind Fisher Hall. The sirens of a fire truck brought a traffic jam at Town Hall corner. On its return the fire engine was halted by students playing volley ball over the traffic light and connecting cables. At 1:30 a.m. the streets emptied, but in the City Hall lights burned on through a lengthy meeting of town and gown officials.
   Next day the president addressed a letter to all students telling them of grave apprehension in the community. He asked them to avoid crowding uptown and to refrain from seeming to challenge the traditional concepts of lawful assembly. "Above all," he concluded, "please do not let yourself get involved in questionable actions instigated by someone else." At the same time a young professor was distributing his own brisk memo: "Townspeople are up very, very tight--getting very, very impatient. Ditto the police chief. It will take, literally, one stone thrown through one window to have the Sheriff called in. Let us isolate the few radicals and trouble-makers. Let us not provide them with an audience. Do not give them a chance to affect the lives of literally thousands of people by closing down Miami."
   From the municipal office the Oxford Council declared a 9 p.m. curfew. Campus marshals, volunteers from the faculty, took their stations. It was an eerie assignment, patroling dark hallways alert for sounds of intrusion or a taint of smoke and flame. For academic persons it was a duty unprecedented, almost incredible. Posted in the Sesquicentennial Chapel, just thirty paces from Rowan Hall, one saw again, in memory, the blinking lights and drifting gas, the seizure, sit-in, drag-out, arrest and incarceration. Turning away from the street the marshal saw moonlight slanting through torn clouds above the empty overlook. Night thoughts are natural to a campus: the upward reach of life, affirming of truth and beauty, a feeling of Alma Mater, of being possessed as well as of possessing. But these night hours were long and the thoughts were fearful. Thoughts of a clenched divided world, of torn and divided colleges in history's most favored nation. On the northern wall inside the chapel doorway carved words were dimly visible.

Guide us to wisdom,
Lead us to the light.

The night thoughts held more questions than answers. In this somber season students had come to the hushed chapel alone and in groups–the young who looked in college for learning and understanding, for capacities to shape a better world. But how could one protes t a brutal warfare in jungles ten thousand miles away and the despairing poverty of black citizens in America the Beautiful? The angry student and the groping faculty marshal shared the same dilemma.
   On Friday, May 22, Oxford officials lifted the curfew. In good spirits the six fraternities on North Tallawanda and Bishop street gave a block-party, inviting the Oxford police and the Sheriff's deputies to join them in celebration. At midnight the waning moon looked down upon a town and campus at peace.
   Traditionally a mellow memory book, the Miami Recensio for 1970 broke the mold. Entitled A YEAR OF CONTRAST AND CONFLICT its double-page frontis photograph showed President Shriver facing a defiant student with a microphone. The next page was a c lot of black students with raised fists. Instead of idyllic campus scenes its front section showed a protest march in Washington and students massed on Oxford's High Street, the Window entrance under a one-word banner STRIKE!, a group of disheveled students astride the ROTC gun mount, washroom graffiti affirming ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE, a pair of half-clad students lying in the sun beside a Cincinnati newspaper with black headline 176 ARRESTED AT MIAMI. In the sorority section an upbeat page showed the Delta Gamma chapter all in white middy blouses perched on the stairs and bridge-deck of Rowan Hall.
   The year of contrast and conflict ended with an unforgettable Commencement. On the platform facing 2039 graduates and 10,000 audience was Colonel James McDivitt, husband of a Miami alumna and veteran of two space flights; he gave commissions to 104 Air Force and Navy ROTC cadets. Beside a gravely smiling president Shriver sat the world-famous young American Neil Armstrong. In his brief address the pioneer astronaut did not mention space frontiers but spoke of frontiers in society where young people must make constructive change. Then President Shriver called to the platform the president of the graduating class, Paul Franks, a native Australian who had become a citizen of Troy, Ohio. Saying that this class had seen more change than any other class in Miami's long history he urged the importance of tradition in a changing society and challenged his classmates to regain and revitalize the tradition of respect. As they listened in the vast silence of the crowded hall his words touched their own scarred memories and their inheritance of all the storm and stress of human history.


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