Political Science Professor James MacGregor Burns ’39 is quoted in a Boston Globe article about Ronald Reagan.

James MacGregor Burns, a historian at Williams College, called Reagan a ”man of conviction” and said that is the most important leadership quality a president can possess.

”I put him at a relatively high level among all American presidents because he had the one quality that is most important in leaders. . . . you always knew where he stood,” said Burns, who has written several books on presidential leadership. ”I admired him, and I kind of liked him. Even if you are a liberal like me, you have to take your hat off to a man who stuck to his conservatism and won.”

I’d wager that if Burns — a Pulitzer Prize winner like Halberstam — had been the Commenecent speaker, he would have taken the time and trouble to compose an original speech for the occasion. Something for the class of 2005 to keep in mind.

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