I have been adding quotes to our EphBlog Quote Wall recently. Comments, complaints and suggestions are hereby solicited. I am also considering adding some more quotes, listed with discussion below. If you have thoughts on these, please tell us.

1) “Shaping hearts and minds is actually an important part of what we do here.” — English Professor and former Dean of the College Peter Murphy. The problem with this quote is that I just made it up. Or, rather, I just gave it from memory. I am almost certain that I read something along these lines in the Record a decade ago. The context was some sort of student misbehavior, perhaps with regard to the proto-fraternities that arose in the mid-1990s around various sports teams. Regardless of the context, Murphy’s point — that a goal of the College is to change the students, to turn them, sometimes against their will, into better people — resonates today and throughout our history. Murphy was responding to the, in his opinion misguided, view that what students did outside of class was no business of the College.

2) “It is the object of the College to make men.” — President Mark Hopkins ’24. This gem is from page 45 of Fred Rudolph’s indispensable Mark Hopkins and the Log.

3) “Intellectual honesty is the highest value at Williams.” — English Professor and former Dean of the College Stephen Fix. This quote is also from memory, spoken by Fix during a speech at the Boston Alumni Society meeting in December 2003. The context was a speech about the tutorial system but I can’t recall if Fix related this quote to that topic somehow.

4) “The ideal college is Mark Hopkins on one end of a log and a student on the other.” — President of the United States James Garfield ’56.

5) “We are to regard the mind, not as a piece of iron to be laid upon the anvil and hammered into any shape, nor as a block of marble in which we are to find the statue by removing the rubbish, or as a receptacle into which knowledge may be poured; but as a flame that is to be fed, as an active being that must be strengthened to think and to feel-and to dare, to do, and to suffer.” — President Mark Hopkins ’24. This quote is second only to Garfield’s in terms of its wider fame.

6) The Williams Alumni Society was originally organized for “the promotion of literature and good fellowship among ourselves and the better to advance the reputation and interests of our Alma Mater.” This is, more or less, the purpose of EphBlog.

Several of these quotes have an interesting history behind them, but I’ll leave that for another day.

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