From an address by Timothy S. Healy, S.J., president of Georgetown University, at Gallaudet College's convocation March 23:

Colleges and universities all across this nation, public as well as private, face hard times. We all suffer from deadly runaway inflation, no one more than faculty members. The numbers keep going up, but what you really earn grows less and less. As our economy has slowed, we seem to have drifted into a kind of government and press disaffection for higher education. The disaffection doesn't touch most of our people. They still dream of sending their kids to college. But state legislature after state legislature happily cuts education budgets, and the national government sets a hard example for them to follow by slicing aid to both rich and poor, pegging loan rates beyond the reach of many citizens. . . . We are narrowing the gate (for those) whose access to college is hardly two decades old, as well as for the handicapped.

For that reason Gallaudet, built on the premise that all can learn, even those who have to approach learning through disability, is such a reproach to the national mood in which we find ourselves. It is a rallying point for those who care about education and the young. . . . We have never written it into law, but Americans have decided that the whole people can and should be educated. Judgments on where to learn and how long to learn and what to learn are judgments made by citizens not by governments, by act of will and not by act of Congress. That great national decision, ratified by every single wave of immigrants who have ever come to us is at stake in our politics today. Gallaudet is a reaffirmation--loud and clear and proud --of our national will.