From a commencement address by the Rev. Timothy S. Healy, S.J., president of Georgetown University, at Virginia Commonwealth University May 18:
Big cities and universities go together and always have: the names Bologna, Padua and Paris show how true that is. Subsequent history is more varied. Oxford and Cambridge picked market towns in hope that they would grow, but only one did. Harvard bet on Boston and won; Yale on New Haven and lost. The tiny seaport whose name Georgetown stole grew into the nation's capital. So there may still be hope for Charlottesville.
At first blush what cities give to universities seems to outweigh what universities give back. The first gift is an infinite variety, since America's cities hold this nation's deepest wells of talents, and also hold, in uneasy peace, a rich mixture of colors, religions and origins. Another gift any city makes its university is its alternative rhythm. By that I don't mean the 50-week year contrasted with the lazy rhythms of semesters and summer vacation. I mean rather the pressure, the hurry, the general fuss of business and commerce. . . .
There are two urgent jobs all universities, both public and private, must do for the cities in which they live. The first is to restore our once full-powered urgency about integration as a necessary step in the struggle for racial justice. The second is the university's modern task of delivering a people, dinned into insensibility by the cacophony of modern communications, from the message that only the material matters. . . .
A university is one of the few places in a city's working life where the young of all colors and races work together in common patterns and through common rhythms. Within your walls you can, at times, make a model of what the city itself could look like. . . .