• Creator
  • Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
  • Created Date
  • 1956
  • Publisher
  • Springfield College
  • Description
  • This is a copy of a commencement address given by Senator John F. Kennedy (who later became the 35th President of the United States). He was the commencement speaker at Springfield College on June 10, 1956. Throughout the eight-page document are handwritten edits. The speech, originally intended for Springfield College, appears to have been rewritten about Northeastern University. In the heading on the first page, all references to Springfield... more
    This is a copy of a commencement address given by Senator John F. Kennedy (who later became the 35th President of the United States). He was the commencement speaker at Springfield College on June 10, 1956. Throughout the eight-page document are handwritten edits. The speech, originally intended for Springfield College, appears to have been rewritten about Northeastern University. In the heading on the first page, all references to Springfield College were crossed out. Many of the edits within the speech replace “college” with “university” and “Springfield” with “Northeastern.” Similarly, a reference to alumni becoming “community leaders, Y secretaries, teachers, counselors, [and] club directors” (all of which are career paths specific to Springfield College alumni) has been crossed out. It is not known where this copy of the speech came from, nor are we able to confirm that this was the actual speech given by JFK. It is rumored that Kennedy accidentally gave a speech written for another school while at Springfield College, but this is unconfirmed. After praising the successes of the college and its alumni, Kennedy urges the graduates to remain in Massachusetts because their state “presents unexcelled opportunities for today’s college graduates” and “needs your efforts as no other state does.” At a time when New England was considered to be in economic decline, Kennedy argues that the ambition of youth can defeat the gloomy defeatism. Toward the end of the speech, he recites Sam Walter Foss’ poem “The Calf-Path” and suggests that it may refer to the streets of Boston. Kennedy ends with an inspirational quote by Daniel Webster. This item was scanned from a copy of the original. less
  • Format
  • Documents
  • Rights
  • Text and images are owned, held, or licensed by Springfield College and are available for personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that ownership is properly cited. A credit line is required and should read: Courtesy of Springfield College, Babson Library, Archives and Special Collections. Any commercial use without written permission from Springfield College is strictly prohibited. Other individuals or entities other than, and in addition to, Springfield College may also own copyrights and other propriety rights. The publishing, exhibiting, or broadcasting party assumes all responsibility for clearing reproduction rights and for any infringement of United States copyright law. Contact host institution for more information.