Faculty Speeches

Listen to audio recordings of faculty speeches

  • Ralph Gilden Address, Announcement of the George Marshall Scholarship, 1967

    Ralph Gilden served in virtually every position at Eastern Michigan University in his 40 years at EMU. From organizing a parent’s organization, to faculty member, to administrator and even interim president when Harold Sponberg resigned in 1974, Gilden was a loyal servant to the university and the faculty and students who constituted it. In this audio recording, Gilden pays tribute to George Marshall by announcing the launch of a new scholarship in the former track coach’s name.
  • Harold Sponberg, Address to Fall Faculty Conference, 1972

    Harold Sponberg served as president of Eastern Michigan University from 1965-1974. In this address to EMU faculty, Sponberg begins by explaining why he chose EMU and welcomes new department heads to the University. The bulk of Sponberg’s remarks center on budgetary concerns and the faculty’s apprehension over a looming wage-freeze. In the wake of civil unrest on and off campus, Sponberg stresses the need for the University to remain accountable for student action, whether that action be civil or uncivil.
  • John Munson, Inauguration of Eugene B. Elliott, 1949

    John Munson was President of Michigan State Normal College 1933-1948. In this address, Munson welcomes incoming president Eugene B. Elliott and delivers an inventory of distinguished MSNC alumni. Munson speaks of the evidence of MSNC’s global influence when naming former students and faculty who have gone on to important global positions.
  • Clyde Ford, Centennial Address, 1949

    Dr. Richard Clyde Ford was appointed head of the Department of Foreign Languages at Michigan State Normal College in 1903. An experienced world traveler and expert on the state of education in Michigan, Ford here gives an overview of Michigan State Normal College. Given in the context of the growth of Ypsilanti, Ford’s summary of MSNC features a biography of John Pierce, to whom Pierce Hall was being dedicated at the MSNC Centennial Celebration. The buildings on campus, states Pierce, are a present testament to the men and women who labored to grow the College to its current (1949) form. Ford also explains the connection between the creation of a school and the creation of culture.
  • Anna W. Field, Centennial Address, 1949

    Anna W. Field taught in the Michigan Normal College Training School from 1915 until 1928, when she joined the Department of History at MSNC as a professor. Retiring in 1946 from the History Department, Field was selected to attend the dedication of the new Pierce Hall in 1949, and to give her remembrances of the original Pierce Hall. In this address, Field speaks of how the original building was the cultural center of Michigan Normal College, and how its growth and expansion mirrored the growth of MSNC itself.
  • Eugene B. Elliott, Inaugural Address, 1949

    Eugene B. Elliott was inaugurated as Michigan State Normal College President in 1949, and served until 1965. In his inaugural address, Elliott acknowledges his warm welcome from MSNC staff and administration before discussing the necessary “reconsecration” to the cause of education on the part of faculty and administration. This revisioning of the mission of MSNC, Elliott says, emphasizes teachers doing away with their “bags of tricks” used formerly to solve classroom problems, and instead utilizes flexibility and adaptability to move the institution and its students into the future. Elliott also speaks of the need for educated young people to halt the spread of totalitarianism around the globe.
  • Eugene Elliott, Bowen Field House Dedicatory Address, 1955

    Eugene Elliott was President of Michigan State Normal College and Eastern Michigan University from 1949-1965. In this address at the dedication of Bowen Field House, Elliott thanks all those who lent a hand in the planning, funding, and building of the structure. The new facility, he says, will meet the needs of a rapidly growing student body, as well as strengthen the values of students while it is being used 10-14 hours per day.
  • Haydn Morgan, Tribute to Frederick Alexander, 1960

    The Frederick Alexander Memorial organ was built and installed in Pease Auditorium in 1960. During the dedication ceremony of the organ, Eastern Michigan University Music Director Haydn Morgan paid tribute to Frederick Alexander, longtime Michigan State Normal College music director, and namesake of the new organ.
  • Professor John Sattler, Eulogy for John F. Kennedy, 1963

    Eastern Michigan University Speech professor John Sattler eulogizes slain president John F. Kennedy. Recalling his professional achievements in this emotional address, and detailing the difficulties of the office of President of the United States, Sattler remarks upon how well suited Kennedy was to the highest office in the world.
  • Elton Rynearson, Farewell Address, 1963

    Elton Rynearson attended Michigan State Normal College from 1910-1914, and later, as a coach, led MSNC athletics to the most successful years in the history of Eastern Michigan University. In this informal farewell speech given at a retirement party for Rynearson and Lloyd Olds in 1963, Rynearson looks back over his time at EMU, sharing anecdotes of the influential professors and coaches of the school, during his time as a student and coach.
  • Lloyd Olds, Farewell Address, 1963

    Born in Ypsilanti in 1892, Lloyd Olds received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State Normal College, and later a Doctor of Public Health from University of Michigan. He returned to serve for 42 years as coach, athletic director, and head of intramurals. In this informal address at a retirement event honoring Olds and Elton Rynearson, Olds reminisces about past professors and athletes of Eastern Michigan University, and gives suggestions as to the forward direction of the University.
  • Augusta “Gussie” Harris, Farewell Address to Elton Rynearson and Lloyd Olds, 1963

    Graduating from Michigan State Normal College in 1926, Gussie Harris taught physical education for three years until returning to MSNC in 1929, where she held a variety of important positions for the next 39 years. Harris earned numerous awards for her service to the field of physical education. In this short, informal speech, Harris presents Lloyd Olds and Elton Rynearson with scholarships in their names, each awarding the amount of $400 to selected students. Harris recites a short poem, describing the scholarships, and the affection that EMU has for both retiring men.
  • Bingo Brown, Farewell Speech to Lloyd Olds and Elton Rynearson, 1963

    James “Bingo” Brown was one of the most beloved figures in Eastern Michigan University history. Coaching the football team in 1923 and 1924, Brown went on to be appointed Dean of Men in 1927, a position he held for 35 years until his retirement in 1962. Here, Brown delivers a heartfelt farewell address to Lloyd Olds and Elton Rynearson, detailing the ways in which Olds and Rynearson had given their lives over to their students to help guide them down that “golden roadbed of life.”
  • Eugene Elliott, ROTC Award Acceptance Speech, 1965

    Eugene Elliott served as Eastern Michigan University President, 1949-1965. This recording captures Elliott on the eve of retirement, accepting an award for outstanding performance from ROTC of EMU. Elliott discusses the importance of the ROTC program, and the great responsibility attached to military might. The recording, captured out of doors, is very windy at times.
  • Harold Sponberg, Inaugural Address, 1966

    Harold E. Sponberg served as President of Eastern Michigan for nine years until his retirement in 1974. This audio recording captures Sponberg’s inaugural address from Pease Auditorium. George Romney delivers the invocation, and Chairman of the Board of Regents Edward J. McCormick introduces Sponberg and gives him the symbols of the University.
  • Harold Sponberg, University Library Dedicatory Address, 1967

    Harold E. Sponberg served as President of Eastern Michigan for nine years until his retirement in 1974. In this audio recording, Sponberg praises all parties involved with the planning and execution of the new University Library, remarking that it was no wonder the library was placed in the exact center of campus; learning should be of equal access to all who wish to take advantage of it.
  • Harold Sponberg, Address at the George Marshall Recognition Dinner, 1967

    Harold Sponberg served as Eastern MIchigan University President from 1965-1974. As the opening speaker of the George Marshall Recognition Dinner, Sponberg thanks all those in attendance for being present, before stating that he wished he could have known Marshall for a longer period of time, so that he might do him full justice in his testament to Marshall’s character. Sponberg details Marshall’s career before illuminating several of his teaching, coaching, and personal qualities. Sponberg’s address takes an emotional turn when he speaks of Marshall’s illness, and his hopes for a full recovery
  • Mildred Beatty Smith, Address at the Dedication of University Library, 1967

    Mildred Beatty Smith served on the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents for 10 years before leaving to serve as Director of Elementary Education in the Flint public schools. In this dedicatory address for the new University Library, Smith remarks that the strength of libraries is not in the buildings themselves, but rather in the ideas that the buildings contain. When students begin to value libraries for this reason, Smith says, that will be the real return on the investment.
  • Thomas J. Murray, Address at the Dedication of University Library, 1967

    Thomas J. Murray served for 33 years at Eastern Michigan University in a variety of roles, most notably as head of the Department of Communication and Theater Arts. In this humorous address from 1967, Murray dedicates the new University Library by reading a fictional agreement to be signed by both faculty members and Librarians. This agreement highlights many of the complaints that faculty and librarians have about each other, and has the room in stitches.
  • George Marshall, Address at the George Marshall Recognition Dinner, 1967

    George Marshall served as track coach for Eastern Michigan University for 35 years, from 1928 to 1967. In that time, his teams won 14 Interstate Intercollegiate Conference titles and the NAIA national cross country title. This audio recording from an appreciation dinner in Marshall’s honor captures Marshall responding to the accolades of the evening. Recalling stories from his time as track and field coach, and revisiting many of the lessons learned in his years with the track team, Marshall is humble and humorous in this address.
  • E. Walfred Erickson, University Library Dedicatory Address, 1967

    E. Walfred Erickson, Head Librarian at Eastern Michigan University, gave this address at the University Library dedication ceremony. In the speech, Erickson thanks all parties at length who had a hand in the planning, funding, and construction of the new building, calling Eugene Elliott the “father of this child,” and Representative Joseph Warner, “the rich uncle of this child.”
  • Eugene B. Elliott, University Library Dedicatory Address, 1967

    Eugene Elliott served as Eastern Michigan University from 1949 to 1965. During Elliott’s tenure, the university underwent a period of growth unprecedented in its history. In this address, Elliott stresses the need to keep library development at the top of the list of university priorities. Elliott speaks to the fact that even in troubling socioeconomic times, libraries are of the utmost value, and that this new University Library, located at the center of campus, will act as “the intellectual heart, pumping new ideas through the veins of Eastern Michigan University.”
  • Harold Sponberg, Introduction to the First Annual Conference on College and University Archives, 1968

    President of Eastern Michigan University, 1965-1974, Harold Sponberg welcomes all participants in the archives conference to the EMU campus. Sponberg thanks Egbert Isbell for getting him up to speed on EMU history, and acknowledges that college archives are the best way to inject knowledge into an institution.
  • Henry J. Owens, Induction into Ordre des Palmes Academique, 1968

    Head of Foreign Languages Department Henry J. Owens receives an award from the French Cultural Councillor for services rendered to French culture in the United States. With this award, Owens was made Officier of the Ordre des Palmes Academique.
  • Egbert Isbell, Introduction to the First Annual Conference on College and University Archives, 1968

    Egbert Isbell served as professor of history, and administrator at Eastern MichiganUniversity from 1937-1967. Presiding over the lunch portion of the First Annual Conference on College and University Archives, Isbell welcomes all participants, and pays tribute to President Harold Sponberg for not only looking forward to the future of EMU, but also to the institution’s past.
  • Bruce K. Nelson, Address to Faculty Senate, 1971

    Bruce K. Nelson served as Eastern Michigan University Vice President for Instruction for 21 years, from 1954 to 1975. In this address, Nelson emphasizes the idea that the teachings of higher education change with the underlying cultural currents of society. Nelson stresses that without continuous, institutional change, teachers will become victims of their own success.
  • Harold Sponberg, Address to Fall Faculty Conference, 1972

    Harold Sponberg served as Eastern Michigan University president from 1965 to 1974. In this address at the 1972 Fall Faculty Conference, Sponberg begins with a humorous synopsis of the duties of administrators, deans, and secretaries, before moving on to express his view that good decision making on the part of teachers depends primarily on insight, and the ability to recognize the different ways in which students learn. Sponberg also announces the appointment of a committee to investigate the differences in pay, workload, and hiring between men and women at EMU.
  • Bruce Nelson, Address to New Faculty, 1972

    Bruce Nelson joined the faculty of Eastern Michigan University in 1954, gradually working his way to Vice President of Instruction, a position he held until 1975, when he returned to his professorship. Nelson retired from EMU in 1981. In this address, Nelson greets new faculty members with a summary of where EMU has been, and where it hopes to go in the future. Introduced by Dr. Robert Silver, whom Nelson describes as a “gentleman and a scholar,” Nelson explains how the culture of any university is affected by, and representative of, the greater culture surrounding the university. In the greater surrounding culture of the late 1960s and early 1970s, says Nelson, many new and seemingly unfortunate characteristics have become more visible: drug use, violence, racism, and feelings of disillusionment brought on by the ongoing war in Vietnam. These cultural characteristics helped to bring on the late unrest at EMU, and laid the foundations for the recent student demonstrations at the university. However, Nelson argues that these students are only doing what the faculty of the institution have always asked of students: to relate the lessons of the university to the greater world. Instead of holding the university back, Nelson posits that the actions taken by the student demonstrators assisted in the forward movement of EMU.
  • Ralph Gilden, Fall Faculty Luncheon Address, 1974

    Soon after graduating from Eastern Michigan University (then Michigan State Normal College) with honors in 1942 and lettering in track, he joined the faculty as associate professor in industrial education at Roosevelt Laboratory School, with time out to instruct with the United States Army Specialized Training Corps. Spending his entire 44 year career at EMU, he was the man known as “Dean Gilden”, dean of admissions and financial aid. He worked in 16 offices on campus and in many capacities, including associate registrar, director of Admissions, dean of Student Activities, dean of Admissions and Student Activities, dean of Admissions and Financial Aids, interim vice-president for Student Affairs, and he was one of the handful of men in the history of the University to serve as president. He served as interim president in 1974 during the University’s critical search for a new top administrator. In this address to new and old faculty at EMU, Gilden covers the gamut of institutional concerns, from declining enrollment to projected budgetary issues and physical structures. Gilden also stresses the need for transparency in administration, and suggests strategies to keep low-income students in school.
  • James Brickley, Inaugural Address, 1975

    Following the resignation of Eastern Michigan University President Harold Sponberg in 1974, the EMU Board of Regents named James Brickley (November 15, 1928 – September 28, 2001) to the office of president. A former FBI Special Agent and future Michigan Supreme Court Justice, Brickley begins by thanking Michigan Governor WIlliam Milliken for attending the day’s activities. Brickley then emphasizes the conundrum that is balancing increasing global interdependence with counteracting increasing “brain drain” amongst American universities. The greatest problem facing EMU and all universities, says Brickley, is how to adequately adjust the needs and demands of constantly changing social and economic patterns. Brickley discusses his plans to alleviate these issues during his tenure as president.
  • James Brickley, Address to the Fall Faculty Conference, 1976

    Brickley served as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan and as Lieutenant Governor of Michigan from 1971 to 1975 and again from 1979 to 1983 under Governor William Milliken. From 1975 until 1978 he was president of Eastern Michigan University. In this annual address to Eastern Michigan University faculty, Brickley outlines the difficulties facing EMU, naming two major areas of concern: continuing fiscal austerity, and continuing problems in enrollment. Brickley speaks on the causes and effects of the present budget crunch, detailing all programs cut, and the stripping down of several other programs. The ability to “move with the market,” Brickley says, is essential to surviving the fiscal difficulties then facing EMU.
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