Commencement Season Disconnect
By Mary Theroux • Monday May 16, 2011 6:24 PM PDT •
Like millions of families this month, we attended a commencement ceremony this past weekend, at Mills College, a liberal arts college for women in California. Mills was founded as the Young Ladies’ Seminary, and a few years later was bought by missionaries Cyrus and Susan Mills, who relocated it to Oakland and directed its educational emphasis to the training of young ladies as missionaries. Saturday’s ceremony was notable, therefore, for the complete and total absence of any mention of God.
The gods of today’s “progressive” education were regularly invoked throughout the ceremony, however, including those at the top of the pantheon, “Social Justice” and “Diversity.”
Predictably, the graduate student representative’s presentation culminated by her quoting the high priest of progressivism, FDR.
Immediately following that address, an honorary degree was conferred on a lively lady of 89, whose Japanese ancestry had resulted in her being forcibly removed from Mills in 1943 and interred in a “War Relocation Camp,” together with her family and neighbors, until she was able to later attend college on the East Coast and pursue a career in nursing. The great sorrow of her long life had been having her hope of being—in her words—a “Mills Girl” dashed, and receiving the honorary degree clearly meant a great deal to her.
While she made mention in her talk of her internment and shattered dreams having resulted from “Executive Order 9066,” no one seemed to make the connection between the Executive issuing that order—FDR—with the Great One quoted not five minutes prior.
Which makes Bob Higgs’s recent presentation at Francisco Marroquín University in Guatemala even more refreshing: “Societies flourish when they permit a million flowers to bloom, each in its own time, and its own way.” See video, here. (Bob’s English-language presentation begins at 2:50)