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Andrew HeiskellAndrew Heiskell
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Was Reagan invited to the event?


Yes, Reagan was invited to the event, and everybody assumed that he turned it down because he was not offered an honorary degree. And very few people remembered that we do not offer honorary degrees to U.S. political people while they are still in office, and obviously he was still in office. Whether that had anything to do with his refusing or not, I don't know. I suspect that he knew perfectly well what he was doing: namely, he didn't want to be appearing in an elite university, and that he'd much prefer to appear in Eureka, where he went.

The other main speaker was George Schultz, who was quite good, and then there were a lot of short speeches, and a lot of students made speeches, good ones. The whole thing went off with great cheer and good humor, other than the one incident I described. And I realized afterwards that there was a good reason. When we first discussed it, somebody said: “Why 350th? Why not wait until 400?” And of course, the answer it, if you waited to do it every hundred years, you will have two or three generations of graduates who would never get to an event of this kind.

And it was--this university has a tendency to spin off in all directions, because of the variety of education, and all the graduate schools, and so forth and so on. And this tended to pull it all back together again. It was a whole, instead of being nine schools, or eleven schools, whatever it is that we have.


Did you, as a member of the Corporation, get involved in any of

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