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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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