twilight of gods in which the darkness shall fall on the world because universities are no longer needed. The center of gravity of Stanford University, of its student body, and of its influence on civilization, is hundreds of years, thousands of years ahead.
To the students of to-day, the professors of to-day, and the trustees of to-day, the university to-day belongs, but not as a personal possession; only as a sacred trust. It is our first duty to see that its good name and its good work are kept untarnished and unimpaired. It is for the students to see that no custom of idleness or of dissipation, no fashion of cynicism or of disloyalty ever becomes hardened into a tradition at Stanford University. It is for the professors to strengthen them in this decision, and to point out the best that men have ever thought or done, to lead the way to gentle breeding and the enthusiasm of noble thought. Now, as ever, "the university must welcome every ray of varied genius to its hospitable halls," that their combined influences may "set the heart of the youth in flame." It is for the Board of Trustees and for the university executive to act as the balance wheel, guarding jealously the funds of the institution, that the generous present may not starve the future, and to see that no neglect or perversity of student or teacher shall work any permanent harm to the university whole. For the university must ever be infinitely greater than the sum of all its parts. For its largest part is never present for our measurement, and this part we can not measure is the sum of all its future influence.
This university was founded on love in a sense which is true of no other. Its corner-stone was love—love of a boy extended to the love of the children of humanity. It was continued through love—the love of a noble woman for her husband; the faith of both in love's ideals—and as an embodiment of the power of love Stanford University stands to-day.
It is fitting that these statements should not stand as mere words. I wish that in your hearts they may become realities. Not many of you as students have seen Mrs. Stanford. The last of the freshmen classes which she knew shall graduate as seniors a few weeks hence. None of you have known Leland Stanford, broad-minded, stout-hearted, shrewd, kindly, and full of hope, a man of action ripened into a philosopher. Our university has now reached its eighteenth year. During the first two years of its history, it was the hopeful experiment of Leland Stanford. The next six years its story was that of the heart throbs of Jane Lathrop Stanford, and the ten years following, with all their vicissitudes, have been years of calmness and certainty, for the final outcome is no longer open to question.
It is my purpose this evening to tell a little of the story of the six dark years, the years from eighteen ninety-three to eighteen ninety-nine, those days in which the future of a university hung by a single