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Title: Oral History Interview with William C. Friday, December 3, 1990. Interview L-0147. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Friday, William C., interviewee
Interview conducted by Link, William
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 124 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
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2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-10-17, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with William C. Friday, December 3, 1990. Interview L-0147. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0147)
Author: William Link
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with William C. Friday, December 3, 1990. Interview L-0147. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0147)
Author: William C. Friday
Description: 229 Mb
Description: 24 p.
Note: Interview conducted on December 3, 1990, by William Link; recorded in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Karen Brady-Hill.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series L. University of North Carolina, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Interview with William C. Friday, December 3, 1990.
Interview L-0147. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Friday, William C., interviewee

Interview Participants

    WILLIAM C. FRIDAY, interviewee
    WILLIAM LINK, interviewer


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I think the first time that I ever saw a President of the United States, was when my brother David and I went up to a little community in our county called Kings' Mountain. President Herbert Hoover came to dedicate the battlefield out there, which was a site of the famous Revolutionary battle. First Mr. Hoover came down the street there, we sat on the curbing by the old Mauney house. They were a very prominent family in Kings Mountain. And it was a great thrill for two tow-headed youngsters who had never been anywhere before to see the President of the United States.
And I guess the next time that experience happened, when I went my father to Charlotte, when Franklin Roosevelt came to Charlotte to make a historic speech over in the Charlotte Stadium. Then he had come to the city on his special train, and it was quite an occasion. With all the usual secret service, and everything else that goes with it. But to an impressionable fourteen, fifteen year old boy it was quite an excitement. And I was older than that then, and then went on off to war. And I remember so vividly being out playing a softball game, with our men on the base, in the afternoon, when word came that President Roosevelt had died. And an emotional layer fell upon the place in a way that it was so obvious that it struck everybody there. That the experience of—he's gone. This great man who had led us through war, and depression, and had given everybody so much hope, and so much to go by, because if you grew up in the Depression, it's hard to repeat the starkness of that experience, or the harshness of it, or the way it damages people in the sense of not only material things, but will and hope, and any sight of the future. I saw people go hungry. I saw people dispossessed. I saw foreclosure. All of these things made a very vivid and deep impression upon me, which reflected itself in my later years. I was, at that time, working in a textile machine shop, in which my father was a—started out as a bookkeeper. And I got a job there in the summertime, and I was making eighteen cents an hour. And we worked from seven a.m. to five p.m., five days a week. And we worked from seven a.m. to twelve noon on Saturday. And all of that time I spent, I worked for just eighteen cents an hour. That was the average wage earning. Well, Mr. Roosevelt came in. He created the National Recovery Administration. And my basic pay went to thirty-seven and a half cents an hour when that law was passed. And I've been a Democrat ever since. I got my first exposure there to how you use the power of government to create social change. Because that particular county, with over 100 cotton mills in it, had had a disastrous experience. Because the mills closed. The banks went broke. And the domino effect set in. When the larger collapsed, the smaller went with it. And no one—except one man, Mr. Dan Ryan, who ran his own bank in Hickory, had his own self-controlled operation, survived it. But you don't have things like that to happen to you when you're young and not have it burned into your mind, as to the devastation that's around you. It's your reaction to money from then on. It's your reaction to work. It's your reaction to suffering that's around you. And indeed suffering that you experienced for yourself.
When Mr. Truman took office, I never will forget an editorial cartoon that I saw, when it showed the President's chair, and this tiny little figure down on the floor, capturing Harry Truman trying to rise to be big enough to sit where Mr. Roosevelt had sat. The truth of the matter is, Harry Truman proved to be his own man. He was a rather dynamic person who'd come from such a meager background. But my first experience with him had to do with President Gray, who was then here in the University. And he had persuaded Mr. Truman to come and break ground for the new Wake Forest campus in Winston-Salem. So, nothing would do on that faithful day but to get in the car, and everybody went over into Winston-Salem. And I remember we rolled up in front of R. J. Reynolds headquarters building in Winston, and all the streets were cleared. You would have thought some invasion was about to take place, but this was a standard way of providing protection for the President of the United States. So, we then went from there out to the airport, and then over to Reynolda grounds, upon

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which Wake Forest now stands. And President Truman and Mr. Gray, and the President of Wake Forest University, were all out there, and went through this ceremony. And since I was working with Mr. Gray I stood on the sides and watched the show. After Mr. Gray left, I remembered that he had been trying persuade Mr. Truman to come to the University to talk. To give a lecture. And I said, well, all that work that he'd done I didn't see any reason why I shouldn't pursue it. So I made up my mind, and I picked up the phone one morning and I called Independence, Missouri, to get his staff to renew the invitation. And when the call went through I heard the voice on the other end of the line say, "Hello." And I froze on my end of the phone. And I said, "Hello." And the other voice said, "Hello. Hello." And it dawned on me he was answering his own telephone. So I said, "Mr. President." He said, "Good morning. Who is this?" So we started the conversation where we talked about his daughter Margaret, who'd married Cliff Daniels from New Hope, over in Raleigh. Wake County. And we went along, and I invited him to come again. But he never did. We couldn't work it out. So it was a very pleasant experience for me, in that proved what had been written about him. That he could answer his own telephone. He could talk to an average citizen. He could remember things that had been pleasant to him in his administration. And he reminisced about Gordon Gray, at some length, on the phone. But, I've always admired him. But that exchange just made it more so with me then. When Mr. Eisenhower took office, I was then working as the representative of the University. And one of the things you do as president of the University is to represent it at the Association of American Universities, which is, I suppose, the association of the finest institutions in the country. At that time, I think there were about forty out of the 2,000 institutions on the North American continent, that were members of it. One of those happened to be Milton Eisenhower, who was then President of Johns Hopkins University. And I'll come back to the AAU in a minute. But one of the times the AAU met in Washington—and it always alternated: In the spring it would meet in Washington, and in the fall somewhere out in the United States, where it was a more easy access for its members. But Milton Eisenhower arranged for the AAU to go over to the White House to meet with his brother Dwight. And that occasion took place, and each of us was presented one at a time to President Eisenhower. And when it came my time, he said, "Oh, Chapel Hill. Yes." He said, "I have a good friend who lives there." And I said, "Who is that Mr. President?" And he said, "His name is Swede Haisley." Well, Swede Haisley, at that time, was commanding officer of the Naval ROTC program here. So, we did reminisce about Swede Haisley. And then he reminded me, the General did, of his visits to Chapel Hill. And that he'd been here, and he loved the place. And we talked about his great friend George Marshall. And being in Pinehurst. And all that kind of talk that goes on. And then the visit ended. I came back and I got word from Captain Haisley about the conversation and reported to him dutiable. That was about the extent of any contact there. All the time it being the identity of the University, you see, that moved in and out. Well, then, when Mr. Kennedy got into the politics—of national politics, on the way to the Democratic Convention, Governor Sanford called me the night before he left, and we talked about the forthcoming convention. And he talked about John Kennedy, and I urged him to support him for the nomination. It was a very hotly contested thing, as you know. And he went out—it was in California, that particular convention. And he did it publicly, supported Mr. Kennedy. And when that election took place and Kennedy won, that of course was a very important factor. And Louis Harris, who is an alumnus of the University, had done a lot of work for Mr. Kennedy, and had done a lot of work for Governor Sanford, and so the University was rapidly getting into position. A man who did a lot of work in that campaign in this state was Judge H. L. Riddle, Jr., from Morganton. Fondly known as "Chick." He was a member of the Board of Trustees

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of the University, at the time. And Chick wound up as Grand Marshall of the Inaugural Parade for President Kennedy. Well, we were invited to the Inauguration, as guest of Dr. and Mrs. Fred Morrison. And we left here, driving to Washington, on the morning of the day before. When we got anywhere near the District, geography, this snow storm started. And it was one violent snow storm. We got downtown and stored our transportation. Got up with Dr. Fred Morrison. He had hired a limousine and a chauffeur for the next forty-eight hours. And it took us about three hours to get from his office in Washington to his home, which is on the border of the Maryland line out there, northwest Washington. It was so fierce. We then all got dressed in our formal clothes, and we went down to the Armory, where the big celebration was taking place. And Mr. Morrison had bought a box there that night. And we got there and turned around and I was looking somewhere, and the next thing I looked back and there was Fred with Jack Parr, the Tonight Show guy, who had a box next to us, and General Bradley and some other people, carrying on this very animated conversation. And I didn't know what was going to happen for the rest of the night. But it was uncommonly cold. And so harsh. We finally gave up and went back to their home. Got up the next morning, and I've never seen a more brilliantly blue sky and sunrise, and I don't know how many inches of snow that were on the ground. But we put on everything we had that was warm. But Fred, in addition to being the member of the law firm, Gardner, Morrison and Robbins, had also been a very successful man in dealing with stocks, from his own interest. And there was a great struggle going on then between the railroads as to who would merge with whom. As it turned out, Fred had the controlling number of shares of stock to influence that merger. He decided that he wouldn't go to the Inauguration, so his dear wife Emma Neil, Ida, and I got into that car, and we drove to the Capital, and we had very fine seats, because Emma Neil was very active in the National Democratic Party, at the time. But we stood there for that entire ceremony. I've never been so cold in my life, but I realized, and I knew, that I was witnessing something very historic. And it was just that. And then we came on home after a memorable experience.
But that set off a line of events which then culminated in an invitation to John Kennedy to come to Chapel Hill to speak on University Day. I believe it was 1961. He accepted. And this event we decided to hold in Kenan Stadium. It's an experience to go through a visit of the President of the United States, where you are the other end of the decision on it. But the first thing that happens is that the Secret Service descends upon you. And the signal corp and everybody else comes with all their entourage. So I decided that the easiest way to handle them was to put them in a space next door where I could keep in touch. And they wouldn't be doing things that I could handle another way, or a better way. It was there that I learned of the thoroughness of this kind of operation. A man named John Campion, who was head of the delegation of agents, at that time. And he had a map of Kenan Stadium. And a literal map of everything about it. The creeks. The ravines. Trees. Seats. And he had to know every single seat design pattern we intended to follow. And he asked me—well, they got down here two weeks before the President came. You know, they were here all the time. They just took up residence. And every day they'd come in for a briefing, and they'd say what they'd been doing and then ask a lot of questions. And one morning he asked me, "Was there a drainage ditch that ran the length of Kenan Stadium underground?" And I said, "No. I'm sure there was not." The next morning he came in and said, "Oh yes there is. And we crawled through it all night last night. And we've locked it up." The day before the President came, he called me into the office, and had this big wall map. And he said, "I want to show you this." And he had handful of letters that were all death threats to the President. And up there he showed me where they had armed guards, in every square of seating throughout Kenan Stadium, on both sides. Dozens and dozens of people, under arms—you didn't

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know it, but they were. And he said, "I just wanted to show you this, because you'll be up there standing by President Kennedy, and they might miss. And I wanted you to know what we're doing to protect you, too." Well, Campion and I got into a big discussion about what kind of crowd was coming. I said, "We're going to fill it up." He said, "Oh, no. Never draw that many people." So I said, "Alright John, I'll make a wager with you. Before I get up to start the exercise you walk up to the front of the lectern, to check out and say you're ready from the Secret Service point of view. And if there are 30,000 people in here, you do this—thumbs-up. If I loose—thumbs down." Well, he didn't know that I had called every high school around here. Because I wanted the children to have the experience I had sitting on the corner in Kings' Mountain, thirty years earlier with my brother. So, Lose Grove School, all of them on the way in, I called the Superintendent to tell him he'd be coming by at such-and-such a time, have all your children out if you want to bring them. They did. We invited all the faculty here. And everybody in town. And they filled the place up. It was a glorious day of sunshine. I never will forget, the plan was for the car to drive up at the north end of the stadium. And Chancellor Aycock and I were to be there to welcome him. And then we'd walk the length of the field in a faculty procession. Well, the big limousine rolled up, and Governor Sanford got out, and President Kennedy walked up to me and said, "Happy Columbus Day." October 12 was Columbus Day also. And that meant a lot to him, you know. Well, we get up on the platform and that picture you saw down on my wall—on the wall down home where he was talking to me. A lot of people asked, you know, "What did he say to you?" Well, I say, "Well, his first question was, 'Who won the game last Saturday?'" And you can see as he stood there and saw all of those people, and he got such a wonderful response. The sunshine was in his face. He began to let the strain dissipate. And he got up and he made a speech on education, which, when Harvard published his papers, they wrote to ask for permission to reprint, he considered one of his finer statements, and it was. When it was all over, on the platform, with Governor Sanford, and Mr. Aycock, and Governor Hodges, and everybody like that was there, that had any connection. We got ready to walk off the stage, and he got down and turned to the right and went out on a predetermined route. And this little kid was standing over to the side there, and he yelled to the President asking for an autograph. And I was walking with Mr. Kennedy, and he said, "Sure." And he reached in his pocket and didn't have a fountain pen, so I took mine out and handed it to him. And just by sure force of habit, he took it and stuck it back in his pocket. And didn't give it back to me. And there was a lady sitting right up there in the stands who witnessed this. Shows you what people will do. She sat down and wrote a letter to the White House saying that he went off with my fountain pen, and he should send it back to me. All of this is written up in a little box sitting in the den of my house. You can see it when you go in there. And I got the cutest letter from President Kennedy, in which he said, he apologized for absconding with this weapon of intellectual freedom.
But to be sure that there was no breach in the continuity of my performance, here was another fountain pen. And I didn't know this, but our oldest daughter, Fran, at that time, had written to the President as a part of her high school civics class, or history class. Asked for an autograph picture. And when I got home that day here was an envelope from Evelyn Lincoln, Kennedy's very astute secretary, in which she said, "Dear Fran: we don't have the size of picture that you've asked for, but the President hopes that this one will suffice. And cordially"—you know how they were so good at responding to things like that. But then about a day later, after he'd gone back to Washington, I first had a conversation with Scotty Reston who had been there that day. And, you know, his son came to school here at the University. And he said, "I want to tell you something." He said, "We got down to Fort Bragg and all that fire power demonstration that he saw down there." He said, "You could just see it drain out of his face. And he

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was just gung-ho when he got back to Washington. It was the best thing in the world that ever happened to him. Getting away like that." Well, not too many days later I got a call from Evelyn Lincoln. She said, "The President would like to know if you could come to lunch on such-and-such a date." And, as I said, I hesitated the appropriate three seconds and said, "Yes." And I went to the White House, and it was very interesting how they do this. You walk in and you go over to a box and you draw your seating assignment. It's not alphabetical or anything like that. And then he's standing so many paces over, and you go over and visit. He talked with me about his visit to Chapel Hill, and how much he had enjoyed it. And then we went in—and the thing that's so interesting about this experience was that people spend months and months, almost a lifetime, getting two minutes with the President, or a minute and a half. I sat there at lunch for two and a half hours watching this discussion. It was at a time when Mr. Kennedy was under heavy criticism from the Wall Street banking system because they were fearful of his fiscal policys. And they did a very ingenious thing that day. The President sat in the middle. President Johnson across from him. And the Secretary of the Treasury, Douglas Dillon, and McNamara up there, at the other end of the table. And they put guests in each segment, so everybody was listening. They heard all of the conversation that went on. And I, for example, I didn't know that the President smoked at the time. But he had these little Cuban cigars that he smoked two or three of them, during the course of this discussion. It got pretty intense. I knew that Governor Sanford was going to see him when this luncheon broke up. So I waited outside, after we'd been dismissed to see Governor Sanford, to see what he'd say about the President's reaction to this conversation. And also his own visit. And it was interesting to see how he felt. And he really had done something here, that was going to be a real significance. And I think it did work out that way. And then, of course, came that dreadful day of assassination. I was sitting down in the faculty lounge and meeting with a group of other public university presidents. Now we were all so shocked we could hardly talk. Such a stunning thing to happen.
And Mr. Johnson then took over and that began a series of things that—is this too boring?
No. Not at all.
Well, it began really, I think, two days before Christmas. I was in the basement of the president's house in my work clothes, stripping furniture. And as I said the other day, Professor Eric Goldman of Princeton called me, and he said my dear friend Bob Goheen had said to him he ought to call me to see if I could respond to his inquiry; the President needed some ideas. The new President did. And that led to a lot of discussion. But one of the suggestions that I made to him was that Mr. Johnson had a huge gap in his circle of acquaintances. He did not have any connection with young people, to speak of. And he should develop that. Well, Frank Keppel was his Secretary of Education. And through a series of visits to Goldman's office, we worked out a plan where by on a given Saturday, he was to invite 300 young people, each of whom was the President of their student body, of his particular institution. And we had all varieties there. Major universities. Small colleges. Black schools. Girls' colleges. And the idea was that he would greet these young people. And then he'd have members of his cabinet visit with these young people. Tell them what they did. Engage in discussions with them. Dean Rusk came. McNamara. Willard Wurtz. Frank Keppel. A very, very fascinating East Room afternoon. And then we persuaded him that it would be nice to let his girls, who were then the age of these people, to give a little party for all their guests. And they had Stan Getz's band come. And they had a big to-do. And a picnic. And then they danced, and then they all went home. But the idea

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there was to begin to open the door for Lyndon Johnson and millions of young people out in the country, who were later to become very much involved with him in another way. After that, John Gardner entered the scene. I had known him when John was the President of the Carnegie Corporation. We'd became friends at that time. And they invited me as guest of Carnegie to go to Harvard, when I first got in office, to one of their so-called schools for presidents, to learn how to be a president. And Nathan Pusey, who was the new President of Harvard, was in that same group, along with Clifton Hardin, who later became Secretary of Agriculture. He was then President of the University of Nebraska. And some others. Out of these relationships came the implementation of a suggestion that John had in the back of his head, which was to develop in the United States a coterie of young people, who through some prior experience in high levels of government, could in times of national crisis be pulled back in to serve the government in many civilian-type roles. The name of the program was the White House Fellows. John saw to it, I suppose—I don't know how I got on there, but I was on the original Commission, along with David Rockefeller, who was as Chairman. Mrs. Beech, of Beech Aircraft. Emory Kaiser's son. People like this. We had John Oakes, who was then head of the editorial page for the New York Times. And we got into this first competition, which was a very interesting experience. We had tens of thousands of young people apply. But the Commission didn't get into it until the last selection. And we went to (?) House down in Warrenton, Virginia, to choose eight out of the remaining twenty. We literally lived with these young people for two and a half days. It was a very hard thing to do. And we chose people like Tom Johnson, who later became Mr. Johnson's Press Secretary. And is today the head of CNN. Just talked to Tom last week. He came back—he was publisher of the Los Angeles Times. At that time he'd been accepted as a graduate student at School of Journalism in Chapel Hill. That's why I took such an interest in him, because he was from Macon, Georgia. And we had others. But we finished the process. Picked our people. And we drove back to the White House for—to present President Johnson our nominees. Well, we did. And we had an occasion there. And, unhappily, we didn't pick a girl the first time. And the minute we got through with the first designation ceremony there in the White House—it was a very lovely affair, that the President put on—Mrs. Johnson let the Commission know plainly that she expected to see some women in there before too long. [Laughter] So we go back to the process again the next year. And Doris Kearns, who you know as a biographer. Jane Pfifer, who is on the Knight Commission right now, was at that time a very bright girl, later became head of the NBC. They were chosen. And the next classes that followed. And soon after that I dropped out, because I figured it had to rotate. And it was taking a lot of time and I'd been serving as head of the Executive Committee of that Board. But, soon after that John Gardner called me one day and asked me to come to Washington to be the Assistant Secretary for Education. And I turned it down. And that, I guess, among other decisions that I'd have never known whether I was right or wrong. I know I was wrong in that one, because it would have been a great experience for me. And I was caught up in so much pressure here that I didn't feel right about leaving. But you have to break away once in a while. And I should have done it then, to gain the experience there.
In retrospect you would have —
I would have taken it. But that then shifted, and John had headed the first national task force on education. Well, nothing would do but that I had to head the next one, which was in Mr. Johnson's time. That task force had some very interesting people with Harold Howe, Doc Howe; Lee Debridge, who headed Cal Tech; Alex Heard, who was then at Vanderbilt; one of the Ford Foundation, David Bell, from the Ford Foundation; the head of public education

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in Texas. Just some wonderful people. And we spent nine months working on that commission. And had a very good report Joe Califano was at that time Mr. Johnson's assistant. And we'd been working and talking with each other as this Commission went along. One Saturday toward the end of the month, Joe called me early Saturday morning and said he said, "He wants to see you all and see what you've got to say." This was when we were deep into the Vietnam crisis. Well, we got together quickly and divided up who would respond to what questions among ourselves. And we were marched from Executive Wing over to the Cabinet Room, and we all got in there, as you always do, and I took the chair to his right, because I happened to be the Chairman. Mr. Johnson came in, I really didn't remember how huge he was. He was a great tall fellow. He got in that big chair, and he sort of slid down in it—this was a Saturday, you know, and turned to me and said, "Well, what do you got to say?" That's almost a literally recalling. Well, I said, "Mr. President, we have several things we'd like to say." So, I said, "Dr. Debridge will be first." Well, he got his five minutes in, or whatever. And I was just about ready to go to the second one and he said, "That's interesting, but I want to talk with you all a little bit." For the next fifty minutes we heard a singular discourse on Vietnam. He was so consumed by it that he just couldn't listen to what we had to say. We were excused, and a year's work ended right there.
That was it?
That report never saw the light of day. Until the opening of the Johnson Library, all those years later. And I was sitting here one afternoon, when the reporter from Newsweek, or some other publication, called and said, "Are you familiar with this Task Force you headed back then?" In 1966—I said, "What thing was it? —I wrote it down—'67?" I said, "I remember turning it in, but that's too long ago." And he said, "Well, here's what you have to say, would you still say it today?" And I said, "I certainly would." And then he read the next one, "Under no circumstances." I said, "That's the way those things change." But that closed that chapter, but it didn't close the involvement with anything.
What were some of the specific recommendations you had in mind?
Well, we talked very strongly about federal aid. And a different type of aid program. We talked about urban city school programs, and this so-called cluster schools like Pittsburgh had. We had a fellow there who was Superintendent of Schools in Pittsburgh. A very able man. We had a lot to say about the beginning of the Hispanic problem. But there was no way we could get a word in there. And I think our proposals cost too much, too. They didn't want to fool with us because we were an expensive item. But, first Gardner, then mine, and that ended it. There's a whole book out on the use of task forces in the Johnson years. And I was just reading his treatment of ours the other day. Well, soon after this, I don't know how soon, came a call one day. The President wanted to set up what is now called the Urban Institute. A mechanism to deal with major problems with the big cities, and I was asked to serve on it. William Gorrell, was appointed head of it; I expect that Bill still is, after all these years. I felt very much out of place there, because I was not a person who had depth of knowledge about city and regional developments and all. I thought it was more of a political appointment than anything. And I resigned within a very short period of time. But I met a very interesting man there: Stanley Marcus, of Nieman-Marcus, of Dallas, Texas. And he and I got into many conversations about cities and state government activities, and he was also a great friend of Kay Kiser's because Georgia Kyser later became John Robert

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Tyler's most famous model. Was first the model for Nieman-Marcus. And he kept telling me how he discovered her. But what he didn't know was that Mrs. Kiser was my next door neighbor. And my wife's best friend. And, of course, I would tell her all the stories that Stanley Marcus told me. It was a lot of fun laughing about it. You had the feeling, when you dealt with President Johnson, that here was a man who really did have a grasp of how to deal with the internal problems in America. At least he had a perception. But he was out of bounds, as anybody could be, when it came to foreign relations. He didn't know how to cope with all of that. It was something that came upon him that he didn't start. And a very dramatic little story: I was up at the Carolina Inn one afternoon. Governor Sanford had asked me to come and meet him there, and he told me the story of having just left the White House, where the President had asked him to chair his next run for the campaign to be reelected. The very next night Mr. Johnson made his statement of withdrawal. It happened just that suddenly. And I've never spoken with Governor Sanford about that since, because I didn't know whether the President ever called him and told him, or whatever. But there was—when Mr. Johnson just understood there was no way he could be reelected. It just overwhelmed him. I think then he just passed into history. I thought it rather interesting that the person who wrote the biography, soon after that, about him, after his death was the same Doris Kearn who was in the White House Fellows Program. She was on the Pedeanales, on the Ranch when he died. Richard Nixon came through here when he was campaigning. He visited the School of Business Administration. And I went over there and met with him. Listened to the presentations with him. But that was the end of it. We were just a piece of the tour, so to speak.
And it was not until one time the Association of American Universities was meeting in Washington, and there was a good deal of discussion about graduate education and the financing of graduate schools. And Pat Moynihan, at that time, was in the White House. And Nathan Pusey was serving his year as President of the AAU, and he had contact with Moynihan all the time. And so it just got that—Moynihan came and spoke to our group, and the conversation got to the point that Moynihan thought that because there was such strong feeling, a group of representatives should go meet with the President and let them say it to him directly. Well I was the Vice-Chairman of the group along about then, so, four or five of us went over, and we had a visit. And made our case and went back to the meeting, and thought nothing of it. Then came Kent State. And very soon, eight of us who had been—some of us who had been there in that other meeting, I was called, and they said, "Can you be up here tomorrow afternoon at such-and-such a time?" And I said, "Sure, I'll be there." And all of us who'd been invited met at the Hay—Adams House to decide, you know, what would we say to the President about student demonstrations. This was—it had reached that level. It had gotten so intense all over the country. And Nathan Pusey was still the spokesman. So we rehearsed and worked out what we thought was a strategy. We go in and we sit down, and he asked us, Nixon did, "Here's the problem, what are your suggestions?" Well, the conversation went back and forth, and back and forth. And this was early on in Mr. Nixon's administration, and I'm sitting down at the end of the table this time, because I'd been in there before, and I figured that the best way to watch how the President conducts something, is get where you can look at him straight on. So, I went down to the end of the table this time. And there was a vacant chair beside me. It was about two-thirds of the way through his conversation this individual came in and sat down beside me, and he leaned over and said, "What do you think we should do?" And I said, "Well, I think you've got to invite somebody to come up here, who can become the listening post for you." I said, "You don't have anybody in this administration who has contact with the academic community. Nobody to whom anybody can call or just register a complaint, or—you've got to find a place to let off steam. And you've got to create an office, and keep it up here, at the Office of the

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President. So that they'll know who they're talking to." And I said, "You know, there's an enormous value to be gained when that kind of relationship can be worked out." And he said, "Who should that be?" And I said, "He's sitting right over there." And he said, "What do you mean?" And I said, "That's Alexander Heard over there. And he used to be Dean of our Graduate School. He's now Chancellor at Vanderbilt. You tell the President to ask him to come and do that." That person was Henry Kissinger. He had just started to work. Well, we recessed. And the conversation between Pusey and some of those people. Pusey called me aside and said, "They want you to come up here." I said, "No. I can't do that." Well, Alex came. He opened his office and served an enormously useful purpose. And I think he got then President Jim Cheek, who later became head of Howard University, to come and represent the predominantly black students. And I once asked Alex after it was all over, I said, "Tell me about your experience." And he said, "Well, it was fascinating and interesting." But, he said, "You know I left after a year. I closed the office, and to this day I have not had anybody to tell me 'Thank you' for what happened." Which I thought was a very strange way, you know, for something to happen. Well, the Kennedys, to the Johnson, Nixon—those were years of rather intense involvement on my part. And, oh, that spread out into some other things which I'll come to in a minute.
But, then following this succession, Gerald Ford, who had been here to Chapel Hill, in the pre-flight program—I did not know this. But we were quickly advised of it. And then he came to N.C. Central, for an anniversary celebration, and Chancellor Albert Whiting asked me to come over and participate with him, and they conferred an honorary degree upon the President, at that time. So, I went over and we had a reminiscence about Chapel Hill, and that was about it. We didn't have any contact with him, to speak about.


...succeeded in getting the nomination. We used to have—we did have here in the University at Chapel Hill, a student, a Miss Wells, whose dad was president of a small college in Georgia. But she had since married a Branscomb, who was the head of a research for IBM. She had proposed to Mr. Carter's people that I be invited to be his chairperson on his Task Force on Education. I agreed to do it. We put together a good group. Did a lot of work on position papers, and turned them all in dutifully, as we were asked to do, to his people in Atlanta. And once he had got the nomination and had been elected, he set in process a series of meetings. And I was called and asked to meet with Stu Eisenstadt, who is an alumnus of this institution, in Atlanta, along with other people who'd been assembled, to make the trip to Plains, Georgia, which we did. And go down and there in rotation, each one of us presented some ideas about a whole variety of subjects. Spent the whole day down there. In his mother's place, out in a little pond. We came back to town we went over to Billy's place and bought a bag of peanuts, and went back to Atlanta. Soon after that I got a call from Stuart Eisenstadt one day, and he said that the President didn't think that the Secretary of HEW should either be anybody from education, or medicine, or welfare. It should be an independent person. I said, "Well, are you asking me if I'm interested in being the Secretary?" I said, "Stu, you don't—I'll be glad to talk with you." I said, "I am not in the —" I said, "Let me give you a suggestion." And I was the one who suggested Joe Califano to him. Now I had dealt with David Matthews and Casper Weinberger, and Elliot Richardson, when they were in that job, all during that long, long protracted HEW controversy. But, I think there's a classic irony here when I was the one who put him in the minds of people, and he turns

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out to be as adversarial with me in the end, having worked together as much as we did in the Johnson Administration. But that's getting beyond it. But the inauguration came and the Task Force report was turned in, and I got a call from Stuart one afternoon, saying the President wanted to meet with a group of college presidents—would I put the group together and bring them to the White House, and give him a chance to listen a little while? And I did. And I got Kingman Brewster to come from Yale. Bob Fleming from the University of Michigan. Oh, Barbara Newell, Norman Francis from Xavier, a whole group. And Dave Saxon was President of the University of California, and so on. And we met together and rehearsed our presentation. And we all marched into the Cabinet Room, and a great little scene took place there. He turned to me and he said, "Alright." So we started going around the room and we had two or three statements, and I said, "Now, Mr. President, David Saxon, we've asked him to talk with you about graduate education." Mr. Carter said, "Just a minute." He said, "When I was Governor of Georgia, I used to sit on platforms at commencement, and I thumbed through the program. And I would read those dissertation topics." And said, "I never understood them, most of them, let alone knowing any of their value," or the words to this effect. Well, I could tell that President Saxon—this was an unusual experience for him, to say the least, to have the President of the United States, in effect say, "I don't know whether all of this is worthwhile or not." Well, it was a little flustering. So, Kingman Brewster looked at me, and I looked at Kingman, and I nodded my head to Kingman, and jumped into the conversation. And among Brewster, Saxon, and Friday, we finally got through it. And then went on and finished the discussion. When we were excused from the Cabinet Room, Joe Califano came running over there to me, and said, "Look here, we can't leave this where it is." He said, "You've got to get graduate education positioned the way it ought to be." And nothing would do, but Joe just insisted that we all go down to his office and try to put together a letter in text form, to go back to the President, which would say, "Here's some more information. We want to get this case firmly stated." That letter was developed and we sent it back in a week or ten days later. Some time after that, Kingman Brewster, after he'd been appointed to the Court of St. James, told me that he'd never met President Carter before that day. And he was certain that that exchange and that scene there was the prelude to his appointment later on. And he was just, in a way, saying that he was just so pleased that he'd been invited to be there. But all through this, of course, the smoking controversy was beginning to heat up. And I was down on the Outer Banks, and I had a terrible toothache. It was an abscessed jaw tooth, and I'd been to the dentist down there and was waiting until I could get back to Chapel Hill to the dental clinic. And I was—they'd been giving me something for the pain of it, and the telephone rang, and I answered it, and they said, "This is President Carter calling you." And I said, "Well, I'm here. And I'm ready." And he got on the phone, and I said, "Good morning, Mr. President." Well, it was two o'clock in the afternoon. And he said, "Well, if you can pull that off, you're a better man than I know around here." And I said, "Well, Mr. President, you'll have to excuse me. I've got a terrible toothache." And he said, "Well, I'm calling because I'm going to be in some community of the Eastern part of the State." And he wanted to know what reaction he was going to get over the tobacco controversy. I said, "I don't think—you're the President of the United States. People are not going to be disrespectful. They might say things, but not in my experience in North Carolina, that won't happen." And he sort of let that end there with a pleasant little visit, and the conversation closed. But, then a little bit later, I got a call from Mrs. Carter inviting me to come and help her redo the Library of the White House. I didn't know what she meant, really, but I didn't know that they had any kind of formal library. But, nonetheless, I went up there, and we met in what I guess is called the Roosevelt Room. And I walked around looking at

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the shelves, to see what books were there. And I saw volumes that had been in there for, I'm sure, twenty-five years that nobody ever touched. The Annals of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery of the United States Navy, and things like that. So, we got a group together—book publishers, press association people—and we completely redid it. And worked out a system whereby other people who published books would make available to the White House current volumes that could go from there on over to the Library of Congress. However that move required. And she took us upstairs to see the library up there, and they did have the most current books there. And, of course, the publishers were very generous. They were very—they saw to it that this was done. But I kept looking around trying to find anything in there from the University of North Carolina Press. So, later on Hugh Holman presented to the White House a set of the famous John White drawings, and when I was up there recently I excused myself, and went down to the library. I wanted to be sure they were still there. And there they were. And very pleased to see that. But, after we got so involved in the HEW thing, my involvement with the Carter program began to fade away. Because I was looked upon as adversarial, and Joe wrote about this in his book, which I thought was not an accurate statement, and told him so, later on when he called me one day. But from then, you know, I met Mr. Reagan and visited with him when he was at the Reynolds Coliseum but his attitude about the utilization of the university community for the benefit of the nation in ways that were exceedingly important in national defense and research. He just was such a complete reversal from the way Kennedy, and Johnson, and Nixon, and all these other presidents had used the university structure to great advantage. Mr. Reagan—I guess his experience with the University of California, was still—when he was Governor—was still in his mind to the degree that it was something that he couldn't—just didn't want to have anything to do with. And he didn't. And of course the advent of William Bennett closed those open-ended discussions quickly. And that was a great disappointment, because I knew Bill Bennett well when he was head of the National Humanities Center, and I really—I saw none of that in him, at the time. And I guess hindsight says that Bill's had a consuming ambition, I guess, to be president someday himself. And everything he's done since then has had a political coloration to it, which I regret to see. With Mr. Bush, two things: In 19—I've got the date down here—in 1986, President Robert Atwell, who was Head of the American Council on Education asked me if I would chair a national commission on higher education. That is, National Challenges for Higher Education for the United States. And this, again, was a very strong group of people, with people like Derek Bok at Harvard— [unclear] oh, a great cross section of college presidents from all over the United States. We did—we finished our work. And in 1988, Mr. Bush invited Atwell and myself, and the President of the University of Maryland to come and—I presented the report of that, of the Commission to him. Had a very nice conversation with him for about an hour. About these priorities. Soon after that, Benno Schmidt, who's now president of Yale, had worked it so that he wanted to bring a group of eight presidents to meet with Mr. Bush and talk about the same thing. And these were people like President Cunningham of Texas. And Alexander of Tennessee. And I was not there representing any institution. I was just from the commission. But then he had Mr. Cavazos there. And he had Dan Quayle there, Sununu, Governor Sununu, and the others. That discussion was more less a recapping of the priority system, and the restatement of his desire to be known as the education president, but there were no commitments about money whatsoever, at any time. Well, that enthusiasm at that point, was the high point. He gets a healthy B+ on rhetoric, as fortunes here rated him, a D- on performance, when it comes to education president. And that's regrettable, because he is a smart person. He believes in what colleges and universities and schools should do. But somehow he can't

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bring himself, apparently, to put it in a priority statement. I've had, quite the contrary relationship with Mrs. Bush. She has gotten awfully interested in literacy. Particularly family literacy. And the executive we have heading our program has met with her on numerous times. And her name is Sharon Darling. And she's now a member of the foundation that Mrs. Bush created to deal with literacy. And that led to Mrs. Bush coming here to the Kenan Center and spending the day. And she toured one of our centers in Henderson. And came back here and met with the members of our board and talked with us at length about what she was doing. And it didn't end there. She had gone back, and we'd been working back and forth, and was keeping her informed. And then she called a major conference at the White House, and foundations and people who were interested in literacy, and I went to represent us. And it was very interesting to see how the Kenan Family Literacy Project has moved to the very top of those considered as an exemplary in this field. Let's stop a minute. My throats - [Recorder is turned off and then back on.]
I guess probably the most extensive, outside activity, consistently demanding, that I ever engaged in was the work of the Carnegie Commission on Education in the country. That ran from 1967 to 1973. It was a group of—one the most wonderful groups I've ever been associated with. It was presided over by Clark Kerr. And it had people like David Riesman at Harvard. Father Hesburgh of Notre Dame. Carl Kaysen, the great mathematician from MIT. Governor William Scranton from Pennsylvania, who ought to have been President of the United States. A very able man. Norton Simon, the great art patron from California. The dear, lovable Catherine McBride. She was head of Sweet Briar. Nathan Pusey. Patricia Harris, who in her own way became Secretary of HEW, a little later on. Carl—well, I mentioned Kaysen. This group produced thirty volumes of work, and we spent quite a few millions of dollars, trying to take a—and did take—the most thorough assessment ever made of American higher education. And I think provided some enormous guideposts for policies. One of the first recommendations in the field of health, was in a meeting on the campus of Spelman College in Atlanta. After a long legal discussion with Professor Rashesh fine, who was then at Harvard—he had been here before. He's a medical economist. We decided to get behind and did advocate the Area Health Education Center idea, which was the way to get health care to the far reaches of a given state, since they couldn't afford doctors, and doctors couldn't afford the sparse practice. Happily, North Carolina was the first major state to adopt the idea. We now have nine such centers. They've spent well over 100 million dollars a year delivering adequate health care to thousands and thousands of people. I used that example of the range of the Carnegie Commission to show how extensive its work was. Just from local interests' point of view, a very historic meeting took place in the faculty lounge at the Morehead Building, because in a session there—out of that session, came the recommendations that led to the Pell Program of scholarship assistance in the United States—the need-based scholar funding program. The Commission made that recommendation to be moved into the Congress, out of the work. There were dozens, and dozens, and dozens more, but I don't know of anything on the scene today that will equal the scope and intensity of work that went on there to try to help the academic community. It was enormous. Another effort was financed by the Sloan Foundation, which has been a good—it was single—more singularly dealt with the universities of the United States. It was headed by a man named Louis Cabot, who at that time was head of First Boston Corporation. And he was a Cabot of New England. This Commission had people like Secretary Tom Gates, Secretary of Defense. He used to be head of one of the great corporations of the country. Ed Carter, of Carter-Hall stores. Carla Hills, whose now Mr. Bush's representative. Sam Proctor, who was then—he had been head of A&T College, and he was then the head pastor of the

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Abyssian Church; he followed Adam Clayton Powell in that pulpit. And then went to Rutgers University as a professor. Leon Higginbotham, a great federal judge. And Dan Yankolovich pollster. James Kagan, who was head of MIT. This was the type of person. That particular program, the effort of that foundation had a lot to say about structure, in relationship of the federal government in several states. And it was a very interesting piece of work, but a very directed and singular approach, aiming at just that kind of—that series of questions. Let's see, the Sloan Commission—the Markel Foundation. I was on that board for several years. This was a group that interviewed bright, young medical faculty. And in those days, this was in the sixties and seventies, if you were chosen, you received grants totaling over thirty thousand dollars to conduct—for your own research. And the process would bring twelve young medical men to a given location, and out of that you'd pick six that got this kind of funding. These were two-day retreats at places like the Williamsburg Inn, or Broadmore in Colorado Springs. Just another intensive kind of screening experience, that turned out to be quite educational to you, as well as the people who were getting the grants. And while these things were going on, I was busy in the work of the American Council on Education, and served my term as its chairman of the board under President Logan Wilson. Logan Wilson was at one time chief academic officer at the University at Chapel—of here. Went from here went to be president of the University of Texas, and from there to be president of the American Council. He was a Ph.D. out of Harvard. A sociologist. A man of real stature. He died last week at eighty-two, or three years of age. But, I got into that role-playing early on. And moved in and out of the American Council before the tough years came on. But then I served my term as the president of the Association of American Universities. And then that experience—we brought to Chapel Hill, through an exchange program, the vice chancellors of all the major universities in the Commonwealth of Nation's of Great Britain. And we had them here from Capetown, [unclear] Two from Australia. All the Canadian institutions. They came and spent virtually a week with us. Just the AAU fifty would meet with their group. And we just had a glorious time visiting, that way. And it worked out quite well. But, the Association of American Universities, in its own way, was a spokesman for all higher education in the country like nobody else could really do, because you had all of the very top institutions there. Because N.C. State was in the structure of the university, I kept up with the National Association of Land Grant Colleges and Universities. But I didn't attend those meetings, because John Caldwell and the—Chancellor Caldwell, and his successors, all did, and it was just more than any human being could do. But I kept in touch through their executives and primarily, in the beginning, through a wonderful man named Russell Facklick who ran that association and was a formidable force in legislative developments in higher education in this country for years. It was through Russ and a young man he brought to work there named Allen Oster, a spinoff group created the National Association of State Universities, which is now larger than the Land Grant Association. And Oster was its first and their only president, up to now. I think he's stepping out right now, but it was a spinoff out of that structural group. And then—so the Association of American Universities, the American Council, the Land Grant Association, and then the State Universities group, you see, that you stayed awfully busy. In and around this were assignments such as being the Chairman of the Advisory Panel to the Secretary of the Air Force on ROTC developments. The same role, being a member of the advisory panel on ROTC Affairs for the Secretary of the Army, Secretary Brucker, at the time, who was a former Senator from Ohio. But these are things that you do because of these various association memberships, and you just do them. You don't spend a lot of time arguing about it. It usually takes a day a year.

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I was also a member of the Board of Trustees at Howard University for a period of five years, at the request of James Cheek. And I found this a very interesting experience, because Howard University is primarily a federally funded institution. It's a very large institution, I guess, among the predominantly black schools, it would have to rated among the best. It was very instructive to me to be on that side, for a while, having been where I had been playing the role here, being with the five historical black schools, with a very different context, though. And I found that trusteeship a very rewarding one. Governor Sanford was also a member, but his duties didn't let him attend very often. But I—when I got to where I couldn't make the schedule, I asked to be relieved, because it was just more than I could continue to do. But it's a grand institution that I hope someday will get the kind of support base that it ought to have to do the job it's there to do. So many dozens of young people from all over the world come to school there, particularly the countries of South Africa, and other third world countries. And they do a good job of getting them involved in the American culture, in a way that's important. Now, one of the things you wind up with after you've been around this business any length of time, you get asked to either to testify a lot, or consult a lot, or speak a lot, and I decided the third one, I wasn't that good at any way. It takes a lot of work. So I concentrated on the first two. And these last five or ten years—and this is all by happenstance—I can honestly say I didn't set out to be a consultant for anybody. I don't really like it. Because I think it's a dangerous thing to do. But I have personally met with the boards of trustees of the University of Michigan; Ohio State; Maryland—the University of Maryland; the University of Florida; the University of Iowa; the University of Nebraska. The heads of the University of Tennessee and Alabama. This process was varied a good deal, when we came to the State University of New York, because the-then president Clifton Wharton, wanted to have a thoroughgoing study made of that institution. It had sixty-some campuses, and it was so choked to death by legislative regulatory entanglements. And this was a very interesting group, too, because it had a—its chairman was a Mr. Blakenwood, who was a New York stock broker. But if it hadn't been people like Mike Blumenthal, who headed one of the biggest industries of the country, and was Secretary of Treasury, at one time. And a former Governor of the state, a man named Wilson. And it was just a lot of fun. Chaired by the-then chairman of the board of Time Magazine, Davidson. And we had several meetings. In fact, four or five—we finally jelled on a series of recommendations, and Mr. Davidson asked me to go with him with another member of the Commission, who was an Italian, who was then New York State's, I believe, housing chief, Mario was his name. We all went up to give our report to Governor Cuomo. And we flew up in this Time helicopter and walked into the Governor's office, and there was one of his aides—was a Chapel Hill alumnus. And we walked in, and we said to the Governor right off, "We're not here to ask for anymore money." Well, that took the tension out of the thing right off. And he wanted to talk then. We stayed for well over an hour. Talked about to let the University be free of that kind of process, and let it spend its money, as it had programs to spend its money. Then it would show some real results. And the last piece of that package was legislated a year ago. Wharton—Cliff Wharton, has since left there to become head of the Teacher's Insurance and Annuity Company. But he tells me that all of those things have been implemented. And it was a very interesting experience to have. But, as you can see, with all these institutions and doing things like that, it takes you away. And when you're trying to move in and out of the political scene, you're trying to deal with the educational aid structure, you know, on top of everything else you're supposed to be looking at, you finally reach a fundamental conclusion, that is, you have to put a priority label on use of your time. Because they'll take every second of it, if you'll give it to

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them. And in and around all of this, too, are such things—I made some notes here: The Southern Regional Education Board. Now here is an organization that a Chapel Hill alumnus created. It was an answer thirty-some years ago to the absolute need of access to established standards of academic programs, where states couldn't afford to duplicate them. Veterinary schools. Schools of public health. Schools of law. Now, lots of people said, "Alright, this is the way your going to deal with the integration issue." Well, that issue just really didn't come up, because you can't build schools of public health in every state. They're so expensive. And the same thing was true in medicine. So, these, what they call interregional agreements, were worked out. That board was a creature of governors. A governor is always the chairman. But the vice-chairman is always an academic person. Well, I twice served as vice-chairman of that group, and that was because the University of North Carolina was so much a provider, rather than a takee—if I may put it that way. But that was good, because we'd had the established confidence, and the people were here to utilize it. We ought to make it available. And the first chairman of that was John Ivey, then Robert Anderson, and then Winfred Godwin. All three of them graduates of Chapel Hill. And I took a lot of pride in that, because I felt like we were making a regionwide impact in some fourteen states. And our people here in the different schools, and departments, really did have a major impact on what happened in their particular areas of operation, all over the South. It was a very important thing. Now that was followed by the Southern Growth Policies Board, which Governor Sanford helped suggest to create, which is more of the policy-determining group. And it was out of that group that came the Southern Regional Literacy Commission, that's just turned it its report a few months ago, which I chaired at the request of Governor Roemer, of Louisiana, who was then the chairman of the Growth Policies Board. To take a look at what needed to be done all over the South, in dealing with this literacy problem, of some twelve million people, in these fourteen states who literally cannot communicate adequately enough to survive in the economic warfare that's going on out there. And it's a deadly serious problem that I don't know how anybody is going to resolve. But we've taken some giant steps. We've called for the establishment of a literary forum here in the Triangle, and Governor Jim Martin will succeed Governor Roemer, so he's got it right close at hand. And once again North Carolina might be able to demonstrate through the Kenan literacy example and other things, that here are ways others can choose, adapted to your own situation. But the idea is here for you to utilize it, if you want to do it. Now there have been other things of one week or two weeks, dozens of those are not worthy of your record, but, major things like the Southern Regional Education Board, and the Southern Growth Policies Board, were my way of continuing the tradition that Frank Graham set, when he was a member of the board of TVA, and the other people. See, those went their way into the history. These were the next generation of organized efforts to deal with the great social question in the southern region. So I was trying to continue the role that President of the University of North Carolina had historically played for more than a half a century. And I think we kept the light shining where they could see it. And it really worked out. Now, in and around those things were such things as: Testifying before then Congressman Paul Simon's committee on the education in the House. And he and I carried that relationship on since he's become United States Senator. And we've done a lot of work together. The Aspen Institute spun out of this. And I've been to Aspen three times as an involved participant in dealing with that. The—let's see, the Coca-Cola Scholars Program which began two years ago. It's there because Mebane Pritchett, who had headed the Morehead Foundation program for so many years, and so well, was enticed away from Chapel Hill, by the Coca-Cola interests. He's now dealing with a program there that reaches every state in the union, and makes grants of five thousand dollars per year value to this wonderful group of

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young people. He asked that I help him put it together. And I served as the chairman of the selection process. This will be the third and last year. I was with Fred Morrison once when he introduced me to his great and good friend James Johnston, who was then the partner to Johnston and Lemmon Company in Washington, which was a great stock brokerage firm. Jim Johnston didn't have any heirs. He wanted to do something for the University. He'd come here for two years of his education. And Mrs. George Carrington, who's a Scott—was Senator Ralph Scott's sister and Bob Scott's aunt. They were kin to the Johnstons, so she peppered him with letters about making available some of his great wealth and set up some scholarships at the School of Nursing at Chapel Hill. He got interested in this, and I met with him several times. He created a trust, and out of that trust grew the James M. Johnston Scholars Program at UNCG, N.C. State, and Chapel Hill. And this trust, last year, put one million dollars into these scholarship programs at these three institutions. It's the largest financed, undergraduate scholarship program anywhere in the University. Bigger than any of them. In dollar value. It all grew from this humble man who was buried out here at the New Hope Presbyterian Church, who grew to great wealth and influence in the nation's capital. He made his money in the stock brokerage world, but he was also a great civic person. He owned the Washington Senator's baseball team, at one time. I used to go up there with him; he'd take me to the games. We'd sit and watch the Senators play. They weren't scaring anybody to death, in those days. [Laughter] But, this leads inevitably in a conversation like this to having to say several things about individuals. Fred Morrison will never have a book written about himself. He ought to be, but he won't. But he, early on, became the law partner of Governor O. Max Gardner, when they went to Washington, after Governor Gardner's term here in North Carolina. Fred Morrison was one of the guiding spirits in all that went on to get the Ackland Museum for the University here. He had a lot to do with the emergence of public television in North Carolina. He was working on the Washington side of the thing. He was a great friend and close confidante of Frank Graham for many years. Governor Hodges took him with him when he went to visit the Pope in Rome on one of his junkets when he was Secretary of Commerce. He, being that close to Secretary Hodges. He grew up in Rowan County. Had the role—he was principal at Chapel Hill schools, then decided to become a lawyer. But while he was here, he was football coach in high school. He won a state championship, which he thought was probably the greatest thing he ever did in life, I think. But Fred was a man of that old tradition—that wonderful tradition—who believed so much in the value of education. And he never let anything interfere with doing what he could do, to make it become about. And he was always available to you—day, night, whatever—when you needed anything in Washington. He never wanted any credit. Never took any credit. But he deserved credit, for thousands of things that he did. He and his wife, Emma Neil, who's equally that kind of dedicated woman, created a scholarship program at UNCG. They have one here at Chapel Hill. They've given hundreds of thousands of dollars to put stability into the Roanoke Island Historical Association. The Lost Colony drama. And they've given—they've built dormitories there for the actresses. They've bought land to protect the area. They've financed all kinds of projects that people never hear about. But Fred, he created the Morrison Series in Southern Politics, which now finances publications in the University Press. The Morrison Series—that was his gift to the University Press. And so when you do all of these things in and around Washington, you have to have an anchor. And Fred Morrison was that anchor. His law firm had a suite of rooms in the Mayflower Hotel, and Fred just gave me the key and said, "Anytime, you just bring your people here and do your work here." In another way, in an equal significance, you have to say words about Bill Cochran. Bill Cochran went to Washington with W. Kerr Scott, as his

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administrative assistant. He stayed on with B. Everett Jordan, when he became Senator. Bill is referred to very often these days, as North Carolina's third senator, because when Mr. Jordan was head of the Rules Committee of the Senate, Bill was the man who really ran the operation. So he did everything from assign senators to their office space, to hiring all the personnel to Congress. And I've walked the corridors of the Senate Office Building with him and actually had everybody from the elevator boys to the people whose operating the railroad, all stopping and talking with him to visit. But, Bill is probably the most essential representative that North Carolina has had in the Congress, to my knowledge. Just by the sheer force of his contacts, all over—he's just a person of just enormous energy. And there isn't a week that doesn't go by that I don't call him about something. And he does little things like helping people with passports, or helping deal with some federal agency. And then he does the big things that really are significantly like the Library of Congress work. Because he was a great friend of Daniel Bopstin. And so on. An invaluable servant of the University, without a doubt. And then no man ever could be in this job and not find out that very quickly. He has actually drafted legislation. He's gotten things in the Congressional Record that were important to get there. In a month or two, services like that that he's brought. People like Fred Morrison and William Cochran are the reasons the University had such a strong identity, where it makes a difference to have an identity. Along with these things I served as a trustee to the Shakespeare-Folger Library in Washington, for a while. This was, I'm sure, because at that time, the then-director was O. B. Hardison, who had left Chapel Hill where he was Kenan Professor of English to become head of the library. This was a very interesting experience because Dr. Hardison was the kind of man who tried to make the library come alive to children. They had little plays and visitations, but—and it's really an inspiring experience to walk into a place and see the original folio. To see the original works. But, there again, I served the nominal period of time and asked to be relieved, because I felt I'd made my contribution there. The fascinating way to tie the university in with a great international academic center. Well, I'll just stop there. What time is it?
I had a few questions, and I'd like more opportunities for you to elaborate. Between Kennedy and Carter, particularly, I gather, you had rather close contact and increased—Johnson, Nixon, Carter, and those particularly with whom you were vitally involved in central educational decisions. I'm wondering how you would compare the presidencies of those people, in terms of your own relationships with them.
I don't claim to have been that close with them. When you dealt with presidents, you had to deal with the people around them. They make them.


....was a man—his presence was commanding. He wanted everybody to know that he was in charge, he was running it. But that didn't mean that he dealt with it. He would move in in center stage. He was the kind of fellow that would pull you right up to you. Big, strong, and had a hand that would just swallow your's up, and he'd pull you up close. Sometimes you felt like his mind was somewhere else, when he was talking with you about your subject. But, very much a product of the congressional system of development. Mr. Carter was quite the other way. Very bright. A product of gubernatorial training. Much more attentive to individuals, rather than the system. He's a man that didn't have the feeling—you didn't feel as warm when you were

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talking with him, as you did with Johnson. Not that that meant anything, but it was just a different personality type. You had the feeling that he could be very severe, if he had to be. His eyes, at times, you could see a fixed stare in them. He had a great team of people. Eisenstadt was a first-rate domestic chief. What you learn about all these men, though, is that they soon drift away from immediate sense of commitment to domestic things. They want to deal with foreign policy. They want to deal with the world. And I think each personal history shows you that. Mr. Nixon was so much that way, that he really, I think, had any time for domestic affairs. Mr. Johnson was exactly the opposite. It was a thing that—the Vietnam War did him in, as he said it. Gerald Ford wasn't in there long enough to go either way. But Jimmy Carter, through his work with Israel and Egypt, and their two premiers, Sadat and Begin, he became an international figure by it. And it's so interesting to note how Mr. Carter has emerged in the last ten years. Such a distinguished figure in international involvement. Mr. Reagan: I don't know, I've never felt that history would deal with him in a very generous way. Because I've never felt that he really was our leader. He had an agenda that got this country in the worst deficit situation that it will ever see. It's got its educational system in a very bad way. He deliberately and willfully set out to establish a tax policy that benefited the wealthy. That's openly admitted. He really diverted the resources of the country to the military strength issue. And while president turned the whole thing around to where the wall came down. It was obviously a massive expenditure, which they say he brought about, but that's not what history says. It was the internal decay of the communist system that killed it. And the building of a great military structure might have been a force in it, but it was not by any means the real element of the destruction that went on there.
Was part of it—I gather, a lot of the problem with Reagan, in terms of his light attentiveness to, really, education —was it that he didn't have the people around him? Was that it? Johnson did, obviously—had all these people who were very interested—
That's right. But you know one of the interesting things about it is he dealt so much with the business community, yet he never listened. David Kerr, for example, with Xerox recently made a statement that I only wished that Mr. Reagan had heard. He said when you—"Education is not to be viewed as in competition with national defense, and AIDS, and foreign affairs of this country. It should be viewed as a solution to these problems." Which is really what the truth is. Now Mr. Eisenhower saw some of this when he admonished us all: "Keep your eye on the union of the military-corporate alliance." You're seeing the effect of that under Mr. Reagan. I just don't think Mr. Reagan ever really understood it. Nor did he care, therefore, for the role the academic educational process plays in developing the economy of a country. It has everything in the world to do with it. Especially now with the intelligence level in plant operations being so high. They never grasped this. Some governors do, some don't.
For example, Governor Hunt in North Carolina, I felt, really mastered that. As did Governor Sanford. Others just sort of ignore it, or leave it alone, and let it lie fallow. That's, I think—it's what happened in the Reagan years. It's got us now where we're not the number one economic force in the world. And we're rapidly sliding into third or fourth position. Had we kept up the level of achievements that went on in the educational community under Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, we would not be in the fix we're in. I saw it happen. This country had the greatest university mechanism the world's ever known. The Japanese universities can't hold a candle to the American structure. We stand with anybody. I guess you have to acknowledge that Oxford and Cambridge, for purposes of their root system, and

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what they've done, and who they are, would have to rank as the world's premier universities. But, it was during those post-World War II years that we built in this country the greatest teaching research and service program ever known in education in the world. And we perfected two of the great contributions this country has made. Community colleges and the public university. In no other place in the world will you see things like it. Well, all of that was left to lie out there, and has now for nearly twelve years. And it's a very costly neglect, in my opinion.
Since you've raised this question, higher education in the nineties, what do you think of the various efforts, reform efforts, toward higher education that have come since the 1980s, including this recent Carnegie report and a series of reports that have sort of come out from the mid-80s on?
Well, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching was a group which, in the sixties and seventies, used to meet once a year, and had a very distinguished board who'd sit around and have a nice dinner the night before, and get together the next morning and talk about a topic, elect the next year's officers, and go home. And the time came either to energize that or move it, get in and out of New York, where it wasn't identified with the Corporation. A group was pulled together to study that question. I was a member of it. We recommended that it be moved to Princeton, and create a new mechanism. Robert Fleming was the head of the University of Michigan then, and the question came about, "Well, what do we do with it? And who do we get?" And he called me and wanted to talk about Ernie Boyer. And I recommended that Boyer get it. He's there and has done a good job with it. Its primary emphasis has been in the public school arena. And I think he's done some very good work because he had the benefit of being Commissioner of Education before he went to that job. Bill, I really think the great problem in the country today is not that we don't know professionally what the problems are, it's the attitude of the American public as to the roles schools play. We've got to stop being so caustic about schools. Now, we've criticized them enough. You don't have to go around looking for what the issue is. Everybody knows that now. But we've got to reposition the schools in our priorities. We've got to agree we're going to finance them the way they should be. We've got to make teaching a respectable career again. And create and surround the principals with the time, and effort, and money to do his job. I met over here with 116 principals on a—at the Institute of Government not so long ago, and before I started on what I was there to do, I asked a series of questions. The first one of which was, "How many of you, each day, spend fifty percent of your time on what you think your they're to do?" I think twenty hands went up out of the whole congregation. I said, "Wait a minute now. What are the rest of you doing?" Well, I've never heard such an outpouring of everything from campaigns for the band, Blood Bank drives. We've dumped all of society's problems on the school mechanism. And what does that say? It says the church is defaulting. Civic clubs are not doing their jobs. Whatever the other mechanisms are—social agencies. But we've got to get all of that out of the schools, you see. And I'm one who now—I've grown very weary of the professional critic. I saw where somebody appeared before Rich Preyer's commission over here the other day, saying that the model—what we've had is awful, throw it out. Well, if I had been dutiful member of that Commission—it's my own fault that I was not there—I would have asked him this question: "Why is it when I go to commencement at Chapel Hill, and UNCG, and N.C. State, and Appalachian, and I look up there, and every June I guess I see 100,000 graduates. Now eighty-five percent of those young people came out of the schools of the state. If they're so corrupt, how is it that the university can put its label on them? They didn't walk through this place. They were pushed like you do in the public schools, you say." So, you

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see, it doesn't fit. Now there is a lot of malfeasance. I know that. And you know it, too. But it isn't all evil, so I say let's start talking more positively. And I think this condition of mine, about the schools, is the same thing that's wrong with other things in government. When you have political campaigns like the last senatorial race here, that's based on negativism and racism, it gets into everything else. We've gone on now for twelve years with this garbage. And we have only ourselves to blame for it. And so I'm a turnaround fellow. I keep fussing about this all the time now. But you need not expect the educational system to do the job of adequately teaching young people, if you put upon its back the burdens of the world. It won't happen.
In the Johnson Administration, particularly you seemed to have close contact with people like Eric Goldman, and Joe Califano and Bill Moyers also, I gather, you didn't mention him. Did he —
Well, one of those days when we were up there with the White House Fellows Program, we were all standing there at the East Room, and I was standing with Bill. And he turned to me and he said, "When are you coming up here to work with us?" And I said to him, "I don't—what do you want?" He said, "Well, we've got to talk about this." And I said, "Well, now Bill, wait a minute, I don't want to mislead you. What you do and what I do are two different worlds. And I know you're short of people, but.." I just cut it off. But I had—it was Bill Moyers, John Gardner, people like that in that structure, that were there in with Mr. Johnson. But I was a busy fellow. I could have been twice as busy, but I had to cutback some of that. They're always wanting all the free help they can get, you know. Especially when they don't have to pay your travel.
Right. You mentioned to me once before in another context that Eric Goldman first contacted you on the basis of a conversation with —
Robert Goheen.
Robert Goheen. Was that —
That's where it started. I didn't know him from Adam. And Bob told him—that was Christmas week, the very first Christmas that Mr. Johnson was in office. And as I said, I was in the basement of my old office down there working. And Goldman called—and we had a phone extension down there, so I sat down on a bench and talked to him for about thirty or forty minutes, and then went to Washington and met with him. He's written all this up in his book. Not that much, but he makes two or three references of the two or three things we did in there together. But that relationship ended as soon as it began. And you just move from advisor to the next one, as they came along.
Your dealings with Califano were quite smooth in this period, at least?
Yeah. It was actually one of serving the President, you know. But I'd say one time later Joe called me one day and said, "I want to bring my group of people down to have supper and let's just talk about some ideas." Doug Cater, who is now the Senior Fellow at the National Humanities Center, was in that group. Joe. I think Doc Howe. And he flew down in one of those jets, and we ate dinner in the Morehead Dining Room, and we went back and I led a rather large group of people had come from all over the state here. And it was not until the Carter years that Joe got to be secretary. And it got to be matter then, I guess, of what David Tatel, his director of the office of Civil Rights, wanted to see done, and Joe had to support him, of course. But

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when they took a position that to implement what they believed had to be, which was you had to show more numbers, just plain numbers. And that you could do that by taking institutions that were contagious, duplicating departments, and close one in one place and one in another. They never understood what an intrusion that was into the academic structure of a university, you see. They gave no credibility to any kind of tenure contract that a faculty member might have. They saw no reason to worry about admissions policies. They saw no reason to worry about the relationship of the applicant and the demanding curriculum that they might have to undertake. And they couldn't understand why you needed both programs to get to the ultimate objective of an educated human being. And it was just numbers. Whatever it took. Tear down whatever it took to do it. It was a very misunderstood argument. I got accused of being a segregationist, preservationist, or whatever word you want to use. And I never shall forget. I was having a difficult time in the Board of Trustees at the time, because they wanted just to standoff and have a really hard-nosed law suit. And I took the chairman of the board, and my colleagues and I went to Washington to meet with Patricia Harris, who was then Secretary. Now remember, she and I had spent six years together, as I told you before. Did I go into that experience about the phone call?
And our relationship?
Yes. You mean where she —
Well, she was so untoward and so uncharacteristic, that the chairman of the board was obviously convinced that he was dead right, and I was dead wrong. And from that experience, if that was the only one you had, you would have believed that. But I had worked, by that time, through at least six secretaries, in the process of this. It went all the way back to Casper Wineberger. And you had to take it as you could deal with the Washington hierarchy. But —
Why do you suppose she—
I guess because she was the secretary. She had to prove herself.
She had to —
She's a lovely woman. She had a wonderful man as a husband. Her husband's a lawyer there in Washington. Bill Harris. And I really—we never discussed it after that. Never saw her until she died, regrettably, much too soon. But when I got that call that night, that was a very revealing thing. To say to me—here was the senior staff people had met, and they wanted us to understand they didn't agree with any of that. Which told you, you see, what was going on. So when Joe wrote in his book that President Carter felt I was like the Mayor of Boston and some other people—liberals who were tender skinned. And he kept trying to send me messages through Juanita. That was not the way it was. It was the fact that they weren't having it their way. And I didn't yield to their strategy. Now, it's no pride for me. And I'm not proud that it took eleven-and-a-half years, and two million dollars of tax money and lawyer fees, and that we won with the Supreme Court of the United States. Because it was perfectly obvious why it had to be won. It was not a racial question. It was a question of the integrity of the University. All the time we were carrying them on our backs, we were doing more to integrate these

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institutions than anybody else in the South. And the state of Georgia accepted the table plainly and did what they wanted done in Savannah and produced disaster. Anybody who goes down there and examines it now will tell you that. But they quickly acquiesced because the President was from their state. And I could understand that. But it was a piece of contrived strategy that they thought everybody would acquiesce in and just lie down and let it work. It hadn't worked yet.
Was Mr. Carter ever involved in this, or was it —
No. He stayed one step back. But he knew it. Because when Mr. Reagan got into office, the first thing he said is, "I want that situation settled. Whatever it takes to settle it, I want to get it over with." And that's what led to what visit with Bell that I talked to you about here before. And I thought, isn't that interesting, that the only way it could be resolved would be through Senator Helms and Ronald Reagan.
Yeah, there lots of ironies here.
Several ironies, really.
All over the place. Joe Califano, we didn't communicate. But his book came out, and I said to the News and Observer reporters—"I told you, I wasn't going to read it." And he called me. From that day until now. Well, he didn't know. He wrote me a year ago and invited me to be a participant in the big Johnson celebration at the ranch, last year. And I accepted. I was going to go down there. But then I couldn't work it out, I had to withdraw. But he did, he went to the trouble of seeing to it that I was there. And so I guess that's what happens when you're dealing with that level of things. Joe could have been a great national figure, if he had handled it a little differently. He's very bright, very able. The same thing's going to happen to Bill Bennett.
You think once he was in the—obviously, HEW secretaryship is a high visibility position. And in the Johnson administration he was behind in the scenes. Did he perhaps operate better —
Well, where he was in the Johnson Administration was more powerful, in the sense of decision and command. That's always true, because, you know when you say he's the Assistant to the President, the first question always is: "Well, did the President tell him to do this, or is he doing it on his own?" Or whatever. But you don't debate it. You just do it. You know, when you're in the Washington bureaucracy. I learned those lessons. And that was really one of the reasons that I couldn't go. But the reason that I say I regretted that decision was not the work so much, as working that closely with John Gardner for a while, whom I consider the country's greatest apostle when it comes to question of leadership, and public service, and getting people to be their best. Do their best. He is truly a remarkable man. And I've known him, and all these years, and he'd been very generous to me. He'd always pull me out and stick me in something. He gave me the opportunity for an opportunity. One after the other. Even to this day. And now, I guess, John must be eighty. He's moved back to Stanford. And we talk to each other once in a while. He's been a visitor to the Center for Creative Leadership. That's where I saw him last.

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Your involvement with the ACE and AAU, and Land Grant group—how do you think that affected your presidency at the University of North Carolina?
Well, it gave me a confidence, first, as to where we were with where I saw others to be. It gave us a voice in the policy determinations around the country, and that was important. It gave us an identity in decisionmaking. It gave us an active role in many relationships all over the world, like the vice chancellors to the British Commonwealth. We did the same thing with the rectors of the German universities. It's the kind of thing, if your going to be a major international university, it's absolutely necessary that you do. Because you cut yourself off—not you personally—but the institution—today, more than ever, has got to be in that arena, or it's really forgotten. And the tragedy in the United States is that there are so few public universities that are in there. You see, you name Virginia, Carolina, Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin, from the Big Ten, Berkeley—you've about run out of names. And there are ninety-seven public universities, of so-called graduate style. And this is a loss to the country. But here we were the oldest one, and certainly one that had its posture identified to start with by Dr. Graham. And he had taught me all of this, and so that was why I put so much energy into it. And besides it was a lot of pleasure. You see, being in that role, it got you involved with the Carnegie Commission, the Sloan Commission, all these things that inevitably lead to the benefit of the institution. You're never forgotten. If Ford wants to do a major kind of planning, well, let's go to Chapel Hill and see who we can find, you know, this kind of thing. And I think its a terrible loss when you don't —
So this is part of your service to the University in a sense?
I felt it was a part of my job. Something I should do. It took a lot of effort, and, boy, it will wear you out, day and night. But, in the end, we were looked upon as the best university system in the country. And that was what we all set out to do together. Not what I did, but as long as you had the common objective of being very clear about what it is your trying to do in the state, and through the state in the Nation. I viewed the University of North Carolina as—its loyalty first was there, but it also had a very heavy responsibility regionally. And then certainly should be involved nationally, and that led to international involvement. So this is one of the reasons why, for example, I would never accept a membership on a corporate board. That was a day that was lost. You fought for days. You didn't have a lot of time. I had lost income, to be sure. You don't enter this business to make money, because you don't make any money. You literally do not. And you spend more than you have any idea that you spend. There were times when Ida and I spent our income, almost completely some months, in the interests of what we were doing, and never would bill the state, because I just didn't feel like it was right to. But, you either are going to take it and look at it in that sort of comprehensive context, because if you don't then you miss something that's critical. Because when you live through as many things as I've been privileged to do, and you saw what Howard Odum's work did in the South, and you saw what Albert Coates' work did in the South, and Frank Graham—you know these people expect that of Chapel Hill, and State, and Greensboro. Alright, when you jump out of that, and you get over here in this big national arena, and you start working daily with the likes of Clark Kerr, and Hutchins, and—one of the most wonderful men I ever met was a good fellow who was president of Yale when I first got into this business. But can you imagine what it was like to walk into a meeting of the Association of American Universities at thirty-six years of age, sitting around a table in the University Club in New York, and look to your left and there was

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Conant sitting there, and Wallace Sterling from Stanford. Grayson Kirk from Columbia. David Henry from Illinois. Whitney Griswold from Yale. Barnaby Keeney, who went to school here, from Brown. Now that was quite an exposure. There was one chair beside me that was vacant. And I never will forget the first meetings. A little fellow came in and set down beside of me, who was as young as I was, and he turned to me and he said, "Are you Bill Friday?" And I said, "Yes." And I said, "Are you Robert Goheen?" And he said, "Yes." And that was a beginning of a friendship that's lasted all of our lives. Thirty years. A wonderful, wonderful man. But there you were with the very best in the world. And you can imagine what that did to you. Of course, you kept your mouth shut for a good long while, because you knew you knew you didn't know what those people knew. But you found out eventually that they make errors just the way you make. But they're very bright. And they're there because of really a very high level of common dedication. And it was a truly wonderful experience to have. I don't know that the institution functions that way today. It's gotten rather large. And college presidents today are not like those men were. They were an uncommon breed. But truly powerful people. Wonderful people.