I hold true scholarship to be the most worthwhile and honorable of callings. It not only provides the scholar with the tools he needs for tangible accomplishment, but also, if pursued properly and in depth, engenders a sort of humility and personal awareness that make for generous and just appraisal of one's fellow men and of oneself. I dare say most of you share this view in some measure but if you believe that such a view is the prevailing American estimate, I think you deceive yourselves. There are numerous indications that in the majority American opinion, scholarship in depth is not very important and, in fact, a bit ridiculous. And if some undergraduate student is hopeful that a sterling academic record in college will guarantee for him an estimable station in American society, he may be in for a rude awakening. Now, lest you find these observations too gloomy and pessimistic, let me interject that the intellectual climate of the country seems to be improving slowly, so that the scholar's position in American society is a little better than it was a decade ago. But scholars and scholarship still aren't very influential in this country, and, in my opinion, their relative unimportance constitutes a definite danger to our future.
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Chapman, Carlton B.
"The Egghead: Past, Present and Future,"
Journal of the Graduate Research Center: Vol. 33:
1, Article 2.
Available at: https://scholar.smu.edu/journal_grc/vol33/iss1/2