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James D. Hoskins Commencement Address

 Collection
Identifier: AR-0701

University of Tennessee President James D. Hoskins delivered this address at the University's commencement ceremonies on June 2, 1941. In it, he discusses the ongoing World War and advises the new graduates that unlike young people before them, they cannot issue or evade at will the usual challenges of life nor debate with customary freedom what your major interests will be because they have [w]illingly or otherwise ... already been drafted in the cause of Democracy. According to Hoskins, Democracy consists of the ideals of Law (the crystallized will of the people), Justice, Liberty (which will exist [s]o long as a people can choose, and do choose, their representatives), Restraint (the system of checks and balances), Equality, and Responsibility (for upholding the preceding ideals).

Dates

  • 1941 June 2

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

0.1 Linear Feet

Abstract

University of Tennessee President James D. Hoskins delivered this address at the University's commencement ceremonies on June 2, 1941. In it, he discusses the ongoing World War and advises the new graduates that unlike young people before them, they cannot issue or evade at will the usual challenges of life nor debate with customary freedom what your major interests will be because they have [w]illingly or otherwise ... already been drafted in the cause of Democracy. According to Hoskins, Democracy consists of the ideals of Law (the crystallized will of the people), Justice, Liberty (which will exist [s]o long as a people can choose, and do choose, their representatives), Restraint (the system of checks and balances), and Equality.

Biographical/Historical Note

James Dickason Hoskins was born on January 30, 1870 in New Market, Tennessee to William Patton and Mary Olivia Rawls (Mills) Hoskins. His family moved to Knoxville in 1886 and Hoskins entered East Tennessee University in 1887. Although his father feared what he considered the University's godlessness, he was willing to risk his son's attendance on the grounds that if we have trained you up to sixteen years of age and you cannot be able after that training to keep out of hell in college, I doubt if you will be able to keep out of it anywhere else. Hoskins proved to be a very successful student and graduated with his BS in 1891 and again with his MS in 1893. He went on to serve as the principal of the Masonic Institute in Fort Jesup, Louisiana (1893-1894) and then returned to Knoxville to teach at two prestigious preparatory schools, Knoxville Classical and the Baker-Himel School. He married Lynn Luella Deming on November 29, 1899 and the couple had two children.

Hoskins returned to the University of Tennessee as an Assistant Professor of History in 1900. He was promoted to full Professor in 1907 and then to Dean of the College in 1911. He served as acting University President twice, once after Brown Ayres' untimely death in 1919 and again after Harcourt Morgan stepped down to take a position with the TVA in 1933. Hoskins officially became the University's fourteenth President in 1934. Although he was known as a tough administrator, the University grew phenomenally during his tenure. He oversaw the creation of several new courses of instruction and a number of new buildings. He also created a regular retirement plan for University faculty, building on a suggestion originally made by Harcourt Morgan in 1922. Although many younger University administrators had begun to wonder if the presidency had perhaps become too much for Hoskins by 1944, he did not retire until June of 1946. Hoskins died in Knoxville, Tennessee on April 3, 1960 at the age of 90.

Arrangement

This collection consists of a single folder.

Acquisition Note

Johnson Bible College transferred this manuscript to the University of Tennessee Archives in February of 2009.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480