1962

Eleanor Roosevelt Comes to Wheaton

Eleanor Roosevelt delivers the fourth Marjorie Otis Memorial Lecture.

Of the event, she wrote:

In the latter part of last week I went to Wheaton College, a liberal arts college for girls in Massachusetts not far from Boston. I delivered their Marjorie Otis Memorial Lecture and held two seminars, the first of which centered on human rights as part of world leadership. The theme of the conference was ‘World Leadership and the Use of Our Resources and Recognition of Our Responsibility.’

The young women at the college, some majors in religion and some in philosophy, have made a very careful study of human rights. These girls made up my audience at the first seminar, but at the second seminar as well as at the lecture and the discussion period that followed the neighborhood in general was invited. The teaching staff was most cooperative, and the girls as well as the neighbors of the school were made to feel much a part of the two-day discussions.

As I was the first woman invited to give this lecture, I felt a great sense of responsibility, particularly as I was told that Dr. Paul Tillich had been the lecturer last year. Some of the girls told me they had found Dr. Tillich a little difficult to understand, and I felt quite sure that at least I would not be incomprehensible to them, which quieted my fears. Still, I do not know how much that I gave them was new!”

“My Day, February 7, 1962,” The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Digital Edition (2017), https://www2.gwu.edu/~erpapers/myday/displaydoc.cfm?_y=1962&_f=md005066.