The year 1985 will mark Hofstra University's 50th anniversary.
With this Conference on Dwight D. Eisenhower, following conferences on Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman over the last two years, Hofstra University is established as a leading historical, scholarly and commemorative center for the study of the lives, careers and administrations of the Presidents of the United States who held office during the years of our University.
For at least a year, those of us responsible for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Conference have been immersed in the events, the personalities and the global impact of the Eisenhower legacy. Things we knew before have been affirmed. Some things we thought we knew have been re-examined and reformed and are now better understood. And we learned much that we did not know.
Our search for knowledge was aided by many-- Eisenhower biographers, military colleagues, former Eisenhower officials and friends, leaders of other governments, and of course, the Eisenhower family. We are enormously grateful to all of them for their invaluable and good- spirited assistance.
We concluded that Dwight Eisenhower's career was threefold: his military achievements, his Presidency, and integral to both, his statesmanship. Hence, the Soldier, President, Statesman title of this Conference.
We have tried to develop panels, forums, roundtables and addresses dealing with those three aspects of his life. We have done so in multiple ways--through the presentation of papers by Eisenhower scholars, with the participation of important public figures who were center stage during the Eisenhower years, and with the inclusion of more contemporary national and international dignitaries and distinguished representatives of the media, who can responsibly assess the Eisenhower record and, we hope, intriguingly speculate on how Dwight Eisenhower would have dealt with current national and international issues.
One of the facts that emerged from our studies was that as a military hero, as President, and as a human being, people of all walks of life whether supporters or opponents, regardless of nationality, ideology, economic, social or educational status, remember Dwight D. Eisenhower with a uniform respect, admiration, acclaim and warmth probably unsurpassed by any other American or world figure in modern history.
We hope our Conference meets the test of doing justice to the Eisenhower memory.
We welcome our guests and we hope our three days together will be enjoyable, intellectually rewarding and historically significant.
ERIC J. SCHMERTZ Dean, Hofstra University School of Law Director, Dwight D. Eisenhower Conference