Public Papers and Letters of Oliver Max Gardner: Governor of North Carolina, 1929-1933

By Edwin Gill; David Leroy Corbitt | Go to book overview

life and achievement of one of its noblest sons, and to dedicate ourselves anew to carry through to the fullest realization the work of the institution he conceived in the lean, hard years of the 1880's, fought for and successfully launched in the hard but quickening years of the early 1890's, and for fourteen years dedicated his energies, his spirit, his very life in successfully guiding to the rank of a creative institution, which is recognized at home and abroad as a major unit in the State's higher educational system.

Touched with reverence in the contemplation of him whose high ambition was to give his all to young people of his State, whom an all-knowing and all-good Providence in its wisdom saw fit to close the books on this earth before he had the opportunity to give the normal years of service measured by earthly standards, I nevertheless feel at this moment a surging buoyancy in my heart for that life. If ever North Carolina had a son whose life and career stimulated hope in hard times, courage in disappointments, and a belief in the continuing forward march of civilization, that son was Charles Duncan McIver. Born just before the beginning of the tragic War Between the States, growing to manhood and fixing his ideals in the period when our State was but little more than a conquered province, working in the most active years of his manhood without tools and materials for building a great commonwealth, yet who can say that his life was in any sense limited? Who can say that had Dr. McIver lived in a later era, when the State was more able to foster education, to go forward in material welfare, and to broaden its program in human welfare, he might have made a greater contribution? That he might have measured a greater man? In appraising the qualities of greatness in Robert Burns, Carlyle judged him thus: "A dwarf behind his steam engine may remove mountains; he must be a titan who hurls them abroad with his arm."

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