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Wednesday July 24th 2019

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That's what she said

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A Life Beyond Life


Milton quote from Areopagitica over the entry to the Rose Main Reading Room of the New York Public Library (Kirill Levin, Flickr)

It’s sad, this morning.  The death of a school. The execution by fiat of the University of Colorado’s School of Journalism. I feel that I should be the one to carry the news to Professor Crossman out in Green Mountain Cemetery. I would recite for him from Areopagitica.

When in September of 1946, when we veterans of World War II  first crowded into the nation’s universities, Professor Crossman on that first day spoke to us of the splendor of the press, the grandeur of newspapers, and the continuing crisis of freedom in their pages.  He sent us away from that first class to memorize as much as we could possibly stuff in our heads of Milton’s definitive argument for liberty of the press, Areopagitica.

Those lines, today, today and tomorrow, remain stitched tightly into the fabric of my experience.

I think that Dean of the College of Journalism, Professor Ralph Crossman, might, in some measure, be comforted what with hearing an old man, one of his most admiring students, recite from ancient memory Milton’s powerful sentences–recite them to the earth under which that distinguished teacher and journalist– along with his school– lie buried.

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