Front Page Titles (by Subject) Chapter 23: Wabash College - The Goodriches: An American Family
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Chapter 23: Wabash College - Dane Starbuck, The Goodriches: An American Family 
The Goodriches: An American Family (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2001).
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What does a liberal education, such as a college like Wabash professes to give, do for a young man? It places before him materials, which are studied in a scientific manner and by the experimental method, that his mind may rediscover and grasp for itself the principles that underlie human existence. The mind is disciplined and given breadth, scope, reach. . . . It awakens a genuine intellectual interest and imparts the social point of view.
A truly “liberal culture” is thus a genuine and serious preparation for a life of service in a thoroughly socialized world. It is essential to good citizenship.
charles a. tuttle, “A Liberal Education”
A small college in west-central Indiana has played an extremely important role in the lives of the Goodrich family since their first association with the institution nearly one hundred years ago. Wabash College is located in Crawfordsville, Indiana, a conservative small town of about fifteen thousand, approximately forty-five miles northwest of Indianapolis. Crawfordsville is perhaps best known for being the home of Lew Wallace, a Wabash alumnus who was a Civil War general, United States ambassador to Turkey, and author of the novel Ben Hur, the most popular novel of the nineteenth century, which was later made into one of the most popular movies of all time.
Although it views itself as a private independent college, Wabash has ties with the Presbyterian Church: It was founded by five Presbyterian ministers in 1832, and its first six presidents were ordained Presbyterian clergymen. It is a top-notch academic institution that achieved in the 1950s the academic reputation that James Goodrich had hoped for when he was one of the college’s most enthusiastic supporters as chairman of the board of trustees in the 1920s and 1930s. Wabash has served as the undergraduate college of several Rhodes scholars, and many of its graduates have achieved considerable success in business, law, politics, medicine, academia, and the arts.1 Since its establishment, Wabash has been an all-male college. No doubt that fact is indicative of the college’s inclination to maintain traditions and loyalty to the institution. An interesting story that reveals Wabash’s conservative nature involves an incident that occurred just a few years after James Goodrich first became a member of the board of trustees in 1904.
The young Ezra Pound, America’s enigmatic poet of the early and mid twentieth century, had been hired to teach modern foreign languages at Wabash in the fall of 1907. From the beginning, Pound was obviously less than enamored of his new provincial midwestern home. After only six weeks at the college, Pound wrote to his parents, mocking his adopted state and the popular verse style of Indiana’s poet laureate, James Whitcomb Riley: “There seems to be plenty to be done here. Of course if you can find . . . as good a job for me somewhere in the effete east I would be very likely to abandon my ’igh callin’ and skidoo to paats more plush-lined than Hoosier.”2
Pound did not have to wait long to move on, although it was the decision of the Wabash College administration rather than his own. He had been at the college less than six months when a cleaning lady disclosed to Wabash’s president that she had found a young woman in Pound’s bed one morning. According to Pound, he had met the penniless young girl the night before. She had been stranded in a blizzard after a burlesque show, and he had offered her his accommodations while he slept in his study. Once the “affair” had become known, the trustees were contacted and only one outcome was possible.3
The Goodrich family’s experiences with the small college proved to be far more successful and long-standing. At the May 1915 graduation ceremony, James Goodrich received an honorary master of arts degree from Wabash for his tireless work on the board of trustees. Two years later, during his first year as governor, he had bestowed upon him an honorary doctorate of laws. Pierre graduated from Wabash in 1916 and in 1940 assumed his father’s position on the board of trustees, a position he held until 1969.4 At the 1949 commencement, Pierre, too, was awarded—along with Goodrich’s business associate Eugene Pulliam, Sr.—the special degree of Doctor of Laws.5 In 1955, Pierre received the college’s Alumni Award of Merit. From 1959 to 1969, Pierre served as vice-chairman of the board.6 After Pierre stepped down from the board, he was designated trustee emeritus, the first such honor bestowed on a former trustee in the college’s history.
Throughout most of the twentieth century, the Goodrich family has supported Wabash College. For instance, John Goodrich, Pierre’s first cousin, established a trust fund that has contributed several million dollars to the college since his death in 1971.7 In addition to being chairman of the board of trustees for sixteen years (1924–40), James Goodrich often came personally to the financial rescue of Wabash.8 In December 1918, he pledged to give up to one-tenth of any sum raised up to $500,000 to increase the college’s endowment. In 1927, the former governor contributed toward the building of a new chapel and gave the dedication speech at that facility on January 10, 1929. In 1928, he contributed $50,000, making it possible for the college to build its first gymnasium. In November 1937, he contributed $150,000, completely financing the building of the college’s science hall, now called Goodrich Hall. The significance of these contributions may be better appreciated when it is considered that in 1927 a semester’s tuition at Wabash was eighty-five dollars per student.9
Pierre, too, contributed much financially to Wabash, but his greatest contribution was his role in furthering the school’s academic programs. According to the former Wabash president Byron Trippet, Goodrich “exerted a profound influence on the intellectual life of Wabash in the post–World War II era.”10 At the time, Pierre was very involved in the Great Books movement. In the mid 1940s, he worked closely with Wabash president Frank Sparks and with Byron Trippet, who then served as dean of the college. He and Trippet traveled to the University of Chicago and later to St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, to investigate the Great Books programs at both schools. At Chicago, they met with Robert Hutchins and Mortimer Adler, and at St. John’s they met with the school’s president, the poet Stringfellow Barr. They analyzed the success of St. John’s decision to adopt the Great Books program as its total curriculum.
As a result of these and other inquiries, the Colloquium on Important Books for juniors and seniors at Wabash in 1946 was born. The colloquium stressed the Socratic method of book discussion and deemphasized the use and importance of textbooks and professorial lectures. Trippet recounts that being around Pierre during these years was an important chapter in his own education.11
In 1946–47, I found myself drawn into numerous and lengthy conversations with Pierre about education. After overcoming whatever initial reservations and suspicions he may have had about me, he drew me increasingly into his interests. For the better part of the next ten years, we worked closely together. Despite the endless, lengthy long-distance telephone calls at all hours of the day and night, despite the frequent interminable conferences, despite the rigors of travelling with Pierre, I acknowledge that I learned a great deal from this man, and in the process I learned to respect and admire much of what he stood for.12
Pierre also furthered the college’s intellectual life by bringing to campus such prominent scholars as Russell Kirk, the Austrian intellectual Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, and Roscoe Pound, former dean of Harvard Law School. During the fall semester of 1962, Goodrich underwrote the costs of having F. A. “Baldy” Harper from the Institute of Humane Studies teach at Wabash.13 In the late 1950s and 1960s, Goodrich also funded lectures by William Buckley, newspaper columnist and founder of the National Review;14 Friedrich Hayek, internationally known economist; Felix Morley, former president of Haverford College and former editor of the Washington Post; Dr. Bruno Suviranta of Finland; Archduke Otto von Hapsburg, heir to the Hapsburg throne; Bruno R. Shenoy, director of economics of the Research Center, New Delhi, India; and Ludwig Erhard, chancellor of West Germany from 1963 to 1966.15 The lectures by Pound and Morley were published in book form.16 All the lectures were financed by gifts to Wabash from Goodrich.
In March 1957, Pierre undertook a major project at Wabash, seeing to the design and completion of the Goodrich Seminar Room in the Lilly Library. The Goodrich Room is a large conference room (approximately sixty feet long, forty feet wide, and twenty feet high) located in the center of the school’s library. The library was named for Eli Lilly, whose contributions were mostly responsible for its construction.
The concept behind the layout of the room is a chronology of the great civilizations of mankind. The names of the great writings and thinkers of each epoch are carved into the room’s limestone walls, from the ancient cultures of Egypt, Babylon, China, Greece, and the Roman Empire to the expression of civilization by northern European powers, the Renaissance and the Reformation. The chronological carvings end with the Declaration of Independence, encompassing the tremendous outpouring of thought and development of individual liberty.
Pierre wanted the seminar room to serve as the location for Socratic discussions on the ideals written about by the great thinkers whose names are on the surrounding walls. At the time, some Wabash faculty members called the seminar room Goodrich’s Folly, but Byron Trippet, who had worked hard with Pierre to see to the room’s completion, defended its worth. The seminar room was dedicated on June 4, 1959.17 Goodrich donated two thousand books from his own library to be placed in the room, many by authors whose names are carved on the walls, such as Homer, Hesiod, Socrates, Virgil, Paul the Apostle, Thomas Aquinas, Chaucer, Martin Luther, John Locke, David Hume, and Immanuel Kant. The books encompass a variety of fields: music, poetry, science, history, drama, philosophy, theology, and political theory.18 True to his independent streak and much to the chagrin of the college’s librarian, Goodrich devised his own catalogue identification system for the donated books.19
Goodrich made many other contributions to his alma mater, but seldom without strings attached. The tight control Goodrich held over his gifts was explained by Richard O. Ristine, who served on the board of trustees with Goodrich and is a former Indiana lieutenant governor. “If [Pierre] was going to spend money on the college, he saw no reason why there shouldn’t be strings attached to it as if he was investing in the capital of the Greensburg Telephone Company,” said Ristine.20
Therefore, Goodrich gave blocks of stock and monetary gifts to the school, but usually with the proviso that the money could not be used or the stocks sold without his approval.21 Between 1941 and 1962, Goodrich made a total of 133 individual contributions (generally stock in one of his corporations) totaling nearly $333,000.22 Pierre was particularly generous in his support of music programs. His contributions brought to the campus several outstanding musicians and choirs such as the Westminster Choir of England. Furthermore, his gifts allowed the Wabash Glee Club (thirty-five male students) to travel and perform in Europe during the summer of 1967, and the choir’s director, R. Robert Mitchum, to study choir music in Europe in 1965.23
Despite these contributions, many at Wabash thought Pierre Goodrich to be a stingy giver when they took into account his vast financial holdings. This is especially so because of the difference between Pierre and his father, who was the college’s financial guardian angel during the 1920s and 1930s. An even more frequent comparison was made of Pierre and fellow Wabash trustee Eli Lilly. A nonalumnus, Lilly served on the board from 1946 until his death in 1977 and is Wabash’s largest single benefactor. Throughout his lifetime, Lilly contributed stock to the college worth nearly $40 million.24 Goodrich was not inclined to be so generous. He doubted that a liberal arts college, even his Dear alma mater, could responsibly spend his hard-earned money. On his death, Goodrich left $155,000 to Wabash College. College officials had hoped for much more.
Although for most of his life Goodrich was extremely proud of Wabash, in his later years he was disappointed that the college had not differentiated itself more from other small liberal arts institutions.25 “Mr. Goodrich thought that Wabash College might become his ideal college institution and he was always interested in eventually giving it a lot of money,” said Stephen J. Tonsor, emeritus professor at the University of Michigan. “But Wabash didn’t pan out and Pierre found more and more things that were unsatisfactory about Wabash.”26
As will be seen, Goodrich’s notion of the “ideal college” was clearly radical. It is little wonder that Wabash did not uniformly embrace Pierre’s beliefs. Nonetheless, it is true that Goodrich had a significant influence in the direction the college did pursue.
If anyone understood the mind and had the ear of Pierre F. Goodrich, it was Benjamin Arnold Rogge. Through their mutual attachments to Wabash College, Rogge and Goodrich established a close intellectual and personal friendship that lasted nearly thirty years. Rogge was a Nebraska farm boy who had taken economics degrees from Hastings College (A.B., 1940), the University of Nebraska (M.A., 1946), and Northwestern University (Ph.D., 1953). In the late 1940s, Rogge was one of more than a dozen sterling academics that Wabash president Frank Sparks enticed to Wabash from other top colleges and universities. This was part of an effort to upgrade both the prestige and the true academic caliber of the college.27
Rogge and Goodrich became particularly close after Rogge was appointed academic dean in 1956.28 Despite a twenty-six-year age difference between them (Rogge was born in 1920), Rogge became Goodrich’s closest intellectual colleague and perhaps his closest personal friend as well. In some ways, however, the two were qualified to be free enterprise’s “odd couple,” so different were they in temperament and demeanor. Goodrich was reserved, Victorian, private, and even stoic, whereas Rogge had an outgoing, gregarious, and jovial personality. The thread that tied them together was the passion they shared for free-market ideas and their desire to see those ideas spread at Wabash and beyond.
Goodrich funded many of Rogge’s trips to Mont Pelerin Society meetings and to other conferences. The two men often traveled together and engaged in long and heated exchanges about economics, education, human nature, and almost everything else. In September 1964, Rogge stepped down as dean and was appointed Distinguished Professor of Political Economy by an agreement among Rogge, Trippet (then Wabash’s president), and Goodrich. Under the arrangement, Goodrich’s contributions to Wabash partially paid Rogge’s salary and travel expenses. This provided Rogge with the opportunity to accept off-campus speaking and teaching invitations.29
As a consequence, Rogge began to accept speaking engagements throughout the Midwest and beyond. He became the darling of businessmen’s groups and was a much-sought-after speaker before utility, banking, and other professional organizations. Moreover, he became widely known by lecturing at summer business conferences at the universities of Michigan and Wisconsin. Beginning in 1966 and until his death in 1980, Rogge also successfully directed the Wabash Institute for Personal Development, a summer program for business executives.30 In 1960, Rogge had been named a founding board member of Liberty Fund. In 1971, Goodrich had Rogge appointed as a director of the Indiana Telephone Corporation.31
Rogge was popular among business executives because he was able to articulate and confirm their existing beliefs in the free enterprise system. Rogge did not, however, feign support to attract an audience; he believed as deeply as any free-marketeer in the virtues of a market economy and shared these convictions with great persuasion, wit, and enthusiasm. His was a friendship that Goodrich greatly cherished.
In the last decade of his life, Pierre Goodrich’s disappointment in his alma mater became widely known among Wabash’s administration and trustees. He began to attend campus events less frequently and said little at board meetings.32 Apparently, Goodrich had hoped that Rogge would become president in 1965, succeeding Trippet as Trippet had succeeded Frank Sparks in 1956.33 But it is probable that Rogge did not want to return to administration, having just left the position of dean so that he could teach and lecture more freely. Moreover, Rogge’s fundamental economic and philosophical beliefs were no doubt incongruous with the times. Thus, it is questionable whether he would have been appointed to the presidency even if he had sought the position.
Goodrich was displeased with both the manner in which the college was being run and the liberal beliefs that he believed many of the faculty members and administrators held.34 Finally, in the spring of 1969, Goodrich resigned from the board of trustees. Ironically, Byron Trippet, who had left as president of Wabash four years earlier and was then serving as vice-president of La Universidad de Las Americas in Mexico City, was appointed to complete Pierre’s term.35
The 1960s presented difficult and disturbing times for many college trustees and administrators. Not even a small conservative college like Wabash was immune to the radical influences and troubled times that were sweeping over the nation’s campuses: the Vietnam War was raging; long hair, experimentation with drugs, demonstrations, and faddish music and dress had become common; and respect for and adherence to authority and tradition were at their lowest ebb.36 What probably galled Goodrich most was his belief that what was being taught at Wabash was openly hostile to free enterprise and other fundamental principles in which he believed so fervently. Also, the faculty was continually pressing to have Wabash become coeducational, despite the fact that almost all of the alumni and a large percentage of the student body wanted the college to remain an all-male institution.37
Still another factor in Goodrich’s general disenchantment with Wabash was that important personalities had changed at the college. The two presidents whose ideas most closely resembled his own—Frank Sparks and Byron Trippet—were now gone. Pierre’s association with Sparks developed during the first fifteen years that he served on the board (1940–55). Sparks’s association with the Goodrich family and his tremendous rags-to-riches story, however, dated back to the 1920s. At that time, James Goodrich had come to Sparks’s financial rescue by providing a business loan that enabled Sparks to fulfill a major contract as a supplier to the Ford Motor Company. Sparks went on to become a millionaire before he was forty, then went to college at Butler University, obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Southern California, and became Wabash’s eighth president.38 During his long tenure as president (1941–56), Sparks had been extremely supportive of Pierre, especially in terms of trying to accommodate Goodrich’s intellectual interests in the college.39
Byron Trippet, the next president, was a close friend of Goodrich’s. He had shown Pierre great patience, respect, and deference for some twenty-five years. Trippet presided over Wabash during what has become known as the Golden Age in the college’s history. It was during these years (1956–65) that Wabash enjoyed its strongest academic reputation. Goodrich had great affection for Trippet not only because of his self-effacing attitude, but also because Trippet was a very admirable man and had an excellent mind. Trippet had been a Rhodes scholar after graduating from Wabash in the 1930s.40
Into Trippet’s place stepped Paul W. Cook, a former Harvard Business School professor. Cook and Goodrich did not see eye-to-eye philosophically. The strained relations that developed between Goodrich and Cook (and thus Wabash) can be seen clearly in one of Cook’s letters to Goodrich: “Possibly you had forgotten that the principal purpose of our meeting was to enable you to inform me of the fact that you disavowed your college and had disinherited it. Since I had just made a commitment to it as the best hope for the attainment of ideals which I am sure we share, I suppose our views on almost any issue were bound to appear to be in conflict. If nothing else, conflict confirms for you the wisdom of a decision you have already made.”41
As Richard Ristine distinctly remembers, Goodrich was not particularly appreciated on the board during the 1960s. “Pierre always wanted to interfere with the academic life of the college,” said Ristine. It was mainly because of this that other trustees did not want Goodrich to become chairman of the board.42 Steps were taken to ensure that that did not happen. In the mid 1960s, Ivan Wiles, the Wabash board chairman as well as president of General Motors’ Buick Division, was compelled to resign because of the ill health of his wife. Goodrich was vice-chairman at the time. In anticipation of Wiles’s resignation, several members of the board nominated a co–vice-chairman, John Collett, thus preventing Goodrich from automatically ascending to the top position. Collett went on to succeed Wiles in 1965 and remained chairman until 1975.43
Goodrich attempted to influence what was taught on campus by endowing a chair in free-market economics. Ben Rogge drafted an extensive proposal for the establishment of the P. F. Goodrich Chair in Political Economy. Rogge’s proposal provided that the occupant of the endowed chair would be allowed to hold the position only if his thinking was consistent with the principles set forth in the Liberty Fund Basic Memorandum and his reappointment was satisfactory to Liberty Fund.44
In 1964 Rogge stepped down as dean of the college to become Distinguished Professor of Political Economy. There were no official strings attached to the endowed professorship, and Goodrich’s name was not formally associated with the position. Goodrich’s preference for anonymity may well partially explain the distancing that took place. Another likely reason, however, is that Rogge’s intellectual credibility had been called into question by some of his fellow faculty members. Ristine remembers the minor controversy that arose: “Rogge was resented on the faculty somewhat, because he was the only person getting funds from Goodrich,” recalled Ristine, adding, “People thought that he had changed his own economic philosophy to accommodate Pierre. Of course, he hadn’t. Total belief in the free-enterprise system was Rogge.”45
Ristine’s memory is supported by a reference in a letter that Wabash president Paul Cook wrote to Goodrich in January 1967:
Since I believe the lack of candor between us serves no useful purpose, let me go further along this line and say that I think you have to some extent harmed Ben, and in so doing harmed Wabash, since he is an invaluable resource. The quasi-restricted support given him has tended to undermine his credibility with the faculty, in the same way that would undermine the credibility of a witness who had the same relationship to you. This is completely without regard to the merits, of course; as you know, however, a witness that is on permanent retainer to a defendant cannot command the credibility of a truly independent expert.46
Cook’s tenure as president was brief, lasting only two years (1966–68), but Goodrich was not impressed by Cook’s successor, Thaddeus Seymour. Goodrich had lobbied for Dick Ristine to succeed Cook. The board, however, although divided, finally supported in 1968 the selection of Seymour, who came to Wabash having just served as dean of Dartmouth College.47 Goodrich believed that Seymour was much too cavalier in demeanor to do honor to the position that Sparks and Trippet had occupied with considerable grace and distinction.48 Ben Rogge tried to encourage closer relations between the two men, but there is no evidence that it worked.49
Although in his later years Goodrich lost some of the strong positive feelings he had held for Wabash, he still continued to support his alma mater, at least nominally. Goodrich continued to contribute to the John Van Sickle Club, a conservative campus organization named for a free-market economics professor. Van Sickle was partially responsible for introducing Goodrich to the Mont Pelerin Society. He had also co-written a college economics textbook with Rogge.50 Moreover, Goodrich established a competition named in honor of his father in which any member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity at Wabash or DePauw University could take part. (James P. Goodrich was a Phi Kappa Psi member as a student at DePauw in addition to being a long-standing trustee of Wabash.) The competition entailed the writing and submission of an essay “concerning a society of free individuals.”51
After Ben Rogge’s death, the remaining Goodrich monies designated for Rogge’s salary were funneled into Goodrich funds that support music programs and a lecture series. The lecture series continues today, bringing many prominent academics to Wabash each year. These lecturers have included William B. Allen, former dean of James Madison College at Michigan State University; Alasdair MacIntyre of the University of Notre Dame; J. Rufus Fears, academic chair at the University of Oklahoma; George B. Martin, formerly of Wofford College and now president of Liberty Fund; John Gray, chair at the University of London; Tim Fuller, dean of Colorado College; and George Carey, professor of government at Georgetown University.52 Many of the lectures of these scholars are being published by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute in a multivolume series. The first volume, Derailing the Constitution: The Undermining of American Federalism, was published in 1995.53
[1. ]Wabash’s academic excellence is apparent in many ways. It has had seven students selected as Rhodes scholars and has had several former Rhodes scholars on its faculty, a truly large number given its small size (fewer than one thousand students annually). In a 1985 study on graduate education in the United States from 1951 to 1980, Wabash ranked sixteenth out of fifteen hundred colleges and universities in the percentage (12.9 percent) of its graduates who went on to receive doctorate degrees. Susan Cantrell, Wabash College News Bureau, telephone interview, April 7, 1993. Its list of alumni is truly impressive, including Lew Wallace; Will Hays, Sr., former Republican national chairman, postmaster general, and first president of the Motion Picture Producers Association; Thomas Marshall, vice-president of the United States under Woodrow Wilson (1912–20); and Robert Allen, former chairman and CEO of AT&T and a current member of the Wabash College Board of Trustees. In 1924, eight years after Goodrich graduated, of the then living Wabash alumni, 1,489 were in business, 505 were lawyers, 501 were professors or teachers, 425 were ministers, 259 were physicians or surgeons, 209 were agriculturalists, 148 were journalists, 98 were bankers, 92 were scientists, and 57 were engineers. See Wabash—A Record of Honor (Crawfordsville, Ind.: Wabash College, 1924).
[2. ]C. David Heyman, Ezra Pound: The Last Rower (New York: Viking, 1975), p. 11.
[3. ]Ibid. A fuller and even more sympathetic account of Pound’s short tenure at Wabash can be found in James Insley Osborne and Theodore Gregory Gronert, Wabash College: The First Hundred Years, 1832–1932 (Crawfordsville, Ind.: R. E. Banta, 1932), pp. 291–92.
[4. ]Pierre assumed the position of trustee on the board almost immediately after his father’s death. Moreover, a memorial service for James Goodrich was held at the Wabash chapel on October 6, 1940. See letter from G. V. Kendall, acting president, to Pierre F. Goodrich, September 23, 1940, Pierre F. Goodrich files, Archives, Wabash College.
[5. ]See Wabash Bulletin 45 (September 1949): 4–5.
[6. ]All documentation in the files on Goodrich at Wabash College’s archives indicate that he served as vice-president of the board of trustees from 1958 to 1969. Records also show, however, that Eugene N. Beesley served as vice-president from 1965 to 1975. The board may have had two vice-presidents from 1965 to 1969.
[7. ]By the terms of the John B. Goodrich trust fund, monies from the fund can be allocated to three entities: Wabash College, the Winchester Presbyterian Church, and the Winchester Park Department for the John B. Goodrich Park (Terri Matchett, vice-president and trust officer, American National Bank Trust Department, interview, January 17, 1996).
[8. ]See “Goodrich Leaves Wabash $100,000,” Indianapolis News, October 9, 1940, p. 15, col. 6. The article states that James Goodrich’s financial contributions to Wabash started in 1909, three years before Pierre matriculated at the school.
[9. ]See James Insley Osborne and Theodore Gregory Gronert, Wabash College: The First Hundred Years, 1832–1932, pp. 335, 337, 385; “A Statement of the Gifts of James P. Goodrich to Wabash College,” by O. P. Welborn, secretary-treasurer, the Board of Trustees, Wabash College. Nobel Prize–winning physicist Arthur Holly Compton of the University of Chicago gave the dedication speech at the Goodrich Science Building. A tribute to James P. Goodrich by the Wabash College Board of Trustees is found in the Wabash Bulletin 39 (October 1940), supplement.
[10. ]Byron Trippet, Wabash on My Mind, p. 185.
[12. ]Ibid. Trippet gave a short speech in April or May 1946 at a dinner for alumni, trustees, and friends of Wabash College at the Columbia Club in Indianapolis. Trippet states in Wabash on My Mind, “Pierre Goodrich, who I am sure prior to that evening had been distrustful of me because of a pro-Roosevelt speech I had made in 1937 that annoyed his father, Governor Goodrich, sought me out afterwards to get better acquainted. This was the beginning of a close relationship with Pierre . . .” (pp. 53–54).
[13. ]Harper’s semester was paid for out of the Wabash College Unallocated Fund contributed to by Goodrich’s companies. Goodrich makes reference to it during an October 1962 Liberty Fund board meeting. See “Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Liberty Fund, Inc.,” October 1, 1962, p. 27 (in the possession of Liberty Fund).
[14. ]God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of Academic Freedom (Chicago: Regnery, 1951).
[15. ]Hayek spoke to the Wabash Conservative Economics Club on May 12, 1960; Suviranta’s lectures at Wabash on September 23 and 25, 1958, were entitled “Finland and Russia” and “Finland and the Middle Way,” respectively; Archduke Otto spent three days on the Wabash campus during the last week of October 1961; Shenoy spoke at Wabash on April 6, 1964, on foreign aid and the economic development of India, and on April 7, 1964, to two classes at the college on planning, development, and inflation in India. Dr. Ludwig Erhard gave the commencement address at Wabash in May 1959 and addressed approximately one thousand members and guests of the Indiana Academy of Arts and Sciences that evening. Erhard also spoke as a guest of Wabash and Goodrich at the Columbia Club in Indianapolis, where Goodrich was a member, on February 19, 1968. According to the April 1968 issue of The Columbian (vol. 59, no. 4, p. 2), Erhard’s lectures were sponsored by Wabash College, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, and Liberty Fund. In essence, Goodrich brought Erhard to Indianapolis and financed the speaking engagement. See also “Erhard Warns of World Inflation,” Indianapolis News, February 20, 1968, p. 2, col. 6.
[16. ]Roscoe Pound’s lectures on February 26, 27, and 28 and May 1, 1945, were later published as The Development of Constitutional Guarantees of Liberty (New Haven: Yale University Press for Wabash College, 1957). Felix Morley’s lectures were given in May 1947 under the sponsorship of the Pierre F. Goodrich Seminars program. His three lectures provided the first three chapters of his book Power in the People (New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1949).
[17. ]Byron Trippet, “Dedication Remarks,” June 4, 1959 (found in the pamphlet “Goodrich Seminar Room,” Lilly Library, Wabash College).
[18. ]Pat Redmond, “Pierre Goodrich Puts Rare Books on Wabash Shelves,” Indianapolis Star, March 27, 1959, p. 19, col. 3. Attached to each book’s inside cover is a label that lists what Goodrich believed were three fundamental questions that each person must confront: “What am I?” “Can I?” and “Ought I?” Goodrich himself told an interviewer a few days before the room’s dedication his answer to the third question, “We have to be free to make this choice.”
[19. ]For a more thorough discussion of the Goodrich Room and the authors whose names occupy its walls, see The Goodrich Seminar Room of Wabash College: An Explication (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2000).
[20. ]Richard O. Ristine, interview, February 15, 1993. Ristine served on the board with Goodrich from 1958 to 1969, when Goodrich resigned. Apparently, the men were on good terms. Ristine said that Goodrich had even invited him over to his house in Indianapolis after Trippet resigned in 1965 to tell Ristine that if he would seek to become president of Wabash Goodrich would support him.
[21. ]Trippet, Wabash on My Mind, p. 184.
[22. ]This information is garnered from a letter that William B. Degitz, Wabash’s former business manager, sent to Goodrich at Pierre’s request, detailing all the gifts he had made since Frank Sparks became president of Wabash in 1941. The gifts did not all come personally from Goodrich but included gifts from entities that Goodrich controlled, such as the Winchester Foundation and the Muncie Realty Corporation. See letter from William B. Degitz to Pierre F. Goodrich, January 8, 1962, Pierre F. Goodrich Collection, Archives, Wabash College.
[23. ]Rosanna Amos, interview, December 10, 1991. See “Minutes of the Board of Directors of the Liberty Fund, Inc.,” March 17, 1967, p. 115 (for grant to the Wabash Glee Club), and April 22, 1965, p. 71 (for grant to Mitchum to study the music of Christianity in Europe). For his contributions to music on campus, Goodrich was honored by the Wabash Glee Club with a special merit award.
[24. ]Richard O. Ristine, interview, February 15, 1993.
[25. ]Henry Regnery, longtime friend of Goodrich’s, recounted that Pierre often invited his friends to the Wabash campus for lectures (interview, October 3, 1992).
[26. ]Stephen J. Tonsor, interview, December 5, 1992.
[27. ]Rogge joined Wabash’s faculty in 1949 after having taught briefly at the University of Minnesota and Northwestern University. A number of other top academics were attracted to the school, including Elton Trueblood, who left Stanford, and John Van Sickle, who left Vanderbilt (Trueblood stayed only a semester before moving on to Earlham). Rogge was part of the “second echelon” of young academic talent that included Lewis Salter (physics), Philip Wilder (political science), John Forbes (history and art), and Theodore Bedrick (math and Latin). Sparks managed to procure such top professorial talent by means of accomplished salesmanship and high salaries. See Wabash on My Mind, p. 60. See also “Free-enterprise Champion Dr. Benjamin A. Rogge Dies,” Crawfordsville (Ind.) Journal-Review, Nov. 17, 1980; and “Benjamin Arnold Rogge (1920–80),” in Ideas on Liberty: Essays in Honor of Paul L. Poirot (Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y.: Foundation for Economic Education, 1987), pp. 39–41.
[28. ]Rogge became dean of the college when Byron Trippet left that position to assume the presidency of Wabash. Sparks resigned as president in 1956 to run for governor of Indiana, but he stayed on as chairman of the board of trustees. When Sparks became president of Wabash in 1941, perhaps his most successful undertaking was to gather a powerful, affluent, and influential board of trustees that included men such as Eli Lilly; Eugene Beesley, CEO of the Lilly Corporation; Edmund Ball, president of Ball Brothers Corporation of Muncie; and Goodrich. Dr. Philip Wilder, telephone interview, February 19, 1992.
[29. ]See letter and memorandum from Byron Trippet to Pierre F. Goodrich and Dean Ben A. Rogge, June 15, 1964, files of Byron Trippet, Archives, Wabash College. The memorandum states in part:
[30. ]The programs at Michigan and Wisconsin were the Public Utility Executive Program (Michigan) and the American Bankers Association’s School of Banking (Wisconsin). Wabash’s liberal arts program for businessmen has had a number of titles, including the Wabash Executive Program and the Wabash Institute for Personal Development. Rogge made the program highly successful. It is a three-year summer program in which corporate executives come to campus for several weeks each during three summers to discuss philosophical, political, ethical, and business issues after reading from a prepared list of books. For a historical summary of the program, see George D. Lovell, “The Wabash Institute for Personal Development,” in These Fleeting Years: Wabash College, 1832–1982 (Crawfordsville, Ind.: Wabash College, 1982), pp. 120–25.
[31. ]See “College Professor New Board Member,” ITC Highlights, June–August 1971, p. 2.
[32. ]Richard Ristine, interview, February 15, 1993.
[33. ]Stephen Tonsor, interview, December 5, 1992. Tonsor said that Goodrich had told him once that he had hoped Rogge would eventually become president of Wabash. If that had happened, it is possible that Goodrich would have contributed much of his wealth to the college in furtherance of his and Rogge’s beliefs, which they expressed in the jointly written paper “Education in a Free Society.”
[34. ]Apparently, Goodrich’s unhappiness with the direction in which Wabash was heading had been long-standing. In a letter written as early as June 1960, he expressed these sentiments to Trippet.
. . . I also, on further reflection, believe the College is not headed in the direction of further individual freedom and perhaps my views would not accomplish much. I am very busy and it is likely that I would also waste my time. . . . (Letter from Goodrich to Trippet, June 25, 1960, Pierre F. Goodrich Collection, Archives, Wabash College)
[35. ]See Wabash on My Mind, pp. 190–91, n. 23. The reason Goodrich gave for resigning in 1969 was pressing business matters. No doubt this was partially true, because he was attempting to sell off many of his business holdings, such as the Ayrshire Collieries Corporation. Moreover, he was putting a tremendous amount of time into establishing Liberty Fund. It was also true, however, that he had lost much of his enthusiasm for his alma mater and felt more and more that the time and energy he expended on it was not fruitful. Richard Ristine said that Goodrich seemed increasingly uncomfortable and aloof at board meetings. Finally, the Goodrich Seminar Room was not being used as Goodrich had intended. There had been some grumblings from professors and students about the restricted use of the room. With all of this happening at once, Goodrich did not feel appreciated; even more important, he did not believe that his efforts were bearing fruit, and he came to believe that his time was being wasted (interview, February 15, 1993).
[36. ]Although Goodrich allegedly did not watch television, he no doubt was very much aware of campus uprisings and was concerned about the vehemence and fervor of the demonstrations. He sent a copy of a newsletter produced by the leftist Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) to Wabash president Paul W. Cook in March 1968. The newsletter described classes run by SDS members in which students were taught to disrupt city college campuses and city political offices. See “Subcellar Student Subversion,” U.S.A. 15 (March 1, 1968), Pierre F. Goodrich files, Archives, Wabash College.
[37. ]Rem Johnston, interview, July 30, 1993. Johnston, a 1955 graduate of Wabash, is now a trustee and is intimately familiar with what was happening at Wabash in the late 1960s and the early 1970s.
[38. ]Frank Sparks was an amazing man about whom Byron Trippet had hoped someone would write a biography. Sparks grew up on a farm near Culver, Indiana, but early on engaged in business with definite plans to become a millionaire by the time he was forty years old. He began a company in the early 1920s known as the Indianapolis Tire and Pump Company. Sparks was a great salesman and a hard worker. His company floundered, however, until he landed a contract with Ford to produce a hundred thousand tire pumps. James Goodrich provided a line-of-credit for Sparks, and overnight the company (then known as Noblitt-Sparks Industries) flourished. Sparks later moved the company to Columbus, Indiana, changed its name to Arvin Industries, and went on to produce heaters, radios, and other automotive products. He soon became extremely rich. Sparks was not content with his wealth, however, and he decided he wanted to become a college president. He allowed himself ten years to achieve his plans, and he proceeded to earn a bachelor of arts degree from Butler University and a doctorate in economics from the University of Southern California. In 1941, he was appointed president of Wabash College. Sparks remained in that position until 1956, when he resigned to run for governor of Indiana. He lost at the Republican convention to Harold Handley, who went on to become governor from 1957 to 1961. For a more detailed account of Sparks’s life, see Trippet, Wabash on My Mind, pp. 40–80, and Patrick J. Furlong, Indiana: An Illustrated History (Northridge, Calif.: Windsor Publications, 1986), pp. 204–5.
[39. ]Sparks was very supportive of Goodrich’s efforts in establishing the Indiana State Temporary Committee of the Great Books Program. Sparks served on the committee and donated much time to it. Trippet describes in his recollection of Goodrich the relationship that Goodrich and Sparks enjoyed: “Pierre served as a Wabash trustee from 1940 to 1969. During much of that time he was a vice-president of the board. He was always a trustee who had to be reckoned with in major decisions and the reckoning had to be done before formal meetings. He [Goodrich] was quite fond of Frank Sparks and Frank ‘handled’ Pierre well . . .” (Wabash on My Mind, p. 183).
[40. ]According to Hall Peebles, a professor of religion at Wabash who knew both Goodrich and Trippet, Trippet had a mind like that of Edmund Burke, possessing extreme clarity of thought and articulate expression. Trippet’s insightful remembrances of Goodrich in Wabash on My Mind (pp. 182–87) confirm this view. Trippet was a native of Princeton, Indiana. He graduated from Wabash in 1930 and then studied in Switzerland for a year before spending two years as a Rhodes scholar from 1930 to 1932. He went on to devote almost all of his adult life to Wabash College, serving as an assistant professor of history in 1935, as dean from 1939 to 1955, and finally as president from 1956 to 1965. According to Peebles, Trippet got tired of the endless fund-raising and traveling that went along with being president of a private institution and retired in 1965 (interview, February 15, 1993).
[41. ]Letter from Paul Cook to Goodrich, December 12, 1966, Pierre F. Goodrich files, Archives, Wabash College.
[42. ]As to the involvement in college matters of the Wabash board, apparently the prevailing attitude was (and still is) that trustees are to assist primarily in fund-raising. Their delving deeply into academic matters was not appreciated. Tradition has been, according to Ristine, that a trustee comes on the board knowing that he or she is to “give, get, or get off.” Goodrich’s long-term commitment to become intimately involved in academic issues was apparently not appreciated by other board members, who apparently either did not think it proper or did not want to devote that much time to micromanaging the college’s academic affairs (interview, February 15, 1993).
[44. ]See B. A. Rogge, “Memorandum Concerning Possible Uses of Funds Coming to the College Under the Terms of the Recent Agreement with P. F. Goodrich” (especially section II—The P. F. Goodrich Chair in Political Economy), Benjamin Rogge files, Archives, Wabash College. Ristine claims that Rogge told him that he (Rogge) didn’t believe that a chair should be endowed just for the purpose of teaching free-market economics; accepting Ristine’s memory, it seems strange that Rogge would draft such a proposal unless it was simply to appease Goodrich. After reading Rogge’s memorandum and learning how devoted Rogge was to free-market principles, such a comment by Rogge seems peculiar. Ristine went on to say, “Milton Friedman said to me once, ‘Don’t ever have a chair of free enterprise.’ He said if you teach economics correctly and expose bright students to all facets, they’ll come to the conclusion that there should be a free market. But don’t ram it down their throats. Pierre really didn’t believe that” (interview, February 15, 1993). Rogge’s proposal was not the first that Goodrich had expressed an interest in. In 1957, there had been some discussion among Goodrich, Sparks, and Rogge about the possibility of a visiting professorship’s being funded by Goodrich. See “Memorandum, to Dr. Sparks, Mr. Goodrich,” April 13, 1957, Pierre F. Goodrich Collection, Wabash College.
[45. ]Richard Ristine, interview, February 15, 1993.
[46. ]Letter from Paul W. Cook, Jr., president, Wabash College, to Pierre F. Goodrich, January 7, 1967, p. 2, Pierre F. Goodrich files, Archives, Wabash College.
[47. ]Frank W. Misch served as acting president in the interim. Ristine recalls that Goodrich did not support him (Ristine) for governor in 1964, but that he did support him strongly to succeed Cook in 1968 as Wabash’s president. In fact, Goodrich had Ristine over to his house in Indianapolis to discuss the possibility of Ristine’s appointment. Byron Trippet discusses briefly the friction that existed on the board and among the alumni between the Ristine supporters and the Seymour supporters. Trippet contends that one reason he was asked to fill Goodrich’s position on the board when Pierre resigned in 1969 was to help Seymour. See Wabash on My Mind, pp. 190–91 and n. 23.
[48. ]According to Edward McLean, professor of politics at Wabash, Goodrich did not think highly of either Seymour’s informal dress or his showmanship (Seymour was an amateur magician who often performed on and off campus) (interview, May 8, 1992).
[49. ]Rogge wrote Seymour a memorandum in November 1969 about a testimonial dinner that was held for Goodrich on Pierre’s seventy-fifth birthday. Rogge attached a flattering letter that Frank R. Barnett, a Wabash alumnus, had written to honor Goodrich (see chapter 33 for the publication of the letter). It is evident that Rogge wanted Seymour to know Goodrich’s virtues. See Ben Rogge, “Memorandum,” November 17, 1969, Benjamin A. Rogge files, Archives, Wabash College.
[50. ]John Van Sickle was a prominent free-market economics professor at Wabash along with Rogge from 1946 to 1961. Van Sickle was an early Mont Pelerin Society member. The campus journal of the John Van Sickle Club was the Wabash Journal of Economic, Social, and Political Opinion, a libertarian publication that Ben Rogge nominally oversaw as a faculty member in the 1960s and 1970s.
[51. ]The essay had to be based either on the Liberty Fund Basic Memorandum or on other books located in the Goodrich Seminar Room. The first-place winner was to receive up to half of the income from a fund that Goodrich had established, and the second-place finisher was to receive no more than half the amount that the first-place winner had received. See letter from Pierre F. Goodrich to William Degitz, business manager, December 31, 1968, Pierre F. Goodrich files, Archives, Wabash College.
[52. ]Edward McLean, interview, May 8, 1992. McLean is the Wabash professor who has been most closely involved in administering the Goodrich Lecture Series since Benjamin Rogge’s death in 1980.
[53. ]Edward B. McLean, ed. (Bryn Mawr, Pa.: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 1995). The second volume in this series is tentatively titled A History of the Concept of Liberty.