A certain fire that must be kept burning

Inaugural procession of Franklin S. Harris, October 17, 1921. Harris stands on the right.

90 years ago Franklin S. Harris said these words at his inauguration as the fourth president of Brigham Young University:

“There has grown out of the history of the institution a particular mandate that must be respected – a certain fire that must be kept burning….

“The first task of the future is to preserve at the institution this spirit that comes to us from the past – the true spirit of the Brigham Young University. This spirit places character above learning, and indelibly burns into the consciousness of the student the fact that the most enduring joy is dependent on spiritual growth which looks toward eternal progression.

“One cannot look toward the future of Brigham Young University without becoming enthusiastic. The very fact that it is…devoting its energies to the teaching of truth to a large group of young people who are to assume leadership in building up the world makes one grow humble in feeling and reverent in attitude.

It now remains for us who are charged with the responsibility of conducting the institution to live up to our possibilities. May God grant us wisdom and strength to play well our part.”

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