Brock's First Presidential Speech

Handwritten Speech by Dr. Gibson

Dr. Gibson's Speech, September 16, 1964


"I welcome you to Brock University..."

It is Archives Awareness Week. So we reached way back and found the handwritten speech that President James A. Gibson read on the first day of classes at Brock on September 16, 1964. Dr. Gibson addressed a group of 129 new students at the Silver Spire Church in downtown St. Catharines. A builders strike delayed the opening of the Glenridge Campus until October.

There was so much promise and expectation for Brock. Dr. Gibson's words were instructive and inspirational. He closed:

"The hard work phase is now, the glamour may arrive later. But for the present, you must put your backs into it and work as you have never worked before. If you need a pleasant word to roll around your academic tongue, try on for taste and for size the motto of this university - Surgite - to press forward, to press on. I wish you good health, good fortune, and every success."

Dr. Gibson called this event the most exciting day of his life.

The entire speech can be found at

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