Explore selected multi-media items from the archival and special collections of Bridgewater State University’s Maxwell Library. These unique items help document the rich history of Bridgewater State University and the lives and contributions of its alumni.
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Clement C. Maxwell
Length of Recording: 0:46:30. Recorded by Henry Rosen, director of the Audiovisual Department, Bridgewater State Teachers College
While a professor, Clement C. Maxwell specialized in English literature and was a noted Dickens scholar. Maxwell’s lecture on Dickens covers what he identifies as the major theme throughout the writer’s work: “to strike a blow for the poor” by drawing attention to the dire conditions of the underprivileged during the Victorian age. Maxwell describes Dickens childhood and how that shaped his mission to improve the living conditions of London’s underclasses. The lecture draws upon examples from several of Dicken’s novels to illustrate the horrors of debtors’ prisons, the unfairness in the court system, and the sub-standard quality of education in England in his day. Despite the bleak depictions of life in London, Dickens’ sense of humor and optimism is emphasized. Maxwell also notes Dickens’ inclusion of children as frequent and often major characters in his novels. Maxwell credits the inclusion of children as characters to the development of increased sympathy for children and children’s rights.
Clement C. Maxwell
On November 21, 1952, Clement C. Maxwell was formally inaugurated as the seventh President of the Bridgewater State Teachers College. Director of the Massachusetts State Teachers Colleges, Dr. Patrick J. Sullivan, presided over the Exercises. Speakers included representatives from the other State Teachers Colleges, the State Board of Education, alumni and student groups, and the Town of Bridgewater. Dr. John J. Desmond, Jr., Commissioner of Education, performed the installation of Maxwell as President.
Maxwell’s Inaugural address “Following the Gleam,” begins with a brief history of the state Normal School movement in Massachusetts and the vital role played by Horace Mann in its founding. Maxwell then provides short descriptions of the tenures and accomplishments of the six men who preceded him as either principal or president. The speech then outlines Maxwell’s vision and motivation for his incoming administration. He calls on the inspirations dating back to the founding of the Normal Schools to guide the college in its future growth and mission – the education of the whole man. Maxwell extols education that not only trains, but teaches “the values that constitute the good man, the good citizen, the good teacher, the teacher who goes into his profession with a deeply serious sense of purpose and a full, rich, appreciation of the good and the true.” He describes the Bridgewater purpose and ideal as “the shaper of the teaching mind and heart, as the creator of the teaching attitude.”