Following the Gleam

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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.”


Dr. Clement C. Maxwell (1898-1969), the former chairman of the English Department and Dean of the graduate school was appointed temporary president of Bridgewater State Teacher’s College upon the death of the president John J. Kelly in 1951. Maxwell was formally appointed president the following year and inaugurated on November 21, 1952. During his years as president, Maxwell oversaw campus expansion: the student body doubled in size, the number of faculty members tripled, two new dormitories and a gymnasium were constructed. More importantly, Maxwell was pivotal in the planning and development for the Bachelor of Arts degree program.

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Following the Gleam