National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Fall/Winter 2015, Volume 16, Number 2.


Copyright © 2015 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


In February of 1967, newly elected Governor Ronald Reagan delivered a speech about California’s austere budget in which he chided the “intellectual luxury” of higher education as something that could lead to “economic ruin” if unchecked. “Taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing intellectual curiosity,” Gov. Reagan decreed. Thus began in California and soon the rest of the nation a historic conversation about the role of higher education: Do we exist to open minds to the world or open doors to a job?