Back to Top
Top Nav content Site Footer
University Home

Archive Research Center

University Honors

Chairman of the Board, Ford Motor Co., University of Detroit Board of Trustees

Honorary Doctor of Laws



Last evening the University's Baccalaureate speaker took as his theme the Credo of the University of Detroit - that we believe in God, in the intrinsic value of the human person, in his God-given rights; that we therefore stand opposed to the materialistic philosophies which would make man the pawn of the State, of an economic system, or the mass mind. He pointed out that the secret of human relations is man's ability properly to appraise the value of the human person in himself and in his fellow man, and that this value is rooted in the eternal destiny of the individual soul. It is evident that such a Credo is elusive in the abstract. It is possible to dramatize it in the panorama of history, as Father Lord did in his brilliant creation, "Light Up the Land." And it will be understood and accepted if it appears visible and, so to speak, incarnate in the distinguished deeds of men of action of our own times. As the University looks out over the Detroit of today, she notes with pride its giant accomplishments in housing, in transportation, in community service, in municipal administration and in industrial relations. This fills her with a special and urgent sense of responsibility for the role which she feels called upon to play in ministering to the heart and soul of the Detroit of tomorrow. In attempting to fulfill this responsibility she is heartened and strengthened by knowing that many of the very men who have contributed notably to the material progress of Detroit are eager to share, and have already shared, in her educational and spiritual mission. The University is deeply grateful to these men for the encouragement, the inspiration, and the assistance which they have given in such generous measure. Tonight, Reverend President, I have the privilege of presenting three of these men, members of the Advisory Board of Lay Trustees, for the highest recognition which the University has the power to bestow - the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws. The greatest obstacle to human progress has always been friction, mechanical friction, friction of ideas, and the clash of personalities. Man won his first battle against friction when he discovered the wheel. In the early years of this century, in a little town in the Ozarks, a boy was learning in his father's blacksmith hop "that making wheels run better was the way to get ahead." Wheels became for him the symbol of smooth-running efficiency. He went to college and learned that figures and phrases and ideas could be made to whirl and gyrate with smoothness and precision. He entered the business world and found that even human beings could be taught to function efficiently together if they were properly organized and inspired. From that day to this Mr. Ernest Breech has been in demand as an organizer and inspirer of men. It was inevitable that such a mind should immediately catch the import of the message in Father Lord's "Light Up the Land" and want its inspiring appeal carried to all the young people of America. And so under his sponsorship and with his assistance the song and color of this magnificent spectacle lives on in a full-length file. This is only one of many indications that Mr. Breech values the distinctive educational ideal which are the cherished heritage of the University of Detroit. Reverend President, I present Mr. Ernest R. Breech for the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws. Commencement, University of Detroit, June 16, 1955.

University of Detroit

Back to Top