While formal schooling is an important advantage, it is not a guarantee of success nor is its absence a fatal handicap.
—Ray Kroc (1902–84) American Entrepreneur, Businessperson
Within the university… you can study without waiting for any efficient or immediate result. You may search, just for the sake of searching, and try for the sake of trying. So there is a possibility of what I would call playing. It’s perhaps the only place within society where play is possible to such an extent.
—Jacques Derrida (1930–2004) French Philosopher, Literary Theorist
‘Tis well enough for a servant to be bred at an University. But the education is a little too pedantic for a gentleman.
—William Congreve (1670–1729) English Playwright, Poet
A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in students.
—John Ciardi (1916–86) American Poet, Teacher, Etymologist, Translator
The race of prophets is extinct. Europe is becoming set in its ways, slowly embalming itself beneath the wrappings of its borders, its factories, its law-courts and its universities. The frozen Mind cracks between the mineral staves which close upon it. The fault lies with your moldy systems, your logic of 2 + 2 = 4. The fault lies with you, Chancellors, caught in the net of syllogisms. You manufacture engineers, magistrates, doctors, who know nothing of the true mysteries of the body or the cosmic laws of existence. False scholars blind outside this world, philosophers who pretend to reconstruct the mind. The least act of spontaneous creation is a more complex and revealing world than any metaphysics.
—Antonin Artaud (1896–1948) French Actor, Drama Theorist
The greatest gift that Oxford gives her sons is, I truly believe, a genial irreverence toward learning, and from that irreverence love may spring.
—Robertson Davies (1913–95) Canadian Novelist, Playwright, Essayist
I was a modest, good-humored boy. It is Oxford that has made me insufferable.
—Max Beerbohm (1872–1956) British Essayist, Caricaturist, Novelist
Let’s not burn the universities yet. After all, the damage they do might be worse.
—H. L. Mencken (1880–1956) American Journalist, Literary Critic
Apparently, the most difficult feat for a Cambridge male is to accept a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking, but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both.
—Sylvia Plath (1932–63) American Poet, Novelist
I am willing to admit that some people might live there for years, or even a lifetime, so protected that they never sense the sweet stench of corruption that is all around them — the keen, thin scent of decay that pervades everything and accuses with a terrible accusation the superficial youthfulness, the abounding undergraduate noise, that fills those ancient buildings.
—Thomas Merton (1915–68) American Trappist Monk