David McCullough urges Boston College grads to treasure learning

Historians in the News

In a heartfelt ode to the power and joys of education, acclaimed historian David McCullough exhorted Boston College graduates this morning to "make the love of learning central to your life."

In his keynote address at the college's commencement on its Chestnut Hill campus, the award-winning historian extolled the "transforming miracle of education" and warned more than 3,300 graduates not to confuse plain facts with deeper truths.

"Information has value, sometimes great value," he said. "But information, let us be clear, isn't learning. Information isn't poetry, or art, or Gershwin or the Shaw Memorial. Or faith. It isn't wisdom. Facts alone are never enough. ... One can have all the facts and miss the truth."

If information were learning, McCullough jested, students could memorize the World Almanac and consider themselves educated.

"If you memorized the World Almanac, you wouldn't be educated, you'd be weird!" he exclaimed.

McCullough, whose critically acclaimed history "John Adams" was the basis for an HBO series on the nation's second president, received an honorary degree and said he was "profoundly honored by so high a tribute."

The winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for his best-selling historical volumes, McCullough has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award.
Read entire article at Boston Globe

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