Selected Sayings of Woodbridge Nathan Ferris
(1853-1928)
Woodbridge N. Ferris
  • "If I had my way, there would be in every community a life-sized statue of Abraham Lincoln."
  • "My plea in Michigan -- and it will be my plea to the last breath I draw, and the last word I speak -- is education for all children, all men, and all women of Michigan, all the people in all our states all the time."
  • "Schools must deal with fundamentals, must build a foundation and furnish a plan for a possible human structure of beauty, strength and service."
  • "I have come here to help you, boys and girls, if you will let me."
  • "Permit and encourage a student who has the ability to do four years of scheduled work in three years."
  • "Education is life. It involves growth, development and training."
  • "When a human being ceases to do constructive thinking, ceases to find new and better ways of living, he is as dead as any corpse in a cemetery."
  • "It is your place as a teacher to feed mental hunger."
  • "The world will always stand back for the man that can do things, even if he has hayseed in his hair."
  • "The school can't do everything. There are some of the elemental teachings that must come from the home life of the child."
  • "I have always entertained the notion that the majority of mankind sleeps 24 hours a day. Awaken students to a realization of what it means to live, and they will have little difficulty in performance."
  • "I make no attempt to solve all of the problems that any one day presents."
  • "No man can see very far into the future. Day by day his perspective changes."
  • "I am not an optimist, nor am I a pessimist. I am a meliorist."
  • "The world is one big family. Time and distance have been annihilated. National isolation is a thing of the past."

--many thanks to Caryl B. Ferguson and Richard A. Santer for their tireless efforts in compiling these thoughts.