College Sermon Illustrations

College Sermon Illustrations

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Late on a summer's afternoon, after a long ride through the beautiful valley of the Shenandoah, that starlit abbey of the Confederacy, well-watered like the garden of the Lord, and with mountains on either side to guard it, I alighted at the little town of Lexington, Virginia. It is a town dear to all the Southland, for it holds the dust of her two great military heroes, Lee and Jackson. There is the university, with its sloping lawns and gracious trees and white-pillared buildings. Fifty years ago it was a small, broken-down, bankrupt college, with neither students nor funds.

Had I been there on another summer's evening I might have seen a chunky gray horse come steadily up the hill and pass down the main street of the village. Astride his back sat a tall, grave man, clad in Confederate gray. The horse was Traveler, and the rider Robert E. Lee. When the war was over an English nobleman offered him an estate in England and an insurance company of New York offered him fifty thousand dollars for the use of his name. The trustees of this little Presbyterian college borrowed a suit of broadcloth from a local judge and sent one of their members down to Richmond to proffer Lee the presidency of Washington College—at the munificent salary of fifteen hundred dollars a year! This was the offer Lee accepted, and there in that little mountain college he wrote the noblest chapter of his life, and took "captivity captive."


Ad in the Washington Post and Times Herald: "Officer, Army (retired), who worked way through college washing dishes, finds it necessary to work daughter's way through college and wishes to try some other field."


Asked Frank Meadows how his boy's getting along at the state university, where he's a freshman in business administration. "Fine, I guess," Frank replied. "He's quit asking me for money. Now he just bills me."


I find that the three major administrative problems on a campus are sex for the students, athletics for the alumni, and parking for the faculty.—Clark Kerr, University of California Education Digest


Sally: "So you graduated from barber college. What was your college yell?"

Jim: "Cut his lip; cut his jaw; leave his face Raw! Raw! Raw!"—The Lookout


Big organizations are holding out their richest rewards—their best jobs—to the college trained. The little group that Vance Packard calls the diploma elite. It will pay you well to crowd into that group.


From a Northwestern University release: "There will be a meeting today of all students interested in playing golf, tennis, badminton and field hockey in room 124 in McGraw Hall."

Must get awfully crowded at times.—T. O. White


Ed Graham, advertising genius, went to Dartmouth with a writing career in mind. He flunked his first freshman theme but sent it to Saturday Evening Post who bought it for $50.

This brought him some fame on campus; his next theme brought an A from his professor with this note, "Sorry I can't give you $50."


Recently, the U. S. Office of Education declared colleges could handle an additional 60,000 live-in students or 250,000 day students if they used space efficiently. Some use only 35% of capacity. While no one expects every desk to be filled all the time, experts believe 60% of capacity is not unreasonable. Temple University has topped 80% without apparent loss of education quality. Traditionally, colleges run at half-speed in the afternoons and on Saturdays. Dr. Harold Stoke, president of Queens College, commented recently: "I know many campuses where a gunshot in the middle of the afternoon would not only hit no one; there would scarcely be anyone about to hear it."—Ed Kiester, Parade


A man wouldn't choose a home by moonlight but he often lets his son choose a college with no more illumination than that.


Salesman stranded in my home town asked if there was a movie; no, no pool room or bowling alley.

"What form of amusement do you have here?" "There is a freshman home from the university."


Laurence Lafore is a professor at Swarthmore College. He prohibits his students to use any of the following words in their papers: area (except in a geographical sense), concept, correlate, data, dichotomy, effectuate, factor, feel (for believe), framework (except in buildings), frame of reference, in terms of, level, meaningful, norm, orientate, pragmatic, program, schema, structure (as a verb ), and oriented, preceded by any word.


With the growing avalanche of college applications, this joke, purportedly based on a true incident, gets dusted off.

An honest father wrote to the dean at a women's college, objec-tively appraising his daughter's qualifications. "While she is not an outstanding leader," he admitted, "she does follow well."

Back came the dean's reply: "We have already admitted 267 leaders to this year's freshman class and desperately need your daughter since she is the only follower."—Changing Times


While I was a student at Washington and Jefferson, I went into the room of a classmate one day, and there, above his desk, was tacked a simple, hand-lettered sign: 'I am third.' I said to him, 'Bill, I know you play baseball, but I don't understand what you mean by that sign.' But Bill wouldn't tell me what he meant. All through college that sign stayed above his desk, and he never told me why. Then, just before he was graduated, I asked him again, and this is what he said:

"When I left home, my mother told me always to remember that God is first, others are second, and I am third. I was afraid I wouldn't remember, so I made that little sign and tacked it up.' I am sure Bill was the only one in college to whom that sign did apply—he always followed its teachings."—Captain Maurice M. Witherspoon, Sunshine Magazine


Over in the Registrar's office they were busy compiling statistics about student religious preferences. They found the usual number of Methodists, Lutherans, Catholics, etc., listed under "Church Preference." But a neatly lettered card filled in by an architecture major really stopped them. His Church Preference was "Gothic."—Pelican

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