Texas Tech University

Graduates about Peirce

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The following introductory lines are from a letter written by Claude V. Bridges, a graduate student of the Institute, to a generous donor, whose contribution established the initial Peirce Professorship Endowment and whose wish was to stay anonymous.

"My Dear...
In presenting this letter to you several weeks since I first mentioned writing it, I wish to express my earnestness in considering the opportunity that it represents. As a matter of fact, I have written several drafts as more and more I realize the heavy weight of history descending upon my heart and mind. Moreover, the coming together of such a wide array of circumstances makes me feel the hand of fate is guiding us toward the correction of one of mankind's most tragic errors. For this reason, I consider what I have to convey to you as my offering of love; for out of such a spirit, I invite you to meet a man whose life and works were among the most noble in human history. Yet, his profundity placed him among history's most tragic figures by not recognizing his passion for truth. Of course, I present the Honorable Charles Sanders Peirce whose treasure of ideas have found their way westward and settled at Texas Tech University. Here they lie, waiting for the community of scholars to sift through the richness of his ideas, until we come to know the outer limits of his thought.[…] As you come to know him better, you will marvel at the comprehensiveness of his work and the depths at which he labored. Indeed, no one man has come to comprehend the precision of his craftsmanship, nor has the community of man yet to map the broad expanse of his wonderings. As I sit in the Institute, I feel the awesome presence of modern man's most significant mind, whose ideas are of such lasting quality that they stand in relevance as much today, as when he wrote them up to a hundred years ago."

(2824 23rd Street, Lubbock Texas, 79410, February 22, 1979)