A Socialization of Nationalism and Christian Values: The Baylor University Conference on American Ideals

By Britney Graber

The 1950s was an ever-changing decade of American history, particularly among higher education institutions. Coming out of World War II, entering the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and the onset of the Cold War precipitated a culture of fear—particularly of Communism—that ran rampant through the United States, extending to college campuses. Colleges and universities had to navigate these treacherous waters, determining whether or not to aggressively confront these issues and fears, or passively allow time to dissipate them. As a Baptist university and “‘champions of absolute religious liberty for every man’” (McDermott, 1959b, p. 1), Baylor was an institution that decided to promote the American ideal of nationalism and Christian values, simultaneously combatting Communism. Therefore, Baylor University established a series of annual conferences on American ideals during the 1950s to educate attendees morally and civically.

1956 Conference Program. (Courtesy of the Texas Collection)

The Baylor University Conference on American Ideals not only invited prominent religious, political, and social leaders of the time to campus, but also brought artists who emanated Americanism through their preferred medium (i.e., musician who played classic American tunes). Despite Baylor University’s Christian identity and assumed role in indoctrinating students into a specific value system, Baylor used the Conference on American Ideals to expand those Christian values and strong patriotic stance beyond the student population to all conference attendees who would in turn take those values and beliefs back to their respective institutions and homes. Thus, in the span of the conference’s short existence in the 1950s and early 1960s, Baylor University used the Conference on American Ideals to socialize conference attendees—especially students—in Christian values and American nationality as a means of moral and civic education, particularly through conference addresses and entertainment.

American Civilization Course

The Conference on American Ideals grew largely from the early 1950s’ development of a new degree program in American Civilization that had “gained considerable national recognition…for its pioneering work” (Vollmering 1953b, p. 1), offering both an undergraduate and graduate track. “Students in this field specialize[d] in a study of American literature, history, social science, religion, philosophy and other fundamental aspects of the American culture” (Vollmering 1953b, p. 1). At the same time, Baylor University administration was working to create a mandatory course on the United States Constitution that would be a requirement to graduate.

The course will be taught with the conviction that all Baylor students should be thoroughly acquainted with the principles of American government which make the nation great. The constitution course will be in addition to requirements in American history and political science. (Vollmering, 1953b, p. 4)

Clearly, Baylor University held an impassioned reverence for civic education and leveraged this strong belief to create a mandatory course for all students to be educated in the foundational government principles Baylor believed to be crucial to their education.

At the first annual conference in 1953, The Baylor Lariat stated,

President W. A. White declared Saturday, in perhaps the bluntest statement issued by any American educator, that “no one could remain at Baylor University who would use the Fifth Amendment as a subterfuge on the question of membership in the Communist party.” (Vollmering, 1953e, p. 1)

Moreover, White would “‘certainly consider membership in the Communist party as an act of sedition’” (Vollmering, 1953e, p. 1). White believed Christianity (and a course in the United States Constitution) would be a critical step in saving America from Communism and held no qualms in vocalizing his opinion, revealing that Baylor University’s presidential leader was paving an intentional path towards indoctrinating the university community and beyond in Christian values.

Purpose of Conference

In an article in The Baylor Lariat, Baylor administrators pronounced, “The Conference…seeks annually to focus attention on preservation of American freedoms” (Roberson, 1955a, p. 1), and “‘to re-evaluate the American Way of Life and reaffirm the American principles of freedom and democracy’” (Miller, 1960a, p. 1). When asked about the Conference on American Ideals, White (1971) reflected:

[W]e brought outstanding men here whom businessmen trusted and the people with money believed in. You see, the academic group was bringing in all types, largely liberals, and I brought in, to balance that, largely conservatives and also men that the giving world had confidence in. (p. 151)

Thus, the conference was not only a means of emulating Christian and American values, but also catered to wealthy donors, aligning a conference with their conservative beliefs (Christian 1998).

Prior to his arrival at Baylor University, conference speaker Roger Blough received a letter from president White (1955) describing Baylor’s intentions for the conference and the foundation on which those intentions were built: “Baylor University stands unalterably for the fundamental principles of our free enterprise and the great basic concepts of the Christian faith” (para. 2). The Baylor administration clearly communicated to invited speakers Baylor’s position and expectations, implying an adherence to and support for those particular standards.

Unfortunately, as time went on, Christian (1998) reflected that the conference “appeared to become increasingly simply a forum for antigovernment protests, antiliberalism” (p. 159), thus revealing Baylor’s attempts to socialize her students against specific forms of government, rather than for governmental causes and efforts. Nonetheless, the original intention of the conference sought to bring American nationalism and Christian values together in one forum to discuss how the two intertwine to create and maintain the American ideal.


Billy Graham. (Courtesy of the Baylor University Digital Collection: The Baylor Lariat, Vol. 56 No. 29)

Baylor University brought a variety of religious, political, legal, media, and organizational leaders to campus to be featured speaks of the American Ideals conference, both in evening and convocation addresses (see Appendix). The speakers selected to provide the addresses at the American Ideals conference each year spoke volumes in terms of who Baylor University believed and endorsed as leaders emulating values and convictions consistent with Christianity and American nationalism. In the initial years of the conference, the roster of featured speakers highlighted a cast of politicians, attorneys, and even the young Baptist preacher William “Billy” Graham (Legate, 1954c). But as time went on, the conference brought in more industry leaders, such as the President of the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, the President of the Valley Forge Freedoms Foundation, Hollywood movie director Cecile DeMille, and James Cash (J.C.) Penney (Browning, 1957b; Christian, 1998; Wall, 1960). Regardless of their occupations and leadership roles, all speakers were respected as prominent Americans and Christian leaders who spoke candidly about what it means to live the American (i.e., Christian) way of life.

Speech Themes

Examining the addresses given by the featured speakers throughout the life of the Conference on American Ideals (see Appendix), several reoccurring topical themes emerged. Concurrently, a shift away from a unification under the American flag as Christians toward unification under societal problems becomes evident through the content of the speeches. Nonetheless, through careful consideration of these frequently intermingling themes of freedom and democracy, Communism, and Christian faith, it becomes apparent that the content of the speeches given at the annual American Ideals conference projected Baylor’s socialization of students in Christian values and American nationalism.

Freedom and Democracy

By far the most predominant theme found in conference addresses is the concept of freedom and democracy, specifically as a result of the founding of America on Christian principles. In his speech, Reverend Billy Graham (1954) stated,

Our forefathers, the founders of the great educational institutions of this country, were men of God who believed in God and who meant that America was to be a nation that would always go under the banner of God Almighty and Jesus Christ, His Son. (p. 5)

The American Ideals conference speakers urged their audiences to consider the importance of freedom and the superiority of democracy to all other forms of government and to all other places, instigating a further sense of American nationalism and supremacy.

In Elwood Fouts’ speech at the third annual conference, he indulged the audience with a seminar entitled “American Freedom, An Individual Responsibility” (Baylor University, 1955b). “Let me remind you that the most potent and powerful force on earth is not the atomic bomb, but a single human being, armed only with knowledge and courage,” Fouts (1955, p. 3) proclaimed. Furthermore, Fouts described how freedom is a liberating force, opening the mind to search for truth. Fouts concluded with expressing freedom as “the magic key to the miracle of the happy American Way of Life” (Fouts, 1955, p. 6).

In a similar fashion to Fouts, Blough’s convocation address that same year was entitled “The Right to Be Wrong,” signifying our democratic and right to believe and advocate for what we choose (Roberson, 1955b). Rather specifically, however, Blough (1955) imparted the necessity for Americans to take personal responsibility in living out those freedoms and not relying on the government to carry each individual.

Two years later, Hollywood movie producer and director Cecile B. DeMille offered an address entitled “The Foundations of Freedom” (Asher 1957a; Browning, 1957a, 1957b), in which he explored “the God-given freedom of man and traced American Ideals back to Mt. Sinai” (Gilbreath, 1957, p. 1). Often using his movies to convey truth to viewers, DeMille strived to communicate the question in The Ten Commandments: Who will you be ruled by—God or someone else? (Browning, 1957c). The Baylor Lariat reported an emphasis on the importance of Christianity in troubling times as stated in DeMille’s speech:

Hollywood Movie Producer Cecile DeMille
Cecile DeMille. (Courtesy of the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collection: The Baylor Lariat, Vol. 59 No. 19)

America is an ideal, based upon an idea. It was the first country in the world ever deliberately founded on an idea—the powerful and revolutionary idea expressed in our Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That is the light which America kindled in a world darkened by tyranny and oppression. (Browning, 1957d, p. 3)

Thus, DeMille communicated that the freedoms professed in the Declaration of Independence ought to instill nationalism in Americans as a God-given responsibility to save others from immorality.

With the conversations surrounding freedom and democracy, the Constitution quickly rose as a sub-theme of the addresses given at the American Ideals conference. As the United States Secretary of the Navy, Robert Anderson spoke with authority about American Ideals rooted in the Constitution (Vollmering, 1953a). Moreover, the Baylor Lariat printed Anderson’s argument that the Constitution was rooted in Christian values found in the Bible:

The indispensable basis for any law that would secure justice and freedom and equality is its identity, both in inception and in execution, with the principles of Christian conduct… To him who would seek the well-springs of good and impartial law I would say: “Study the Sermon on the Mount, the Parables, the Ten Commandments, the Epistles of St. Paul”… The American constitution…asserts our conviction of the Divine source of a set of absolute spiritual values, and with it we express a conviction that these values must not be subverted by any man or any government composed of men for any reason whatever. (Vollmering, 1953c, p. 1)

Anderson (1953) urged listeners to find the basis for American law in the Scriptures of the Bible, particularly the principles of justice, freedom, and equality. As the foundational American law and moral compass, Anderson called upon attendees to defend the Constitution, and in so doing, “[fulfill] the doctrine of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man” (Anderson, 1953, p. 9).

Moreover, other speakers such as INS Correspondent Ruth Shick Montgomery referenced particular freedoms granted by the Constitution, such as freedom of the press (Wingo, 1956b). Specifically, Shick Montgomery (1956) discussed the practical responsibilities impressed upon reporters who are free from government control, such as responsible reporting, ethical reporting, and censorship. “In America, where we have the freest press and perhaps the best-informed public in the world, we are still far short of perfection” (Shick Montgomery, 1956, p. 8). Thus, she called attendees to a higher standard of responsibility and morality when it comes to the media.

Especially amidst wartime, the spirit of American freedom perpetuated a culture of nationalism capitalized on by the American Ideals conference speakers. By highlighting freedom and democracy in America as stated in fundamental documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the conference addresses communicated a sense of superiority, pride, and perfection in the American way of life.


As mentioned previously, the 1950s was rank with a hatred of Communism. And what better way to unite people (i.e., Americans) and establish a sense of nationalism than to declare a common enemy (i.e., Communism)? Naturally, given America’s warring state, Communism became a focal point of criticism at the conference, with an emphasis on its eradication to maintain a world and a country brimming with American ideals.

At the very first conference, Paul Kayser, Houston lawyer and president of Western Natural Gas Company and El Paso Natural Gas Company, focused primarily on the combat against Communism as the focal point of his address (Vollmering, 1953a). The Baylor Lariat wrote, Kayser “singled out the Communist party as the enemy of American economy and of ideological debate” (Vollmering, 1953d). Furthermore, Kayser stated, “‘In my judgment…the world will never find peace and a forum where economic problems can be solved by intelligent logic until the communist party is destroyed by force either from within or from without’” (Vollmering, 1953d, p. 1). Thus, through creating an anger towards Communism, the conference cultivated a partiality towards the American ideal of freedom and democracy.

Although President Dwight D. Eisenhower was unable to give his address at the fourth Conference on American Ideals due to his health, the President did give his speech at the following May convocation (Wingo, 1956a). Unsurprisingly, President Eisenhower criticized Communism stating, “Communism denies the spiritual premises on which [Baylor’s] education has been based” (Eisenhower, 1956, p. 2). He continued to describe the horrors Communism had inflicted on Europe and how justice and redemption could only be found through faith. Through his denouncement of Communism, President Eisenhower endorsed the American ideal, embracing the biblical foundation of the United States and freedom granted by the American forefathers (Eisenhower, 1956).

Christian Faith

The speeches given at the Conferences on American Ideals had a prominent Christian focus. For example, the third annual conference emphasized “freedom under God” (Blough, 1955, p. 1), signifying a God-given right to believe and endorse whatever individuals choose (Roberson, 1955b). Many speakers were invited primarily due to his or her Christian faith, such as J.C. Penney: “Most of [his] writing, as well as his life, has been centered upon the deep faith by which Penney is known to live” (Bond, 1959, p. 1). The addresses given by speakers emulated a call to rise above the current state in society and idealize Christian values as salvation from the immorality of the world.

The entire town of Waco gathered to hear famed evangelist Billy Graham when he spoke at the second conference (Legate, 1954c). Clearly Graham’s presence as a featured conference speaker and prominence as a Baptist preacher communicated that the American Ideals conference represented and advocated Christian principles to attendees—a position Graham (1954) confirmed:

It has been constantly in my prayers and it has been my privilege in the past few years to recommend students to this institution. Why? Because Baylor stands not only for old fashioned Americanism, but Baylor stands for the Words of God—the unchanged Word of God which is the very bulwark of the American way of life. (p. 2-3)

Furthermore, Graham inspired his audience to consider the private and public good that Baylor University, as an institution of higher education, was contributing to in producing moral and civic leaders:

We need an institution like Baylor University that trains young men intellectually, but does not forget the spiritual, development of a soul. And Baylor more than any institution I know in the United States has taken knowledge and the intellectual in one hand and the spiritual in the other, and is developing a Christian leadership in American unparalleled at the present moment. (Graham, 1954, p. 12)

Graham marked an important point in the chronology of the Conference on American Ideals in that he was the first religious leader to speak at the event, steering the direction the conference would continue to take in the future.

Presbyterian minister Dr. Louis H. Evans was a featured speaker at the sixth annual conference in 1958. As a former Hollywood, California, pastor and summer pastor at the Presbyterian church in Washington, D.C., where President Eisenhower, J. Edgar Hoover, and other prominent government leaders attended, Evans was able to speak from both religious expertise and political experience (Walker, 1958a, 1958c). Evans was not only regionally recognized as a leading Christian minister, but also nationally-known having received several awards as an “outstanding religious leader” (Walker, 1958a, p. 1). Additionally, Evans was “the founding sponsor” and president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes from 1956-1957 (Walker, 1958c, p. 1). Undoubtedly, Evans held both a profound knowledge of religion and extensive experience interacting with prominent American leaders all over the nation, a skill-set that added to his ability to speak to both the Christian values and the civic aspects of the conference.

Basing his address on one of his books, Evan’s speech “This is America’s Hour” focused on America’s enemies on the home front (Walker, 1958b):

Speaking on the theme of the Sputnik and the spirit, Evans said schools were teaching more about science than about God and moral character. He said we could never truly win a war until we win the enemy. He stated that the danger to America was not atomic fall-out but the fall-out between husband and wife, race and race, and nation and nation. (Walker, 1958d, p. 1)

Evans expressed concern that religion had been deposed by science, particularly in academic circles. Despite the current state of our nation, “Fellowships should be given in religion as well as in science,” Evans declared (Walker, 1958d, p. 1). Thus, Evans wanted to instill in his audience a sense of worth in religion—specifically, Christianity—creating buy-in to moral education.

Baylor University selected Hollywood legend Cecile B. DeMille as a featured speaker at the fifth annual conference “both for his Christion [sic] leadership and his exemplary patriotism as an American citizen” (Browning, 1957b, p. 1). In his invitation to DeMille printed in the Baylor Lariat, president White wrote that Baylor University selected DeMille very intentionally:

…we consider you a great American and because you have sought by your art to make America and mankind conscious of the rights of freedom found in great Bible scenes and drama. You have shown the tremendous possibilities of your profession and art in building intelligent faith and character adequate for these times. (Asher, 1957, p. 1)

As the invitation clearly defines, DeMille was selected due to his ability to articulate and communicate Christian values and principles through film—a skill Baylor University undoubtedly hoped he would utilize in his address to Baylor students, community members, and other conference attendees. In his speech, DeMille claimed that “the separation of church and state… has never meant and need never mean the exclusion of moral and religious values from education or the exiling of God from our national life” (Browning, 1957d, p. 8). Thus, DeMille advocated for religious and moral education to be an integral component of higher education. At the conclusion of his address, DeMille stated emphatically, “the Law of God is and must always be an American ideal” (Browning, 1957d, p. 8), further reiterating the celebration of Christian values as the foundation of morality.

The featured speakers at the American Ideals conferences certainly possessed a commonality among them, as evidenced in their addresses. Primarily through the speeches given at the conferences did socialization precipitate through the messages conference-goers heard from prominent and respected leaders across the nation who exhibited Christian morals and American civic engagement. Thus, Baylor University set forth ideal examples of what “good people” are—Christian and nationalists.

Other Conference Events

The typically two-day conference brought in five hundred or more people from all over the United States contained a variety of engaging events for attendees (Legate, 1954c). Not only did these activities provide entertainment, but also acknowledged and honored various individuals and groups for their outstanding efforts and contributions made to society. Moreover, the entertainment selected represented a certain American ideal of patriotism, Christian faith and values, and moral duty.


On the eve of the first conference day, a banquet with a keynote address would officially launch the conference followed by a concert or theater production (Roberson, 1955a). Oftentimes, the Baylor Symphony Orchestra and Oratorio Chorus would present a concert under the direction of Daniel Sternberg (Miller, 1960b), featuring a repertoire “of patriotic and religious music” (Legate, 1954c). Thus, conference attendees were not only socialized into Christian and American principles through hearing speakers, but also by what mediums and examples of the fine arts Baylor University presented as “ideal.”

Throughout the lifetime of the conference, the Baylor Theater presented several original acts including A Story for Our Time in 1953 (Vollmering, 1953b), A Cloud of Witnesses in 1954 (Legate, 1954b), and The Seeker in 1955 (Baylor University, 1955b). A Cloud of Witnesses depicted “a study of the heroes who died therein and of the women who also served outside the mission walls” at the Alamo, appealing to heroism and honor in serving one’s country (Legate, 1954b, p. 1). Appealing to religious honor and freedom, The Seeker, “depict[ed] Roger Williams’ search for religious freedom in colonial America,” (Roberson, 1955a, p. 1). Thus, the theater acts performed at the conferences instilled these particular values and elicited an emotional response from the audience.

In later years, the fine arts entertainment element of the conference shifted to musical art as a means to communicate value and beauty. In 1954, the musical entertainment featured American religious songs, such as “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America” (Baylor University, 1954). At the seventh conference in 1959, international prize-winning Swiss cellist Rama Jucker was the guest soloist, performing with the Baylor Symphony Orchestra in conjunction with the Oratorio Chorus who sang the cantata “The Song of Songs, Which is Solomon’s” (Baylor University, 1959; Bond, 1959; McDermott, 1959a). Internationally-famed pianist Van Cliburn was the featured solo artist of the sixth annual conference in 1958, along with Baylor faculty member and opera singer Miklos Bencze. During the conference, Van Cliburn received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree, the only artist to do so in addition to the featured speakers of the conference (Walker, 1958a). These selected musical performances provided entertainment while also modeling Christian and American honor, beauty, and excellence—all values projected by the conference in totality.


President White and Cecile DeMille, Procession. (Courtesy of the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collection: The Baylor Lariat, Vol. 59 No. 20)

The main event of the conference itself was the convocation. Prior to commencement, a grand “academic procession of university faculty, trustees, and guests of Honor [marched] from Pat Neff Hall to Waco Hall” (McDermott, 1959a, p. 1), flanked by Baylor University’s Air Force ROTC and Naval Reserve Corps, and complete with academic regalia and the Golden Wave Marching Band (Vollmering, 1953b; Wingo, 1956b). Clearly, the formality of the parade reflected American nationalism and tied American honor with academia, elevating the perceived importance and respect due both the armed forces and faculty. In 1960, Baylor held a flag raising ceremony in front of Pat Neff Hall prior to the academic procession, further displaying a reverence for the symbol representing American ideals (Wall, 1960).

Convocation was similar to that of the traditional graduation ceremony at the conclusion of the school year. One of the featured speakers of the conference would typically provide the address, and honorary degrees (i.e., Doctor of Law, Doctor of Divinity, or Doctor of Humanities) would be conferred upon the year’s featured conference speakers (Legate, 1954a; Walker, 1958a; Wall, 1960), honoring his or her Christian and nationalistic values in accordance with the American ideal.

Special Dedication

In conjunction with a couple of conferences, special events were honored and commemorated. At the third annual conference in 1955, the program included the dedication of Morrison Constitution Hall, which would be the new home of the law school. The timeliness of this dedication was particularly meaningful due to the strong emphasis the conference placed on the Constitution as a foundation of American ideals (Baylor University, 1955b).

Faculty Teaching Awards

Sternberg Presented with American Ideals Teaching Award. (Courtesy of Baylor University Libraries Digital Collection: The Baylor Lariat, Vol. 62 No. 34)

The seventh annual conference of 1959 marked the first “[p]resentation of the American Ideals Teaching Award to a Baylor faculty member chosen by student body representatives” (Wall, 1960, p. 1). Dr. Ralph Lynn, a history professor, received recognition for “using excellence in instilling American ideas through teaching” and a $150 gift (McDermott, 1959b, p. 1). The following year (1960), Daniel Sternberg, Dean of the School of Music and Director of both the Baylor Symphony Orchestra and the Baylor Oratorio Chorus, received the second American Ideals Teaching Award for his artistic contributions to the conference. Moreover, the orchestra and chorus “joint concert [was] an annual highlight of the Baylor Conference on American Ideals” (Miller, 1960b, p. 1). The faculty teaching award simply exhibited once again the idealization of moral and civic education, just in the realm of the classroom.

The Baylor Freedom Forum

On a unique note, The Baylor Lariat reported in 1961: “A group of Baylor students has formed the Baylor Freedom Forum as an outgrowth of last week’s American Ideals Conference and the presidential inauguration” of Abner McCall (Hartman, 1961, p. 2). Sponsored by Glen Hilburn from the Baylor Religion Department, the group “would be affiliated with the Valley Forge Freedoms Foundation,” (Hartman, 1961, p. 2) of which the Foundation’s president Dr. Kenneth Dale Wells spoke at the American Ideals Conference.

The stated purpose of the club is to educate the student body to the subversive activities of Communism, the evils of Communism and the ways to combat these prime evils. The objectives of the club are to stress Christianity, to live Christianity and to employ Christianity in the fight again Godless Communism. (Hartman, 1961, p. 2)

The group anticipated holding weekly meetings and required members to maintain “a 2.0 grade average, profess being a Christian and have sincere desire to work for the prevention of Communism” (Hartman, 1961, p. 2). Thus, the group centered its mission around the central Christian identity of Baylor University and that of the Conference on American Ideals.


Baylor University’s attempt at civic and moral socialization did not definitively work for all conference attendees. One attendee at the ninth annual conference reflected on an address given, stating speaker Wells utilized “provocative language” when criticizing “different groups, organizations, and people” (Christian, 1998, p. 160). Furthermore, as a result of Well’s presentation on the innate relationship between the “American way of life and the Christian faith,” Christian (1998) was left with a contradiction in his understanding of the interdependency between the two. Therefore, he journeyed to “some serious thinking about how to distinguish between [his] faith and [his] culture,” which Christian said “only with great peril can be confused” (p. 160). Initially the American Ideals conference may have held a higher standard in terms of indoctrinating the audience in patriotism and Christian faith; however, as Christian (1998) shared, the conference eventually became saturated with a specific agenda and socialization—in the most negative sense of the word—in a limited and narrow set of beliefs.

Distinctly, Baylor University existed as a beacon of American pride and Christian conservatism in the 1950s. Baylor hoped to spread these two particular values throughout her campus, community, state, and world through the means of the Conference on American Ideals. Baylor University and in particular president White desired to live out that mission through providing moral and civic education by holding the American Ideals conference. However, president White was truly the one who carried that vision for Baylor as he was the individual that developed the conference and put it into effect during the years he was president. White (1956) held an impassioned reverence and fire for the sustainment of Christian higher education which he believed would precipitate American values:

The principles embedded in our American way of life which we cherish so dearly are the trophies of Christian education. The Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights in our Constitution are all derived from principles taught in the Holy Scriptures. Weaken Christian education and you weaken and even menace the survival and effectiveness of those great principles. (para. 6)

After nine successful conferences, White’s vision did not carry on under new leadership with Baylor president Abner McCall (Wall, 1962).

Nonetheless, during the lifetime of the conference, Baylor University effectively shared the vision of the American ideal with attendees through addresses and other conference events. The conference was obviously successful in bringing a large number of guests to Waco who would return home armed with knowledge and passion for the American way of life as presented at the conference. Moreover, students were impacted so much that they began taking initiative in creating their own organization to continue talking about the values and beliefs presented at the American Ideals conference, evidencing Baylor’s socialization of students in Christian values and nationalism.

By hosting the Conference on American Ideals, Baylor University revived their religious identity and united under a banner of Christian and American values. Thus, Baylor projected a strong faith-based emphasis to other colleges and universities, simultaneously espousing the American way of life and ideal through moral and civic education. The Baylor University Conference on American Ideals certainly stands as an example of university efforts to socialize individuals into a certain framework of thinking and processing, particularly in response to larger societal issues and conflicts.



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Fouts, E. (1955, Nov. 3). The Heroic Age: An address by Elwood Fouts of Houston, Texas at Baylor University on the occasion of its third annual Conference on American Ideals. [Published Transcript]. Chaplain Wimpee Series (Box #2, Folder: “Copies of Addresses ’53-’56”). The Texas Collection, Baylor University, Waco, TX.

Gilbreath, G. (1957, Oct. 15). DeMille likes work, plans another epic. The Baylor Lariat, 59(20), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/12563/rec/53

Graham, W. F. (1954, Nov. 6). Address of William Franklin Graham, Jr., at Baylor University Conference on American Ideals, Nov. 6, 1954. [Transcript]. Chaplain Wimpee Series (Box #2, Folder: “Copies of Addresses ’53-’56”). The Texas Collection, Baylor University, Waco, TX.

Hartman, B. (Ed.). (1961, Oct. 19). Ideals Convention inspires Freedom Forum Foundation. The Baylor Lariat, 63(24), p. 2. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/14925/rec/1

Legate, H. (Ed.). (1954a, Oct. 28). Graham, Clement receive degrees. The Baylor Lariat, 56(24), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/36959/rec/1

Legate, H. (Ed.). (1954b, Nov. 2). American Ideals meet scheduled: Convocation features drama, degrees, lectures, luncheon. The Baylor Lariat, 56(26), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/36704/rec/1

Legate, H. (Ed.). (1954c, Nov. 5). Clement, Graham to headline rallies. The Baylor Lariat, 56(29), pp. 1-2. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/36714/rec/1

McDermott, M. (Ed.). (1959a, Nov. 12). Ideals conclave features Penney. The Baylor Lariat, 61(33), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/14142/rec/1

McDermott, M. (1959b, Nov. 24). Varied events, people bring Ideals to BU. The Baylor Lariat, 61(39), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/13926/rec/1

Miller, P. (Ed.). (1960a, Oct. 27). Speakers named for Ideals meet: Eighth annual conference to convene here Nov. 11, 12. The Baylor Lariat, 62(24), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/15623/rec/1

Miller, P. (Ed.). (1960b, Nov. 15). Sternberg gets ’60 Ideals award. The Baylor Lariat, 62(34), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/15337/rec/71

Roberson, J. (Ed.). (1955a, Sep. 27). Speaker named for American Ideals session. The Baylor Lariat, 57(8), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/26853/rec/6

Roberson, J. (Ed.). (1955b, Nov. 4). Ceremonies to honor two: Fouts, Blough receive degrees. The Baylor Lariat, 57(28), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/27023/rec/1

Shick Montgomery, R. (1956, Nov. 10). Address of Ruth Shick Montgomery at the Baylor University Conference on American Ideals, November 10, 1956. [Transcript]. Chaplain Wimpee Series (Box #2, Folder: “Copies of Addresses ’53-’56”). The Texas Collection, Baylor University, Waco, TX.

Vollmering, A. (Ed.). (1953a, Oct. 8). Anderson, Kayser will receive honorary degrees here October 17. The Baylor Lariat, 55(14), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/36036/rec/1

Vollmering, A. (Ed.). (1953b, Oct. 16). Rally stresses Americanism: Two addresses highlight program. The Baylor Lariat, 55(19), pp. 1, 4. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/36188/rec/2

Vollmering, A. (Ed.). (1953c, Oct. 20). Anderson praises Baylor on government course: Secretary of Navy’s speech stresses U.S. Constitution, development of laws. The Baylor Lariat, 55(20), pp. 1, 4. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/36322/rec/5

Vollmering, A. (Ed.). (1953d, Oct. 20). Economy decides democracy’s victory says Paul Kayser. The Baylor Lariat, 55(20), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/36322/rec/1

Vollmering, A. (Ed.). (1953e, Oct. 20). Fifth Amendment no Communism cover-up says White to guests: President takes stand on issue he says faces American higher education at luncheon Saturday after Convocation. The Baylor Lariat, 55(20), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/36322/rec/1

Wall, B. L. (1960, Nov. 11). Ideals Conference to feature Mann, Clark during weekend. The Baylor Lariat, 62(33), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/15782/rec/2

Wall, E. (Ed.). (1962, Oct. 12). BU Ideals Conference set for February date. The Baylor Lariat, 64(20), p. 3. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/16136/rec/1

Walker, J. (Ed.). (1958a, Oct. 31). Conference on American Ideals planned for Nov. 6-8 weekend: Van Cliburn, Evans highlight conclave on American Ideals. The Baylor Lariat, 60(25), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/18165/rec/1

Walker, J. (Ed.). (1958b, Nov. 4). Baylor holds two conferences Saturday. The Baylor Lariat, 60(26), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/18185/rec/83

Walker, J. (Ed.). (1958c, Nov. 7). Dr. Evans to deliver Ideals key address. The Baylor Lariat, 60(29), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/13725/rec/1

Walker, J. (Ed.). (1958d, Nov. 11). Pianist Cliburn, Doctor Evans get degrees. The Baylor Lariat, 60(30), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/13381/rec/1

White, W. R. (1955, Jul. 25). Letter to Roger Blough, United States Steel Corporation. [Letter]. Chaplain Wimpee Series (Box#1, Folder: “Miscellaneous ‘55”). The Texas Collection, Baylor University, Waco, TX.

White, W. R. (1956). The place of Christian education. [Pamphlet]. W. R. White Series (Box #3, Folder: “The Place of Christian Education”). The Texas Collection, Baylor University, Waco, TX.

White, W. R. (1971, Nov. 2). Oral history memoir: Interview number 5 [Transcript]. Interview by G. O. Hilburn. Baylor University Institute for Oral History, Waco, TX. Retrieved from http://contentdm.baylor.edu/cdm/ref/collection/buioh/id/10055

Wingo, H. (Ed.). (1956a, Oct. 4). Speaker named for convocation: American Ideals Conference features INS correspondent. The Baylor Lariat, 58(13), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/27362/rec/2

Wingo, H. (1956b, Nov. 9). Texas-BU game, Ideals talk headline Saturday schedule: Three hundred expected here for Conference. The Baylor Lariat, 58(33), p. 1. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/lariat/id/27639/rec/1