I have spent the last week in reflection with my extended family and the Hyde community as we have all come together to grieve the heart-breaking loss of Paul Hurd ‘67. For me, this process evolved to a profound depth when my sister Laurie asked me to fulfill the honor of delivering a eulogy in tribute to Paul’s life and all that he has meant to family, colleagues, students, and friends.
I concluded my remarks by reading the essay that Paul wrote on his application to Hyde for a post-graduate year in 1966. Not only did the 18-year old Paul write well, his words are eerily prophetic. Since Wednesday’s (11/20) ceremony, many of you have asked me for a copy of Paul’s essay. Hence, I present it below along with the link to the full eulogy.
When I first read Paul’s words, all I could think of was John Lennon’s quip at the end of Let It Be, The Beatles’ last album of original material. In case you’re not a Baby-Boomer, Lennon said, “I’d like to say ‘thank you’ on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition!” You did, Paul. You did.
Paul Hurd – 1966
I feel that perhaps the greatest obligation man has during his life upon this earth is that of understanding and knowing himself. It is certainly a hard obligation to meet and it is all too easily overlooked; I cannot pretend to say that this duty can be accomplished in one year or even one lifetime. But man’s struggle to realize his individual and collective potential must go on if the human race’s supremacy is expected to persist in this world.
Therefore, I must say that the idea of learning more about myself as an individual and in relation to others is foremost in my mind as I apply for admission to Hyde. I hope that the school will be able to lend me not only new respect for my own abilities, but new respect for the abilities of others.
The student’s obligation to his school is a rather hard thing to define. In my case, however, I feel it would be my duty to try to completely devote myself to the ideals which the school sets for its students, and to try to emulate those ideals throughout life.
Onward, Malcolm Gauld