Freedom Through Education


Lotus Delta Coffman

Freedom Through Education was first published in 1939. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

February 15, 1939

To the People of Minnesota:

Knowing President Coffman as well as I did, I know he would have deprecated any elaborate eulogy of his work in and for the University of Minnesota. I know also that he welcomed always any opportunity to present his though about it and his reflections on the changing world that conditioned the flexible and forward-looking policy he thought the University should pursue. In the pages here published by the University are embodied some of his last and most suggestive thinking about the problems that concerned him always. They were prepared in large part in the year he used to rebuild his health and to formulate his ideas, free from the discursive and unending tasks of a university presidency. Of that year he in his last public address said:

“. . . I am almost convinced that it would be a good thing if the administrative officers of the university, certainly the president, were compelled to take a leave of absence once every fife years. Their strength would be renewed and they would have ample opportunity, free from the restraints and responsibilities of office, to read, to reflect on education, and to visit other educational institutions . . .”

Here were give voice to his thinking in the full faith that the works of men who are really builders are the reflection of their thinking.

This booklet is also a memorial tribute that he would not deny us the right to pay to him and the work he did as an educator. His labors at Minnesota were so conceived and so carried on that they have a significance beyond the boundaries of the state and beyond the days of their doing.

It is with profound appreciation of the importance of the contributions that Lotus Delta Coffman made to the University of Minnesota, and with deep admiration for the extent of his influence, that the Regents of the University of Minnesota issue Freedom Through Education as a tribute to him.

Guy Stanton Ford,

Lotus Delta Coffman was President of the University of Minnesota. He is the author of The State University, Its Work and Problems (Minnesota, 1934).

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