Eleanor Roosevelt had a long and successful relationship with Brandeis University. In addition to serving on the Board of Trustees, she hosted a public television series on campus ("Prospects of Mankind"), taught International Relations, and gave the University's first Commencement speech. Roosevelt was also a guest speaker in General Education S, an innovative course designed to help Brandeis students make the transition from university life to the outside world. A required course for seniors, "Gen Ed S" brought renowned individuals to campus to discuss influences and experiences that shaped their lives and work. These talks were followed by panel discussions led by Brandeis faculty. Notable speakers at Gen Ed S included Sidney Hook, Alfred Kinsey, Alfred Knopf, Archibald MacLeish, and Margaret Mead.
In April 1958, Eleanor Roosevelt gave a talk to Gen Ed S students in which she offered thoughtful reflections on the course of her life and her work. To hear selected clips from that talk, click on the following links:
The World has Changed (2 min., 7 sec.)
Early Education and Study Abroad (11 min., 7 sec.)
Early Marriage and Motherhood (3 min., 44 sec.)
WWI Volunteer Work (2 min., 37 sec.)
Influence on FDR as First Lady (4 min., 41 sec.)
An Observant Traveler (4 min., 19 sec.)