I am grateful to you, the fellows of the Academy, for entrusting me–a simple practitioner of pediatrics from a small city in a small state–with this highest office in the world of pediatrics. You had the promise, one year ago, of my undivided attention and best efforts in meeting this responsibility. But only as time passed did the realization come, as it must to every president, of the golden gift which I had received and for which I shall be forever thankful: the vision from the portals of my office of the far-flung activities and influence of the Academy. It touches the lives of children on isolated farms and in the great cities; its voice is heard in governmental councils, in public health and child welfare activities; it counsels with other great medical and nonmedical organizations; we glimpsed something of its international role in Lisbon last year, and we saw its expanding influence in other American countries when we went to South America and the Pan-American Pediatric Congress this year.
May I attempt to partially repay this debt by unfolding a panorama of your service to childhood and humanity through this organization? For the Academy is the extension of the personality and idealism of each of its members. Each of you seeks from it the ability to give better care to the children whom you serve; each of you contributes to it a part of your unselfish desire to improve the lot of all children. The effort, the aspirations of a single memher would amount to little; like a few drops of rain, they would be lost in the vast desert of child needs.
- Copyright © 1963 by the American Academy of Pediatrics