Quotations about College

A Notable Time Is Worthy of Some Pretty Notable Quotations, Too

A University should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning quote by Benjamin Disraeli
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College quotations can address everything from life as a starving student to the value of an education. Below are some of the most on-the-spot, pithy, and overall great quotations about college.

(For full citation information, please see details at the end of the article.)

College Quotations

  • "A University should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning." -- Benjamin Disraeli, speech, House of Commons, March 11, 1873 (Oxford)
  • "Men may be born free; they cannot be born otherwise, and it is the duty of the university to make the free wise." -- Adlai Stevenson (Esar)
  • "The true University of these days is a collection of books." -- Thomas Carlyle, On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic (Oxford)
  • "Our colleges ought to have lit up in us a lasting relish for he better kind of man, a loss of appetite for mediocrities." -- William James, The Social Value of the College-Bred (Bartlett)
  • "A college education doesn't make fools; it merely develops them." (Esar)
  • "Universities incline wits to sophistry and affectation." -- Francis Bacon, Valerius Terminus of the Interpretation of Nature (Oxford)
  • "An education is a wonderful thing; no college should be without one." (Esar)
  • "College is a refuge from hasty judgment." -- Robert Frost, quote, July 9, 1961 (Oxford)
  • "My whaleship was my Yale College and my Harvard." -- Herman Melville, Moby Dick (Bartlett)
  • "The use of the university is to make young men as unlike their fathers as possible." -- Woodrow Wilson (Esar)
  • "A Harvard education consists of what you learn at Harvard while you are not studying." -- James B. Conant, Time (September 29, 1986) (Oxford)
  • "Don't join too many gangs. Join few if any. Join the United States and join the family --
  • But not much in between unless a college." -- Robert Frost, Build Soil (Bartlett)
  • "Many a man spends the happiest years of his life as a freshman at college." (Esar)
  • "D' ye think th' colledges has much to do with th' progress iv th' wurruld?" asked Mr. Hennesy. "D' ye think," said Mr. Dooley, "'tis 'th mill that makes th' wather run?" -- Finley Peter Dunne, On Wall Street (Bartlett)
  • "To live for a time close to great minds is the best kind of education." -- John Buchan, Memory Hold-the-Door (Oxford)
  • "Life isn't all beer and skittles, but beer and skittles, or something better of the same sort, must form a good part of every Englishman's education." -- Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown's Schooldays (Bartlett)
  • "Some students go to college to learn to think, but most go to learn what the professors think." (Esar)
  • "He who enters a university walks on hallowed ground." -- James Bryant Conant, Notes on the Harvard Tercentenary (Bartlett)
  • "Education begins when your father sends you to college, and is completed when you send your son there." (Esar)


Bartlett, John. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, Fifteenth Edition. Little, Brown, & Company. 1980.

Esar, Evan. 20,000 Quips & Quotes. Barnes & Noble, Inc. 1995.

The Oxford Essentials Quotations Dictionary, American Edition. Oxford University Press, Inc. 1998.