George was particularly interested in the differences between intelligence and creativity – how they overlapped, how they differed, and how they could be cultivated. As someone whose primary interest was finding ways to make the world a better place, he believed that divergent, creative thinkers were key to finding new solutions to old problems. In this 1962 presentation to the school community, he discussed his thinking on the subject, which ranged from the findings of new research into creativity to the challenges divergent thinkers present to teachers in the classroom.
In June 1969, the year of the school’s first senior class graduation, the school put up its first flagpole. The American flag that was raised was one that had flown over the US Capitol and had been given to the school by Sen. Philip Hart, a longtime friend of the school who had spoken at the dedication of the Middle Building in 1960. Parents and students had requested the flagpole and raised the funds for it. George, wary of unthinking nationalism after his experience in Nazi Germany, acquiesced to the community’s desire but expressed his ambivalence and hopes in his dedication speech.
When Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated on April 4, 1968, George and Annemarie were on vacation in Mexico since it was the school’s spring break. George had been out of the country as well when John F. Kennedy was assassinated and felt bereft to be away from his country at these times of collective national trauma. When school resumed, there was an assembly to discuss the tragic events and this is the speech George gave at the assembly.
One of the core tenets of the Roeper Philosophy is that children must be allowed to participate in shaping their own destiny to the degree that they are able. One of the most visible elements of this approach at the school is the freedom students have to choose their own courses, which allows them to make choices based on their interests and goals and provides an opportunity to strengthen their decision-making skills. In this paper, written soon after the school had graduated its first senior class in 1969, George discusses why this freedom is necessary, but also why it imposes a moral responsibility on the student to fulfill his or her commitments.
The Class of 1981 asked George, who had retired in 1979, to speak to them at their Junior-Senior Dinner, which is an important part of Commencement weekend. The Class of 1981 was the first class to have graduated after the Upper School moved to the Birmingham campus in September 1980, at the start of their senior year. George was pleased to be asked and responded with a talk on his core philosophy, humanism.