David Starr Jordan

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The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going.

David Starr Jordan, Ph.D., LL.D. (January 19, 1851September 19, 1931) was a leading ichthyologist (the study of fish), educator and peace activist. He was president of Indiana University (Bloomington) and Stanford University.


  • Wisdom is knowing what to do next. Virtue is doing it.
    • "Ideals of Stanford", by President David Starr Jordan, in The Land of Sunshine: A Southern California Magazine, Vol. 9, No. 1. (Los Angeles, June 1898), p. 11
    • Variant: "Wisdom is knowing what to do next; Skill is knowing how to do it, and Virtue is doing it."
  • There is no real excellence in all this world which can be separated from right living.
    • The Voice of the Scholar (San Francisco, 1903), Ch. IX: "The University and the Common Man", p. 190
  • The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going.
    • As quoted in B. C. Forbes, Keys to Success: Personal Efficiency (1918), p. 189
    • Variant: "The world stands aside for a man who knows where he is going."
  • Far away in the thirties and forties she (the girl you want to be) is waiting her turn. Her body, brain, her soul are in your girlish hands. She cannot help herself. What will you leave for her? … Will you throw away her inheritance?
    • As quoted in M. Leonard, The Chaperon and Housemother, Builders of Youth (1947), p. 51

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