Today we live in an era of unprecedented means of communication, but perhaps never before has it been so difficult to achieve understanding and exchange of ideas and real communion, which is the purpose of communication. One difficulty may be that there are too many "voices" seeking to attract our attention. I hesitate to add mine to the "shouting and the tumult." I offer you then, this President's Message with apology and explanation.
The Academy has become a large organization of over 5,500 members in North America and more than 1,000 in Latin America. In June 1931, it was possible to get the original membership of the Academy in a group photograph which hangs in the Academy headquarters in Evanston. Communication then was easy. Today the Annual Meeting attracts a substantial part of our membership—about 1,500. Unfortunately, in recent years there has been usually only a corporal's guard present at the business meeting by comparison with the attendance at clinical sessions. And many Fellows do not get to our meetings. An organization quickly loses its sense of purpose and vitality unless communication between its leadership and members is actively maintained. I don't mean to suggest that business are not good. The News Letter serves a very important purpose in this respect and it will become even better. District Chairmen are the main line of communication between the Board and the Fellows and some District Chairmen have done a tremendous job on this by attending State Chapter meetings, holding District meetings, and otherwise keeping in close touch with Fellows in their Districts.