A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 23, 2014
“College is a fountain of knowledge where students gather to drink”

"College is a fountain of knowledge where students gather to drink” is a jocular line that has been cited in print since at least 1951. The saying is of uncertain authorship. “COLLEGE: A fountain of knowledge where students gather to drink” was cited in the syndicated newspaper column “Office Cat, by Junius,” but this column often reprinted quotations from elsewhere.


21 March 1951, Edwardsville (IL) Intelligencer, “Office Cat” by Junius, pg. 4, col. 5:
COLLEGE: A fountain of knowledge where students gather to drink.

Google News Archive
16 July 1951, Prescott (AZ) Evening Courier, “Hassayampa Yamps” by the Old Cattleman and his Grapevine Friends, pg. 4, col. 2:
SOMETHING NOT TO WORRY about: Why the fountain of knowledge is where students gather to drink.

Google Books
The Railroad Yardmaster
Volumes 37-39
1955
Pg. 58: 
... that COLLEGE, is a fountain of knowledge where students gather to drink.

26 August 1962, Baytown (TX) Sun, “Picayune Palaver” by Blue Beathard, pg. 8, col. 2:
Some wise person (No, not me.) once said: “College is a fountain of knowledge where students gather to drink.”

4 November 1966, Alton (IL) Evening Telegraph, “Cy Says...,” pg. B-6, col. 4:
Too many young men start out thinking college is a fountain of knowledge where students gather to drink.

30 September 1970, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), “Quotable Quotes,” pg. 4-B, col. 5:
WILLIAM DERRICKSON, president of the senior class at the University of Hawaii: “College could be regarded as a fountain of knowledge where some students come to drink, some to sip, but most come just to gargle.

Google Books
1,001 Logical Laws, accurate axioms, profound principles, trusty truisms, homey homilies, colorful corollaries, quotable quotes, and rambunctious ruminations for all walks of life
By John Peers and Gordon Bennett
Garden City, NY: Doubleday
1979
Pg. 87:
Van Roy’s Laws:
(1) College is a fountain of knowledge where students come to drink.

Google Books
The New Official Rules:
Maxims for Muddling through to the Twenty-first Century

By Paul Dickson
Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co.
1989
Pg. 38:
College is a fountain of knowledge where students have come to drink. — Sol G. Brotman, Baltimore, Md.

Google Books
20,000 Quips & Quotes
By Evan Esar
New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Books
1995, ©1968
Pg. 153:
College is a fountain of knowledge where some students come to drink, some to sip, but most come just to gargle.

Twitter
Funny1OneLiners
‏@Funny1OneLiners
As students return to campus, remember, college is a fountain of knowledge and students are there to drink.
3:41 AM - 11 Apr 2013

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Thursday, October 23, 2014 • Permalink