Christian Medical College Vellore

Not to be ministered unto but to minister

Be Thou My Vision

Ida’s Wise Words​

Ida's Wise Words

This page is part of the Online Celebration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Ida Sophia Scudder.
It’s been 60 years since Ida Scudder passed away, in 1960. But we still feel her presence and still hear her voice, across the ages. 

Aund Ida driving an very old style car with 3 passengers in the back seat
A young aunt Ida drives a Peugeot, their first car, with 3 passengers
Dr Ida at a roadside clinic aged 887 years
Roadside clinic in 1957 with Dr Ida with people waiting under the shade of the trees

Aunt Ida's Prayer

Father, whose life is within me and

Whose love is ever about me,

Grant that Thy life
May be maintained in my life,

Today and everyday;

That with gladness of heart,

Without haste or confusion of thought,

I may go about my daily tasks,

Conscious of my ability to meet every rightful demand.

Seeing the larger meaning of little things,

and finding beauty and love everywhere.

And in the sense of Thy presence,

May I walk through the hours 

Breathing the atmosphere of love

Rather than anxious striving.

Building the Kingdom of Heaven

First ponder, then dare.

Know your facts.

Count the cost.

Money is not the important thing.

What you are building is not a medical school.

It is the Kingdom of God.

Don’t err on the side of being too small.​

Portrait of Aunt Idaa in her 50's or 60's probably
A portrait of Aunt Ida, a photo familiar to many of us.

Faithfulness in little things

The first hospital when it had 2 beds for patients
The first hospital was on the Mission Compound. Started with One bed and grew to 2 as shown here

If you find yourself in a small hospital in some out of the way place,

set yourself to work it up,

study to perfect yourself whenever you have time to study.

Some of the greatest names in the medical world

are of those who have toiled for years in some obscure spot

and by their faithfulness to small details.

Finding Purpose

The question which comes to every thoughtful earnest mind is,

How can I best use my life?
How can I make it of the greatest service to my fellowmen.

I have been placed in this world for a distinct purpose.

Have I found it?

Am I fitted into my place?

Such questions came to my mind some years ago

and they had to be settled as all such questions must be,

by long and earnest thought,

by much prayer.

Dr Ida visits CMC in her later years
Aunt Ida, now retired, still shows compassion for her patients
Aunt Ida smiles as she greets a Dr Lazarus
Aunt Ida greets a friend, Dr Lazarus, in 1957

The Rock Beneath

We would often have felt faint hearted

and have lost courage

and have been ready to give up the struggle,

but as someone has said

“our steps of faith have often fallen on a seeming void,

but we have always found the rock beneath.”

Address to CMC's first graduates

Today, we stand as it were on the mountain top of achievement.

You have bravely and splendidly toiled on.

There will probably never be a time in your lives which will hold the same meaning that today holds;

the thrill of having accomplished much gives you joy,

but much lies before you of work to be done;

but as among the mountain ranges so in life, there are still greater heights in the distance;

more stony paths to climb and you will realise you have only made a beginning.

You cannot remain where you are,

satisfied with this first achievement.

Surrounding every mountain peak there are valleys,

and into these valleys, one must go

before they can attain the greater heights.


A batch photo of nurses graduated from Dr Ida S Scudder training
Nurse Graduates sat on the steps of the Mary Taber Schell hospital with Dr Ida
Ida in her formal gowns at the graduation in 1899 Cornell University
Ida at her own graduation in 1899
The first class of the LMP Medical course graduating
Graduation ceremony for the first batch of medical students, all women, 1922

The Battle

You will not only be curing diseases,

but will also be battling with epidemics, plagues and pestilences

and preventing them.

Face trials with a smile,

with head erect and a calm exterior.

If you are fighting for the right

and for a true principle,

be calm and sure and keep on until you win