Typophillics No. 1 update and addendum
The mystery of the origins of Frederic W. Goudy’s comment on letterspacing type has gotten a little bit murkier.
This morning I received an email from Renata Vickrey, university archivist and special collections librarian at the Elihu Burritt Library at Central Connecticut State University, home to the only known copy of Dinner in Honor of Mr. Frederic W. Goudy by the New York Press Association and Syracuse University held in Syracuse 1936. She tells me that the 6 page booklet includes a dinner menu, the names of officers and directors of the New York Press Association, and the program for the event. The latter (see below) makes no specific mention of Goudy receiving an award for type excellence—though it is possible, given the wording of the speech by George H. Carter, former United States Public Printer. (Note that the title of Goudy’s talk at the dinner differs from the published version.)
So, we still do not know for sure when and where Goudy made his comment.
Since posting this I have gotten some additional information from Alex Jay, curator of The Tenth Letter website, regarding the Syracuse event. The New York Press Association dinner was part of the closing session of a three-day annual meeting of the organization. And, indeed, Goudy did receive a Medal of Honor from the Syracuse University School of Journalism. But apparently, although it was announced at the dinner, it was not bestowed on him until December 17th of that year.  The publication of Goudy’s talk was made in conjunction with the medal ceremony.
Goudy received a medal and not a certificate. So it is unlikely that it was this event that prompted his comment on letterspacing type.
 See “Noted Designer of Type Faces Will Be Given Award” in the Erie County Independent, 10 December 1936, p. 1. Also, The Interlaken Review, 11 December 1936, p. 1 and The Syracuse Journal, 18 December 1936, p. 28. The latter includes a photograph of Goudy receiving the Medal of Honor from M. Lyle Spencer, Dean of the Syracuse University School of Journalism. The photograph is too blurry to make out the typography of the medal but it is unlikely that it was set in blackletter.