Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 5.djvu/187

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175
SCIENTIFIC AND INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION.

time there were twenty institutions calling themselves colleges and universities of various religious denominations clamoring at Albany for a scrap of this endowment. As scrip was selling, the whole fund, had not an individual come forward to "locate" it, would have amounted to about $600,000. Dividing this among the twenty, there would not have been enough money to give a single professorship to each.

This the Legislature of New York saw, and, despite the pressure from these institutions, it wisely determined not to fritter away the fund, but to concentrate it. It recognized the fact that for primary education the rule is diffusion of resources, but, for advanced education, concentration, and it wisely concentrated the fund upon an institution known as the People's College, at Havana.

The endowment was given to the People's College on certain conditions. Among them, it was required that the institution should have a certain amount of land, accommodations for a certain number of students, a Faculty of a certain size, a certain equipment, and that it should be free from incumbrance. A year went by, and these conditions were not complied with. Still the Legislature waited, and sturdily refused to yield to clamors for frittering away the fund. Another year went by, and still nothing was done; and, what was worse, it was discovered that a bill had been introduced to relieve the People's College of these conditions. At this, Mr. Ezra Cornell came forward and offered to pledge an endowment of $500,000 to a new institution, provided the funds were transferred to it. A bill was passed chartering such a new institution; but, in order that full justice might be done the People's College, it was allowed three months to put itself in possession of such sum as the Board of Regents of the State should declare equivalent to compliance with the conditions of the original act.

The Regents, after full examination, fixed the sum at less than $170,000. For nearly three years, then, that institution might have obtained the whole endowment had its friends, or had that locality, raised for it a sum of less than $170,000. The time passed—they still did nothing. Mr. Cornell then came forward and redeemed his pledge; and thus was founded, for scientific, industrial, and general education, the Cornell University.

So much for the main features of the struggle toward the establishment of what has been called the "New Education" in the United States and the State of New York.

But what is this new education? I ask you to look first at its special purpose, and finally at its general scope. And, first among the special departments grouping themselves under such a system, I name the College of Agriculture.

And here let me refer to a misapprehension, which should be corrected at the outset. For a typical example of this, I take up a paper read at the recent Educational Convention at Elmira, by the Rev. Dr.