Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/181

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University of Bombay.

every good work of the time, for instance although this Chief is establishing an arts college in his capital at his sole cost, he has also by a donation of a large sum of Rs.20,000 aided the Committee of the Guzerat College in making up their endowment fund to a sum sufficient to meet a liberal offer of Government for the reconstitution and expansion of that college, which we may hope to see carried into effect in the course of the present year.

Above all our University and the Presidency are to be congratulated on this, that with all the colleges newly established in our provinces, and the Native States at Poona, at Ahmedabad, at Kolhapur and Bhavanagar and Baroda, our older colleges are not depleted of their students, nor are the means of collegiate education found to be in excess of the demands. On the contrary, the Elphinstone and Deccan Colleges hail the affiliation of the new institutions as a timely relief to their overcrowded lecture rooms and to classes which are so overgrown as to have passed beyond the grasp of their professors.

And now, as I have taken for the key-note of my remarks the springing forth of spontaneous and independent educational enterprise, as a practical end and object on which the growing power and activity of thought of which our educated classes are conscious, may satisfy their craving for expression and action, my train of reflection leads me to the motive of the first exercise by this University of the power of granting an honorary degree under the Act of 1884. That ceremony is too fresh in your memories, and was too fully illustrated by the eloquence and enthusiasm which it evoked, to require many words from me. It seems to me that the strong emotions which then broke through the normal calm of oriental life are attributable to this coincidence, that at a time when the social forces created by the educational work of our Governments and Universities during the last 30 odd years had begun to seek a voice and recognition. Lord Ripon met and gratified these aspirations when he reasserted with the point and the emphasis of intense personal conviction, the principles of policy which have long guided England in its splendid duty of raising the people of this empire to a higher place among civilised men.

You have been reminded by a passage in the report just read that we have to condole with the sister University on the death of the Principal whose value we can well estimate by the quality of the services which he rendered to this University. Sir Alexander Grant brought to our infant University in Bombay the high academic tone of Oxford and the mark of his