Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/582

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289
1892.--Mr. H.B.Grigg.

expediency permits, making good your claim to the franchise in the republic of Letters and Science by continued study, and helping to maintain a high standard of culture among those who constitute the academic class in the country. Now, gentlemen, it seems to me but sound policy that gradually this University should seek to gather within it at Madras a congregation of learned and scientific men as the centre of its corporate life. Without such a heart I do not believe that the body can ever become the centre of light and knowledge, and without such a centre I cannot believe that scientific thought will ever be established on a true basis in this country. The University must be more than an abstraction, it must be a body of living men. Now, how can this end be attained in a natural process of evolution, and how can you help in that process? I have drawn your attention to the fact that this University, differing from that of London, requires its students to have passed through affiliated colleges; but so far it has not provided that they, in their life as graduates, shall continue, in communion with their colleges. Now it is in and through the college that I believe this congregation of learned and scientific men, may best be obtained. I would therefore exhort you to keep through life close to the college from which you obtained your degree. If you will do this, I doubt not means will be found in due course to enable you to become incorporate with your college, and with the University through it. Thus the practical solution partly depends upon yourselves.

In the ancient English Universities the college forms the basis of the University system. At Oxford the administration practically vests in "the Congregation" which consists of all the great officers of the University, the Heads of Colleges, the Professors, other important functionaries, and resident Masters of Arts, whilst the final legislative power rests with "the house of Convocation" which consists of "all Masters of Arts and all Doctors of the three superior faculties, who have their names on the books of some College or Hall." Madras is becoming more and more a University town, more and more the focus of the great educational movement. It now possesses three First grade and four Professional colleges, and I cannot doubt that the tendency of the great educational agencies will be to locate their First grade colleges in or near Madras. It has resident in it already nearly eighteen hundred collegiate students, a number which greatly exceeds the number of students in the University of Oxford five and twenty years ago. It will thus possess colleges 37