Popular Science Monthly/Volume 61/June 1902/Concerning the American University

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CONCERNING THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY.[1]
By Professor J. McKEEN CATTELL,

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY.

POLITICAL, social and educational institutions rise and decline, as species and genera have come and gone in the history of organic life. Evolution has been on the whole progressive, leading to greater differentiation and more complex interdependence. But there have been strange creatures—suited perhaps to their environment, but monsters from our point of view—brutes encased in impenetrable armor and dragons undecided as to whether they should crawl or fly. Our universities have developed in the main by the crude and wasteful methods of natural selection; but a new factor in evolution has in these latter days become possible and perhaps even potent. The struggle for existence, prodigal of time and careless of the individual, resulted in the production of animals that could learn by experience, and finally in such as can consciously look before and after and plan for what is not. Hitherto human foresight and reason have had but little to do in the selection and direction of educational methods, but the time has come when we can at least form opinions and judgments. We realize that certain surviving dinosaurs should be exterminated, that certain fads spread like weeds, that the 'fittest' is not always the best. Our reason is as yet only a toy in the hands of a child, but as the child grows the toy may become an engine competent to direct our civilization. We have not at present a science of education or an art of education based on science, but we are beginning to have ideas. However vague and immature these may be, it is well that they begin to exist, for thanks to the contagion and possible immortality of ideas, natural selection can here work more rapidly than in the case of organisms. It may take a million years to mold a new whorl on a shell, whereas the entire system of higher education in America has developed since the Johns Hopkins University opened its doors twenty-five years ago.

 

The outline history of the American university is a familiar story. We had the English college, beginning with Harvard in 1636, for the training of the clergy and as a denominational school. With many sects colleges multiplied like churches in a village, supported, so far as they were supported, by religious zeal. Free education has been fostered by our states as never before, and where the field was clear, beginning with Michigan in 1837, state universities became the head of the public school system. Technological schools and departments—beginning with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1824—were founded in answer to the needs of a country requiring material development. Independent or quasi-independent schools of divinity, medicine and law gave the inadequate preparation that the pressing demand for clergymen, physicians and lawyers allowed. University work did not exist, and our B.A.'s swarmed to Germany, where ideals of research and creative scholarship had arisen, which took kindly to transplantation and an unexhausted soil. Certain native agencies, the Smithsonian Institution, the scientific academies, the geological surveys and the like, modestly furthered research and contributed to the university ideal.

In a general way the old Cambridge college, adjusting itself to the practical needs of a democratic and industrial country, adding the German faculty of philosophy, and gathering in the professional schools, has given us our American university. These three elements, represented by the bachelor's degree, the doctorate of philosophy and the professional degrees, are variously combined and developed in our different institutions; and this certainly gives great flexibility and possibilities to university development. The foundation of new universities—Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Stanford and Chicago—and the enlargement of the resources of private and state institutions have greatly favored progress and differentiation. We have no one kind of university, but many types, each seeking to work out its own salvation. Here surely is ground for hoping that we shall soon set educational models.

But twenty-five years is a short period, and it would be no cause for surprise if it has given us more problems than solutions. The college, originally for secondary education, but with higher education attached, is in a state of unstable equilibrium. The distinction between courses for culture, courses for higher specialized liberal training and courses fitting for the professions appears to have a historical explanation rather than a logical justification. Every student during all his course of education—namely, from the time he is born to the time he dies—should do the three things that are artificially separated in our universities. He must learn to do his share of the useful routine work of the world, he should aim to improve the methods of doing this work and he should have some acquaintance with the work of others.

The prolongation of infancy marks off the higher animals from the lower, and men from all others. If the sensori-motor arcs are closed at birth or soon thereafter, the creature can learn but little. So long as the brain is kept plastic, permitting the formation of new associations, there is room for intellectual progress. We have thus a psychological justification for the artificial extension of babyhood, but possibly the college senior at the age of twenty-three has been kept too long in this condition. Certain sensori-motor arcs should be early closed and certain associations definitely formed, or we shall never have the expert; but certain other paths must be kept open or the result will be a machine.

We begin as a matter of fact by teaching the child, supposing it to have escaped the snares of the kindergarten, certain strictly utilitarian studies—the three E's. Under a poorly paid and partially educated woman, we place a flock of children. They sit silent and cramped when movement is essential, not only for bodily health but also for the formation of ideas; they are crowded into an unhealthful room when all out-of-doors surrounds it; the individual child is as far as possible reduced to the average child; in six or eight hours a day for six or eight years the child laboriously acquires certain technical knowledge, the surviving part of which could probably be got in two hours a day during two years. Then in the high school, the youth perhaps takes up Latin, Greek, French and German, while decent English remains a foreign language; text-books in mathematics are arranged for the suppression of thought, and if science is taught it is made as remote as possible from human experience. At the age of eighteen or nineteen the boy has put on the quantity of cerebral fat which, when duly measured by the college entrance examination board for the Middle States and Maryland or some other automatic weighing machine, admits him to college. Here his physical and social environment is suddenly changed, but he finds himself pursuing the secondary studies of the preparatory school—more Latin, Greek, elementary mathematics and English composition—usually under immature tutors. Later in his course, he is allowed to elect miscellaneously, and his daily program may have some resemblance to that of a vaudeville performance. Then finally at the age of twenty-two or three those who stick to the educational system enter the professional schools and go to work in earnest, with no time for culture or research; while a few students prepare to be teachers and are encouraged to undertake independent investigation under the faculty of philosophy.

Mere criticism is nihilistic, and no sensible person would wish to alter suddenly an educational system that has slowly grown. The fact of its existence is evidence that it is the best we can do, but by no means proof that it is the best we shall do. I have no idea what a century will bring, but it is reasonable to assume that there are certain things that it will take. Ten years of age is early enough to begin to read, write and calculate; primary education should be chiefly for the formation of motor habits; a child's head will not hold more miscellaneous facts than can be injected in a year or two; he can learn nearly as much of his present scholastic studies in two hours a day as in eight. If the required school attendance for each child were reduced to one half or one third, then without additional expense the fewer buildings and smaller equipment might be doubled or tripled in value, and the salaries of teachers might be doubled or tripled. The best trained teachers, more men than women, should be in charge of the younger children. If society must develop a class similar to the neuter insects, it should not have charge of the education of children. The boy should stay in the high school until he is eighteen and then go to the university, or he should enter the college at sixteen and pass forward to the university in two years. The man should begin to take part in the real work of the world at twenty-one, but he should never regard his education as complete, and should for many years, if not always, continue to spend some time in work at the university.

I believe in the practice system from start to finish. Let the child learn the best that the home can teach, let the younger child learn from the older, let the novice learn by helping the master. Each child should have as wide interests and as generous sympathies as may be; he should learn to do some useful work; he should strive to become an originator and a leader. Never in our educational system should these three chief ends of education be separated, least of all in the university.

The word 'culture' has for me acquired an objectionable connotation—it calls up a picture of manure applied to turnips or of microbes growing fat by feeding on gelatine. Boys of twenty-one, chiefly interested in quasi-professional athletic competitions and social organizations, incidentally nibbling at the academic flowers and fruits from which the fences have been removed, supported by their parents at the cost of $1,000 a head, are a variety of prize animal that can not become universal. The elective system, in so far as it means that a Procrustean course of study shall not be imposed mechanically on all students, but that his work shall be selected by the boy with the advice of judicious councilors, is one of our great educational advances. But the boy should have some definite aim from the outset; he should usually prepare himself to follow the trade or profession of his father, always aiming to reach a higher plane, while at the same time he and his teachers should always be on the watch for any special aptitude or sign of genius. The boy's studies should be related to his life's work, and the relation should be evident to him. Then apart from his main interest, he should have one or two recreations or avocations, as a sport or game, some branch of science or one of the fine arts. Here too he should be an expert, only an amateur in so far as he is led by love. The group system of the Johns Hopkins University seems to be the best plan hitherto devised for securing the advantages and avoiding the dangers of the elective system.

Even an undiscriminating use of the elective system appears to me better than the obsolescent required course in Latin, Greek and elementary mathematics. Latin was once as much of a professional study as electrical engineering is to-day. By a natural evolution it became part of the insignia of a leisured aristocracy, educated with priests and by them. The use of quotations in which the quantities were given in accord with the peculiar accent of the English universities was a mark of birth and breeding, as are to-day the scars on the face of a German student. Literature and art based themselves on the classical tradition; the intrinsic beauty of the Greek civilization and the part played by Rome in history added to its strength. Even the most iconoclastic must regret the bankruptcy of classical culture, but at the same time the most conservative must acknowledge that the idol is broken. We certainly still feel entitled to sneer at the millionaire who orders a painting of Jupiter and Io and complains that only one of the ten is supplied, and she without her clothes; whereas it is not regarded as a lack of culture when an eminent historian regards the Fissure of Rolando as a chasm in the Pyrenees. But Latin versification is becoming as obsolete and as little used to mark the fine gentleman as the carrying of a rapier. A classical education is essential for certain lines of research, and will always attract its full share of the keenest intellects; but it is no longer wise or possible for a boy to devote eight years of his life to the dead languages in order that he may be admitted to an artificial aristocracy. Latin will survive for a long time in the secondary school on the ground that its illogical constructions supply an intellectual gymnastic, or because its roots are useful in learning French, understanding law terms and naming new species; but its part in education is no longer leading or dignified. In the twilight of the classical tradition it is the once radiant elder sister that I regret:

Müszig kehrten zu dem Dichterlande
Heim die Götter, unnütz einer Welt,
Die, entwachsen ihrem Gängelbande
Sich durch eignes Schweben hält.

There should surely be in our system liberal education, as well as opportunity to learn a trade. I can not, however, believe that superficial knowledge of many subjects is culture, while a thorough knowledge of a few is not; that studies are liberal in direct proportion to their uselessness; or that certain studies are humanistic and others inhuman. Greek literature may be a 'Brodstudien' and dentistry may be followed as a liberal art. That education is liberal which enlarges the sympathies and emphasizes our common interests, not that which forms an exclusive clique. On the whole the sciences in their application to human life seem more likely to form an adequate basis for a common culture than the dead languages. But intellectual training demands specialization, whereas the emotions are more nearly shared in equal measure by all. Civic life or art, if we but had a native art, seems to be a better basis for common culture than any special sort of knowledge.

In my opinion the university is or should be a group of professional schools, giving the best available preparation for each trade and profession. It is more feasible to give such training than to teach culture or research. These, like the building of character, are not the result of any particular kind of curriculum. Culture comes from daily and immediate association with the best that the world has; and this should be found at the university. The leader is born a leader; what the university can do is to give him an opportunity. The kind of research that may be taught to the second-rate man is not the highest ideal of the university. The presumption is that the new facts recorded by the student are unimportant; just because they are new and discovered by the student. But if by research we mean the discovery of new truth and the creation of new lines of activity, then research is indeed the highest function of the university. When we find the man who can advance knowledge and the applications of knowledge to human welfare, be he student or professor, him we should all serve and reverence. But we do a grievous wrong if we assume that this man is found, and should be found, only in the faculty of philosophy. I am glad that our great leader, President Eliot, in his address at the inauguration of President Remsen, emphasized particularly the forward movement made by the establishment of the Johns Hopkins Medical School. Not because it requires for entrance the equivalent of the bachelor's degree, but because we have there the best specialized training, united with the highest culture and the freest research, it will become and has become the model for our medical schools, and for our schools of law, theology and technology. So long as we must have degrees, let the A.B., the A.M., the M.D. or other professional degrees, and the Ph.D., each mean, according to its measure, culture, expert training and independent research.

 

The general public doubtless regards the university as simply a place for the teaching of students, and there may be some justification for this opinion in the actual state of affairs. But over the doorway of the building in which is my laboratory of psychology we have inscribed the words 'For the advancement of natural science.' Historically the university has been far more than a school for boys. In medieval Italy, France and Germany, men of maturity, usually attracted by a great personality, came together for mutual stimulus. The colleges of Oxford and Cambridge were monasteries for learned men before they became boarding schools. It may be our part here in America to develop the true university: A place where each would gladly learn and gladly teach; open summer and winter, night and day; a center in each community for the conservation of the best traditions and for the origination of the newest ideas; closely in touch with every forward movement of civic and national life; a home from which will go out, and to which will return, our leaders in every department of human activity. Twenty-five years ago perhaps only an Eliot or a Gilman could have realized the future of the American Univeristy, but to-day even the man in the street must have some vague notion of its possibilities. Our college presidents and professors are called upon for the most important and difficult public functions. When New York City needs its leading citizen it finds him in the presidential chair of Columbia University. When Mr. Cleveland retires from public life, he allies himself with a university. There is no other office so fit for a past president of the United States as the presidency of a university.

The university is those who teach and those who learn and the work they do. The progress of the university depends on bringing to it the best men and leading them to do the best work. Our president, Mr. Remsen, in his admirable inaugural address, told us that the chief function of the university president is to find the right man, and his chief difficulty the lack of enough such men to go round. He considered the question of how far an increased salary would add to the supply of good men. I quite agree with Mr. Remsen that a professor will do about the same kind of work whether his salary is $4,000 or $10,000. If anywhere, in the university it should be to each according to his needs, from each according to his ability. The professor who must live in a city or who has children to educate should be given the necessary income. He should have an adequate pension in old age or in case of disablement; the university should insure his life in a sufficient sum to provide an income for his wife and minor children. The professorial chair can be made attractive by freedom, responsibility and dignity, rather than by a large salary. Still it must be remembered that we live in a commercial age, and men are esteemed in accordance with their incomes. While it may not, or at all events should not, matter greatly to the professor, it may be well for the community that those who do the most for it should be paid on the same scale as those of equal ability in other professions. It may not be necessary to double the salaries of all university men, but it would probably be desirable to have certain prizes that would represent to the crude imagination of the public the dignity of the office and would perhaps attract young men of ability. The average salaries of teachers are about the same as in the other professions, but there are no prizes corresponding to those in the other professions. A clergyman may become a bishop, a lawyer may become a judge, a physician may acquire a consulting practise; and they may earn incomes of from $10,000 to $100,000. A professor can only earn a larger salary and an apparent promotion by becoming president of his university; and this I regard as unfortunate. As Mr. Remsen told us that the professor would be pleased but not particularly improved by an increase in salary, I may perhaps be permitted to suggest that a president might be pained, but would not be seriously injured by a reduction of his salary to that of the professor. My preference in this matter would be for the professor to have a fixed salary—perhaps $3,000 to $6,000, according to the expense of living in the neighborhood, with $300 to $600 subsidy for each of his children between the ages of 10 and 21. Advances in salary dependent on the favor of the authorities appear to be undesirable. If salaries must vary from $3,000 to $5,000, a man should be appointed at such salary as may be necessary, but should thereafter receive automatic increases, say of $500 after each five years of service. Then there should be a few research chairs in each university, promotion to which would be a mark of distinction, and occupancy of which would dispense from all routine work and carry a salary equal to that of the presidency.

The man of parts is born, but he must be found and given an opportunity. Lincoln, Grant and Lee stand forth in history, owing to the events of history, and if they had not been born others would have been found. The chief difficulty in securing the right men for university chairs is the small field from which they must be drawn. When we have a hundred thousand men of university training teaching in the schools, there will be those deserving promotion. When we have more students doing research work at the universities, there will be more men of genius for the higher offices. The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, and especially the Carnegie Institution, by encouraging men to carry on research at the universities, will perform in more ways than one a service of immense value. We should without delay introduce the Privatdocent system of Germany. We should not exclude a man from the university because there is no vacant position, but should welcome to affiliation every one who will add to its strength.

Our universities have suffered from in and in breeding and the promotion of men by a kind of civil service routine. The president should maintain a detective office for the discovery of exceptional men. It is more important to find a good man than to fill a vacant position. The German plan of calling the best man without regard to whether he will accept or decline is better than our secret process. The English plan of having an expert board of electors for each chair possesses certain advantages. Migration of instructors as well as of students is desirable. Much would be gained if instructors in different universities would exchange places for a year, and especially if men from the small colleges were called to spend a year as lecturers at the great universities. When a national university is established at Washington, it would be well for its faculty to consist in part of men from other institutions who should spend one year in five or seven at the central university.

It is difficult to find the right man; and it is particularly unfortunate when the wrong man has been selected. Academic rights and academic freedom are troublesome problems. It seems that an opportunistic policy must be followed rather than definite rules. A university can not be conducted as a factory; and even a factory does not entirely ignore the human element. It is better that an occasional man should be retained who is not quite up to the standard, rather than that all professors should feel that their chairs are insecure, subject to the automatic law of supply and demand, or to the possible caprice of an individual. Assistants and instructors should be appointed for limited terms of years, and better men should replace them if better men can be found. They should never be promoted simply because they are the men on the ground. A professor's appointment should be for life, unless he violates the conditions implied in the contract. In making such an appointment, the university should accept the responsibility, fully realizing that a man, however carefully observed, is subject to a large probable error. Even on the commercial side it pays to take the risks, for with permanent tenure, men will accept smaller salaries; but the chief gain is the moral advantage of securing the complete loyalty of the professor and setting him free to do his work. Less competent men should not, of course, be permitted to teach required courses, and the departments to which they belong should be strengthened. Permanent tenure of office carries with it as a corollary a pension system. Some men are old at sixty and others are young at seventy, but as it is difficult and rather invidious for any authority to decide to which class a man belongs, it is perhaps desirable to pension all professors at a fixed age, permitting them thereafter to offer elective courses or not as they prefer.

Academic freedom is a subject that has not lacked discussion during the past year. So long as universities are dependent for support on gifts from rich men or on appropriations made by a legislature, there is real danger that the teaching of economics, sociology and some departments of history and philosophy may suffer improper limitations. But so far as I am aware this is a danger rather than a fact. It should also be remembered that the university professor has responsibilities as well as rights. He should realize that views radically opposed to the sentiment of the community are not proper subjects for undergraduate teaching or for exploitation in the newspapers. On the other hand, there should be of course no inquisition in regard to a professor's private beliefs; there should be as little interference as possible with his graduate teaching and none with the presentation of his work or theories to experts in his own field.

 

The university is its men and their work. But certain externals are necessary or at least usual—buildings and equipment, a president and trustees. One of the notable services of the Johns Hopkins was to show that a great university can be lodged in humble quarters. I almost regret the erection of more expensive buildings and the present removal and rebuilding of the university. Yet it is certainly for the interests of the community as a whole that the exterior presence of the university should represent its dignity and influence. As the loving devotion and art of the community were once lavished on its cathedral, so they should now go toward making the university stately and beautiful. The university, with its affiliated libraries, museums, hospitals, art galleries, theaters and parks, should be the chief pride of the community; and the money that is needed should come freely. We do not, however, want imitation parthenons and pantheons; architects should be found who can plan the buildings that are best adapted to their uses.

The best scientific work has usually been done with modest equipment and inexpensive apparatus—it depends chiefly on the man. But as science becomes more exact and complex, there is undoubtedly increasing need of large expenditures. A million dollars or ten million dollars should not be grudged, if this sum is needed for an astronomical observatory or for an experimental farm. The investment is sure on the average, and likely in each individual instance to pay large interest to the public by actual decrease in the cost of production or distribution. But in any case the community can afford to contribute for ideal ends an amount that is insignificant when compared with its total expenditures. Books required by the worker should always be at hand, but it does not seem necessary for each university to maintain a museum of a million volumes. We should have two or three such collections in the country, but it is more economical to move books or even men, than to store and care for books that are used but once in a century. Museums and art galleries can also be limited in size without serious loss. Each should maintain certain typical exhibits and have in addition some well developed special departments. In general it would be in the interest of economy and efficiency if there were more division of labor and cooperation among our universities than has hitherto obtained. It is not necessary for every university to have a complete equipment in every department.

The main ends of the university are the same in all lands, but our American presidents and boards of trustees are indigenous products which can scarcely be regarded as essential. They are the natural outcome of the denominational college, and have developed in line with methods of business organization that have proved themselves highly efficient. Given a small and compact group of men who represent a certain policy, but whose chief duty it is to elect an absolute dictator, who in turn appoints minor dictators, and the result is an economical and powerful machine. In politics, in business and in education, this form of despotism has prevailed, and has on the whole justified itself by the results. But it appears to be only a passing phase in educational development.

The college president has enjoyed a rapid evolution in the course of a single generation. Thirty or forty years ago he was a clergyman, as a matter of course; later he was likely to be selected for business qualifications; now he is a member of the faculty who unites executive ability with high scholarship. We seem to have made a further advance at Columbia by the election of a president who is at the outset an educational expert. He alone does not begin as an amateur and can devote himself to his work while cultivating his scholarship. But the demands now made on the university president are so diverse and exorbitant that even when he gives up both teaching and research they can scarcely be met. He can not be in loco parentis for 5,000 students; select and control 400 officers; coordinate the conflicting demands of incommensurable schools and departments; arrange diverse curricula in accordance with changing needs; superintend buildings and grounds; manage an estate of $10,000,000 and secure the additional funds always needed; be a public orator and monthly contributor to magazines; attend bicentennials, sesquicentennials and semi-sesquicentennials; occupy positions of honor and trust whenever called upon by the community or nation, and all the rest. It has become necessary to delegate part of these duties to deans and other officers, and it seems probable that the office of president should be divided and filled by two men of different type: one an educational expert, in charge of the internal administration; the other a man of prominence and weight in the community, in charge of external affairs.

The president and trustees as they now exist have their chief justification in financial conditions. We know that the lack of money is the root of all evil. Our private educational corporations, dependent on the generosity of millionaires, are in a remarkable and almost anomalous position. Yet it is evident that this unique phase of development has not only kept the university in advance of popular appreciation, but has also tended to maintain the stability of society. At a time when large fortunes and monopolistic corporations are needed for the material development of the country, the generous gifts of a few men of great wealth have done much to allay popular clamor. It seems likely, however, that in the end the people will control monopolies and the universities supported by the profits of monopolies. There is no more reason for depending on the generosity or caprice of millionaires for our universities than for our ships of war. It has always seemed to me a curious perversion that elementary education, chiefly useful to the individual, should be free and supported by the state, whereas higher education, chiefly for the benefit of the state, should be a charge to the student and depend on private charity. I believe that the state universities are more nearly in the line of evolution than the private corporations, but there is every reason to hope that the latter will remain sufficiently plastic to adapt themselves to conditions that are likely to prevail. Even at present I think it would be desirable for our boards of trustees to be gradually increased in size, until they become large corporations, consisting of those who are most actively interested in the work of the university.

However it may be to-day, it does not seem likely that the money question will be the most troublesome one of the future. The people of this country spend $200,000,000 annually for sugar. The same quantity of sugar a hundred years ago would have cost five times as much, $1,000,000,000; the reduction in cost has been due to the applications of science in chemistry, agriculture and transportation. The saving on the cost of sugar for a single country in a year or two would pay for all the higher education and scientific investigation from the establishment of the University of Salerno to the present day. This is a statement easily understood by every voter and legislator; when it is once grasped the question for our universities will not be how to get money, but how to spend it judiciously. I also believe that the people of this country are not only good business men, but are idealists beyond others, and that patriotism and civic pride will lead them to increase the wealth of their universities as rapidly as it can be wisely used.

With the passing of the money question, I look forward to the passing of the president and the board of trustees. Democracy, as I understand it, does not mean that we shall not have leaders, but that we shall follow leaders because we recognize them as such. Our absentee and quasi-hereditary boards of trustees, and our presidents, ranging from King Log to King Stork, have on the whole administered their trusts in accordance with common sense and the opinion of the well-informed. In so far as they have done so, their dictatorial power has been both harmless and useless. The professor is, as a rule, a free man, even though he may be looked upon as a fetus shut up in an incubator. The type of professor, who is exclusively concerned with settling 'the doctrine of the enclitic De', or with distinguishing one beetle from another, survives on the stage and in novels, rather than at the university. In the scientific departments, at least, executive ability of a high order is needed for the conduct of a laboratory or the prosecution of research; and the demand is fully met. The university could not continually supply presidents and administrators of all kinds were there not a large supply of material. It has been said that university faculties are poor legislative bodies; if true, this would not be surprising, so long as their deliberations are confined to discussing questions such as whether they shall wear gowns at commencement, the decision being with the trustees. I believe that the university community is competent to direct the policy and administration of the university and will soon do so.

 

In these remarks I have used the freedom of speech that a teacher may claim; but it has certainly not been my intention to run amuck through our educational system. The man of science is by profession an optimist. None can write the equation giving the world's trajectory, but I believe that we are moving along an ascending curve. Never before has the average intelligence been so high, never before has a civilization been so securely established. Nor, I trust, are great men lacking. They say that we are failing in art and in literature; but those who are at the foot of a rainbow can see only the fog. In science and in other great departments of human activity progress is at a geometrical ratio. I also believe in the present and in the future of this democracy. Not only is the average well-being of the individual higher than elsewhere or hitherto, but we are contributing and shall increasingly contribute to political, business and educational organization; we are contributing and shall increasingly contribute to science, to scholarship and to art. The knowledge and the culture of the world have been freely given to us; it is our part to return them with usury. While in the energy of our pride we lord it over land and sea, we shall discover the truth, the beauty and the righteousness that lie hidden everywhere:

In this broad earth of ours,
Amid the measureless grossness and the slag,
Enclosed and safe within its central heart,
Nestles the seed perfection.

  1. An address read before the members of Phi Beta Kappa of the Johns Hopkins University on May 2, 1902.