Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/752

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Bachelor of Surfaces, was regarded as far inferior to the time-honored B. A. In the inner circle of education it was regarded as no degree at all, and its existence was a concession to the utilitarian spirit of a non-scholastic age. The scientific course was, indeed, inferior, for it lacked substance. There was no lime in its vertebrae. The central axis of Greek had been taken out, and no corresponding piece of solid work put in its place. Gradually, however, even this despised degree has risen to a place with the others. Slowly and grudgingly the colleges have admitted that under some circumstances the study of science might be as worthy of recognition as the study of Greek. When science was worthily studied, this proposition became easy of acceptance. In our best colleges to-day the study of science stands side by side with the study of language, and the one counts equally with the other, even for the degree of Bachelor of Arts. For not the Greek itself, but the culture it implies, was the glory of the course of arts. When equal culture and equal work come through other channels, they are worthy of this degree. To deny this would be to make of the degree itself a mere child's toy, a play on words. As a matter of fact it can be little more, and sooner or later the college will have no need for degrees. It was the firm belief, I am told, of Chancellor Gregory, who laid broad the foundations of the University of Illinois, that the work of the future college should need no stimulus from honors or degrees, and that these playthings of our educational childhood might some day be laid aside forever. In this feeling I fully sympathize. All these things are forms, and forms only, and our higher education is fast outgrowing them. Science has shown herself a worthy suitor of the highest degree the university can give. She will show herself strong enough to care for no degrees at all. In the great schools of the future, each study shall become its own reward. Let all come who will, and let each take what he can, and let the ideals be so high that no one will imagine that he is getting when he is not. Scholars can be made neither by driving nor by coaxing. In any profession the inspiration and example of educated men are the best surety that the generation which succeeds them will be likewise men of culture.

Not the least of the aids to freedom in science was the Morrill Act, under which a certain part of the public lands was given for the foundation of schools of applied science. Unhappily, much of this fund was wasted outright by thriftless management. Much more was in some States half wasted by the formation of separate schools for applied science, where State colleges of the old type already existed. Indeed, in many States, the college and the technical school were so far separated, that the legislators of 1868 saw in them nothing in common. Nevertheless, the highest wis-