Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/354

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
346
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

THE COLLEGE-MAN AS LEADER IN THE WORLD'S WORK.[1]
By Professor R. H. THURSTON,

CORNELL UNIVERSITY.

IN the twentieth century the college-man is, more than ever before, the leader of the world. Mind leads the world; mind ultimately is the ruler of the world. That mind leads the world which is not simply developed into maximum intellectual perfection; it is that mind which, perfected and strengthened and given symmetry and vigor, is also made most thoroughly at one with the world. It is not enough that the man shall be a great scholar, or the greatest of scholars; nor is it enough that he shall represent the highest culture and possess the most vigorous brain; nor can learning, even learning united with wisdom and culture, however magnificent the whole, in union give leadership in this world.

A primary requisite of leadership is close and strong connection with the great world to be led. This union being assured the true leader gains and holds his leadership by the exercise, in unrivaled power and with unequaled tact and judgment, of those talents which have been reinforced by the no less indispensable learning and culture and wisdom; these united confer leadership. Ultimately, also, it must be remembered that the greatest mind can never lead if apart from the world and out of touch with those who are to be led. Any man of good sense and rich in humanity, even though unlearned and without extraordinary genius, will sooner acquire leadership than the wisest and greatest man of genius the world at the time possesses, lacking this firm hold upon those who should follow.

He who would lead must have this compound constitution and must acquire the useful forms of learning and the hardly less valuable forms of culture, for such purposes, and he must cultivate that wisdom and tact and those virile qualities which are all-essential to perfect success. He who would lead must be prepared closely to follow leaders preceding him, and the requisites for following leaders in the front ranks are substantially the same, apart from the peculiar genius of the general of the army, as for leadership itself. And each should be well prepared to follow, each in his proper place, and there to be content while most efficient.

The twentieth century man will unite the qualities of sage and


  1. A Commencement Address, Case School of Applied Science.