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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/337

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UNIVERSITY-BUILDING.

influences and in response to actual needs, is changing to the American university. It is no longer a school of culture alone, a school of personal growth through personal example. It is becoming in addition to this a school of research, a school of power. It stands in the advance guard of civilization, responsive not to the truth of tradition alone, but to the new truth daily and hourly revealed in the experience of man.

In the movement of events the American university unites in itself three different functions, that of the college, that of the professional school and that which is distinctive of the university.

The college is now as ever a school of culture. It aims to make wise, sane, well-rounded men who know something of the best that men have thought and done in tins world, and whose lives will be the better for this knowledge. It has not discarded the Latin, Greek and mathematics winch were so long the chief agents in culture, but it has greatly added to this list. It has found that to some minds at least better results arise from the study of other things. Culture is born from mastery. The mind is strengthened by what it can assimilate. It can use only that which relates itself to life. We find that Greek-mindedness is necessary to receive from the Greek all that this noblest of languages is competent to give. We find for the average man better educational substance in English than in Latin, in the physical or natural sciences than in the calculus. But more important than this, we find that it is safe in the main to trust the choice of studies to the student himself. The very fact of choice is in itself an education. It is better to choose wrong sometimes, as we do a hundred times in life, than to be arbitrarily directed to the best selection. Moreover, so far as culture is concerned, the best teacher is more important than the best study. It is still true, as Emerson once wrote to his daughter, that 'it matters little what your studies are; it all lies in who your teacher is.' A large institution has many students. It has likewise many teachers, and an Arnold or a Hopkins, a Warner or a Thoburn, can come just as close to the students' hearts in a large school as in a small one. But 'the knowing of men by name,' the care for their personal lives and characters, must be the essential element in the new college course, as it was in the old. And the college function of the university must not be despised or belittled. Because Germany has no colleges, because her students go directly from the high school at home to the professional school or the university, some have urged the abandonment by the American university of this primal function of general culture. In their eagerness to develop advanced work, some institutions have relegated the college function almost solely to tutors without experience, and have left it without standards and without serious purpose. It is not right that even the freshmen should be poorly taught. On the soundness of the college training everything