Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/40

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
36
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

for good men, for men of his kind. He has seen richer institutions draw these men away, and then he has begun his search once more, and each time he has closed the ranks with men of the Colorado spirit. Every great university has been enriched by men drawn from Colorado College. Greater institutions have stood ready to bid for his own services, and in no mean fashion. This I know well, though not from him. But he will not leave the work of his life to begin another, simply because the other stands in a larger yard. There is gold in Colorado, there is silver, there is untold wealth in her mines. But Colorado is not made by mines. She has been made by men. She has had many red letter days. This twenty-third day of February, 1904, is not the least of them all, but none has been fraught with greater hope to the state than that day sixteen years ago, that day when William Frederick Slocum came to the presidency of Colorado College.

The building we dedicate to-day is called Palmer Hall. It is in large degree the gift of General William J. Palmer, and it rightfully bears his name. I never met General Palmer personally until yesterday, but I have long known his name as that of one of Colorado's most enlightened citizens. I trust that he may live long to see his noble gift used and appreciated.

There is no way, I believe, in which accumulated wealth can be so wisely used as in the endowment or enrichment of colleges. In no way can the present secure such pledges of the future, and no gifts are so unselfish as those made to posterity. All who help to promote scholarship, citizenship, efficiency, are patriots in the highest sense and their patriotism should be appreciated by the people.

In all the range of mean-spirited criticism there is nothing more contemptible than that which ascribes selfish aims to wealthy men who give to colleges. Sensational neurotics are constantly in fear that the rich man will force the college to teach his doctrines. Such a thing has never happened, for it requires brains to acquire wealth and this implies sense enough to understand the freedom of the university. No rich benefactor of our day has ever tried to use a university as a tool; no one ever will try. Yet the clamor having this as a burden goes up from one end of the country to the other. Over the shoulders of the college the blackmailer tries to stab at the millionaire. But he goes on his way unmindful, and if he be generous-minded, he makes his gifts just the same, sure of the results of the future, even though denied the gratitude of the present.

Here in Colorado there rules a saner spirit. Our Palmer Hall is the gift of a kind and helpful friend. As such it is received by all who are here to-day and by all true and loyal citizens of Colorado.

Finally let me say: In all plans of university building there is but one that succeeds. Those who think for themselves will inspire