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About The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 1, 1891)
was short sighted or dealt in shams. For one pupil that
comes to the university from an accredited school, five do
not, sjmply because they have been impressed with the
belief thnt their education is finished. A long accredited list
may lool: well in the catalogue but it is an easy matter to get
accredited. All that is necessary is to put certain studies
Greek, geometry, "mental science" on the curriculum.
That nobody has ever taken them, ever will take them, or
can ever be prepared for them, matters not. The work of
the faculty in this matter savors slightly of red-tape and time
sctvlng. What shall it profit a university if it have a large
number of students and gives degrees to every Tom, Dick,
Harry (and regent) who wishes one?
An instnncc or two may not be out of the way. The uni
versity faculty succeeded in getting a high school raised to
the major course by placing Greek on Its curriculum. Yet
there was nobody connected with the school capable of teach
ing Greek. Tn one high school (not far removed from the
university) it was understood, as a matter of course, by the
graduating'1 class of last year that no one would be pre
vented from graduating on account of negligence in work or
incompetency, because the principal wished to graduate"
as many ns possible. In more thnn one accredited school the
principal would be unable to enter the sophomore class of the
university. Verily, something is rotten in Denmark!
If the university would be strict in its standard of admission
even to losing a student or two, would not wink at incompe
tency for the sake of popularity, would make the require
ments for graduation something more than mere course-grinding,
would be more carelul thnn hitherto in the distribution
of -M. A. degrees, in a word, would be less bound by conven
tionalities, it would make the work of those of us who arc try
ing to infuse a little honesty, humility and scholarship into
education less arduous.
The above remarks are based on a direct personal
acquaintance with four of the accredited schools and upon an
indirect acquaintance with several more.
Gno. W. Danveks, '90.
Editor Alumni Department, Hesperian:
I feel like "killing time" this evening, so think, perhaps,
it may be an opportune time to fulfill my promise of an item
made to you before leaving Lincoln.
One finds here in John Hopkins a university in both senses
of the name; a collection or group of colleges, the English
university; a school for advanced and original work, the Ger
man university. This is certainly a group of colleges doing
advanced and original work. I think the hends of more than
one department here can say, and substantiate, what a pro
fessor not long since said to me; that "The greater part of the
original work worth publishing in this department of science
in the last ten years in this country, has gone out from thic
To one coming from a university where the whole work
is the under graduate work, the exclusiveness of the students
is a very noticeable factor. The men group themeselvcs off
intutivcly, as it would seem. The biological fellows know no
one but biological fellows and a few chemistry men who put
themselves into the sanctitv of their circle by taking biology
as a subordinate subject. Then there arc the gco-and min
erological group; the modern languages, the historic, politic,
and ecnomical, the mathematical, physical, and the classic
philological groups, each group ns perfect strangers to each
other in the university world here, as the Methodists, Camp
bellites, Adventists' and you "agnostics" arc toach other in
the student world'at Lincoln. The faculty seem to deplore
the fact, ntd try to encourage intercourse between the stud
ents of the different departments, but to no avail. Possibly
if the faculty should try teaching this by practice rather than
by precept they might secure more association between the
fellows from the different departments.
Yet this depatments exclusiveness is only a necessary
resultant of the work done here. This is pre-eminently a grad
uate school; a university of the German kind. Your profess
or has ere this told you that you must never expect to know all
of all things; that in this period of the world, specialists are
in demand, and that it is better to know something of one
subject, than nothing of all subjects. In addition to this I
quote my professor here when he said; "Life is too short to
know all that is known in this age, of any one subject. It will
be better for you to know, what is in and where to find, your
books of reference, than to try to commit them to memory."
In other words, make your knowledge a good department
library catalogue, rather than a very poor general library. The
students here seem to be working on that hypothesis, and as
a very natural sequence care for nothing outside of the line of
their work. For a degree 01TI1.D, one pursues three subjects,
a major, a first and a second subordinate subject. Naturally
the subjects group themselves, by ibices; as, Economics, His
tory, Politics; Politics, History, Economics, or any one of the
several groups that may have been suggested above. You
have a trace of the beginning of this exclusiveness in your
scl-lit feuds, only here it becomes more spccializ'ed.
The work done by the students here is very extraordinary,
both in amount and quality, and may he accounted for in
several ways. The class of students who present themselves
to pursue the graduate work are mature, and, (if you will par
don any seeming modesty,) among the best men sent out by
the various colleges and universities ol the country. Almost
every man in a class represents a different college and a dif
ferent state, and has a pride to carry himself in a Avay that
shall be no disgrace to himself, his state or his previous
instruction. Given a good class of mature minds, urged on by
the incentive of honor to uphold and honor to win, and
directed hy some of the best minds in their respective special
ties, it is not strange that large results are obtained.
One might expect a similar stimulus in your freshmen class
collected from the various high schools of the state, only tKa1
the fallacy of the comparison appears in calling a high school
mind mature in any way. It has just blossomed and of ne
cessity is yet in the milk, but by care will pass into the dough
with its sopliomoric existence, then slowly begin to turn,
at first quite green and unripe, but with proper nurture, and
you have it there in your most excellent faculty, in a decade
we may expect the plump and ripening grain.
The increased attendance of the past few years in our
undergraduate schools is beginning to show itself here in the
increased number of men taking graduate work, there is an
increased attendance of about twelve per cent over last year.
This increase may be due in part to the re-established confi
dence in the financial stability of the university.
I want to take this opportunity to congratulcte the young
men and young women of Nebraska upon the facilities they
have of obtaining a good modern education. The more I
am thrown in contact with students from other colleges and
universities; (and among them the best universticsi in our
land) the more honest pride 1 have in my alma mater, .and
the more honor nnd respect for her faculty. Nebraska has a
university to take pride in. Sincerely,
Frank F. Almy, '89.
F, A. Noble, formerly of the class of "'gz, graduated at the
university of Washington, Seattle, last June, and "isnow
attending the Ann Arbor law school. '
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