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About The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899 | View Entire Issue (April 27, 1896)
colleges that happen to belong to the order.
If any of you were about to be examined for
life insurance, the plrysician would ask you
all about your brothers and sisters. You
could not escape him by saying one brother
is as strong as Sandow, while the rest of the
family arc small, weak and some even have
consumption. And this is about the sort of
a family the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity
boasts; a few flourishing and powerful while
a score .'ire weak and diseased. Are wu to
be judged by the company we keep?
Hut to put the matter in another way.
With considerable assistance I have been
able to rank these P. B. K. schools compar
ing them with Donne and our own Uni
versity. Seven of these P. B. K. colleges rank
lower than Donne; eight rank about wilh
Doanc; twelve more are better than Donne,
buc fall far short of the our University; three
rank about even with our University and but
six Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Uni
versity of Pcnn., and John Hopkins out
rank the University of Nebraska.
Is it not more reasonable to say we rank
with the eight schools which are on a par
with Doanc, or the seven which about equal
Wcsleyan than it is to assert we now rank
along with the six schools which arc grentcr
than ours? Is it not just possible the P. B.
K. professors thought of this, and may this
not be the reason 'why they kept so very still
about the great predominance of one-horse
Universities of which two-thirds of P. B. K.
If I remember rightly a short time ago,
in our local Oratorical Association, a resolu
solution was passed voicing the sentiment of
the whole University and declaring that the
University of Nebraska should seek schools
of Its own rank to compete with. It was
the unanimous opinion that honor did not
come from such fellowship as we now have in
the State Association. A committee is now
at work trying to form an Oratorical
Association with equals. Since this is the
sentiment of ihe school, what shall we do
in regard to these other paragons with whom
we are now bound and must be classed? Call
them "world's Universities" if you will, but
face the facts.
But you say we should have looked this
up before P. B. K. came here taht we had
plenty of time to find out what it was. We
had no reason to look the matter up. Time
and again the gentlemen who were interest
ed in getting P. B. K. here asserted it was
a sign of greatness; and they were very
careful to mention only the large and famous
colleges in the order. Is it a natural con
clusion that our professois arc deceiving us
or only telling a half truth? We had every
reason to believe exactly what they said nn
til we learned the facts when a mere list of
P. B. K. schools was sufficient to utterly
refute their assertions.
Why was it the powers that be, kept so very
quiet about this score of insignificant schools
and simply hcarldcd the fame of Yale, Har
vard., etc? It looks to me like a deliberate
plan to mislead us, so that they could get
a ribbon, a piece of tinsel and a gecgaw
that pleased their fancy in fact, that P. B.
K. was bronght here under an apparently
deliberate and intentional mistatcment of
But if it was only the ribbon and the
tinsel that they hare brought to our school
it would not concern barbarians in the least.
Every one of the worth members of P. B.
K. can wind as many yards of tinsel about
his middles aa does a Zulu chief without
one whit of difference to us.
But when they foist upon our school an
aristocracy and more than one man has
admitted to me the P. B. K. was an aris
tocracywhen they give us an institution,
that where ever it has been tried has de
generated into a system of gross favoritism;
an institution that one of its own members
in our faculty styles "a leg pulling machine;"
then, fellow barbarians, you have a right,
you have a duty to object. Mr. Editor I do
object not only to the way P. B. K. was
bronght here, but to P. B. K. in and of itself.
Luther J. Abuott jr.
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