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The University of Virginia, it will be seen, is not included in the foregoing consideration, although, as is well known, it bears an important part in the maintenance of a high order of scholastic work in this country. The peculiar organization of this University makes it difficult to include any part of its work in a scheme of comparison adapted to other institutions of similar standing.
The courses of instruction in Virginia, as in other American universities, are academical and professional; the former are comprised in two departments, the literary and the scientific; the latter, in the four departments of medicine, law, engineering, and agriculture. In the various departments there are nineteen schools, among which, without regard to the departments, the student is at liberty to elect those he may wish to attend, limited only in respect of lectures occurring at the same hours, and by a regulation concerning the number of schools to be attended by academical students. The academic degrees, conferred only upon examination, are as follows: Certificate of distinction, certificate of proficiency, diploma of graduation, bachelor of letters, bachelor of science, bachelor of philosophy, bachelor of arts, doctor of letters, doctor of science, doctor of philosophy, and master of arts.
The last is conferred upon one who has graduated in Latin, Greek, French, German, moral philosophy, pure mathematics, natural philosophy, and general chemistry. From the catalogue it appears that in July, 1884, this degree was conferred upon ten candidates, and in July, 1885, the degree of master of arts and the degree of doctor of philosophy upon one candidate each.
The Illinois Wesleyan University has established non-resident and post-graduate courses of study, for the purpose of affording a tolerably full course of academic reading to those who cannot attend a college, and to offer an inducement to graduates to prosecute studies for the purpose of earning advanced degrees. With reference to these courses, Dr. C. M. Moss, the dean of the university, writes:
The examinations on each course last from two to three weeks of steady writing, and are as searching as we can consistently make them, considering the fact that the work is done without lectures. We exact a passing figure of 80, and great stress is laid on the final thesis. We have rejected applicants several times within the past five years whose examination work passed, but whose final theses did not show that originality and vigor of thinking which we expect and demand.
No person is admitted to the advanced courses who has not a preliminary degree, and that from a list of accredited colleges which omits half of the schools of the country granting the bachelor's degree. We believe we are more particular about this matter than most of the colleges offering post-graduate work in residence.
The total number now matriculated for A. M. and Ph. D. is 80. The number matriculated for Ph. B. is 213. Many of these expect to take up further courses. It ought to be added that we do not matriculate any one for Ph. B. who does not make a statement that attendance upon college is impossible. Anyway, most of them are ministers, lawyers, physicians, etc., for whom attendance is impossible by reason of their occupation.
DR. M. B. ANDERSON ON THE UNIVERSITY OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.
In connection with the subject of university development in the United States, the following extract from an address by President M. B. Anderson, of the Rochester University, deserve special attention:
That which seems to me to make the special feature in the German university system is the full and ample provision for a course of lectures for those who design to make literature or science a profession, or to engage in the profession of public instruction. In this respect the Germans, and all the nations of continental Europe, are immensely in advance of us. While we make provision for professional instruction in the departments of law, theology, and medicine, we make none whatever for the teacher beyond what he acquires in the college course or by his own unaided efforts. We do not need, then, to replace our colleges by a system like that of a German university, for without the preceding class-room drill students would not be prepared to avail themselves of the advantages which it would offer. Such a change would destroy the foundation upon which all sound education must rest. We need our college system. It is doing good work. It is a natural, indigenous growth. It is adjusted to us, and we are adjusted to it. Let it be retained as a system unchanged, but im
proved in its details, adapted with wisdom to the growth and differentiation of all knowledge. Let it be rendered more and more efficient, liberal, and complete. It furnishes a good foundation. Let us strengthen and build upon it, but not destroy it. What do we need in the way of enlargement of this system? We need professional instruction in science and general literature for those who, having passed through the college course with special honors, shall desire to devote themselves to public instruction or to the increase and diffusion of knowledge. This would secure us a body of men prepared for scientific and historical investigation, and furnish us what we most need adequately trained teachers for our academies and colleges. It would also tend to elevate and dignify the teacher's profession, and ultimately to secure for it rewards in some degree commensurate with those earned in other learned professions. In order to make this provision available, we need a number of fellowships attached to every college, which shall be attainable only by men who, by their success in study, have shown a decided vocation for scholarship. The enjoyment of the revenue of these endowments should be conditioned also on spending in special study a time equivalent to what is spent in preparation for the learned professions.
Provision for higher instruction and the endowment of temporary fellowships would be the natural complements of each other. Worthy pupils would be thus furnished for the higher course of instruction which we have had in view.
In order to elevate the regular college course, we need a healthy public opinion which shall compel professional schools to require for admission to their studies a disciplinary education equal to that furnished by an average American college or a German gymnasium. As we are now situated, the theological seminaries alone require as requisites to admission a college course or a substantial equivalent. Neither the schools of law, medicine, nor general science require a preliminary liberal education. Young men who are graduates do enter upon these studies, but, in most of such schools, no examination for entrance, nor any evidence of the possession of a respectable disciplinary education, is asked for. As a result, only a small portion of such professional students are college graduates, or make pretension to any acquisitions worthy the name of liberal education. Those who control such professional schools by their practice advertise to the world that neither law, nor medicine, nor general science demands any more training than the common handicraft trades or farming. It is true that intelligent gentlemen in all these professions deplore this state of things, and the depression of professional ability consequent upon it, but in the professional schools which are carried on as private speculations the interest of the teachers is more powerful than the often-expressed wishes of the more intelligent members of those professions for which their pupils are training.
It is a sad fact that the most depressing influences bearing upon college education in our country come from the schools of physical science, law, and medicine. Among professional schools, those of theology alone steadily encourage and support high education. It may be worthy the attention of all well educated lawyers and physicians that, while the average standard of education for all other classes in society is constantly rising, the standard in these two noble professions is, on the whole, going relatively downward. The large income returned by teachers of law and medicine is not seldom a measure of this depression. In most European countries Government remedies the evil tendency to which we have referred by stringent enactments. The reason why the higher institutions of learning in most European countries are so thronged with students, is due to the fact that no school-master can teach, no lawyer or physician can practice, without the best education, both general and professional, which the country can afford. It is not my purpose to point out the remedy for these evils. I only wish to call attention to their existence.
COLLEGES WHOSE MAIN WORK IS IN THE UNDERGRADUATE DEPARTMENT.
While peculiar interest attaches to the colleges and universities that take the lead in promoting the highest order of intellectual effort, it must not be forgotten that this work itself depends upon the general condition of the undergraduate work throughout the country.
The colleges whose force is mainly expended here include some of the oldest and most influential colleges in the country, and a still larger number of young and small colleges of a class very aptly characterized by Dr. McCosh, of Princeton, in a recent address as follows:
Most of these young colleges are serving good purpose. They all do so, so far as they give solid, and not superficial knowledge; so far as they teach thoroughly the fundamental and disciplinary branches of literature, science, and philosophy, and also impart religious instruction to give a higher tone to the mind. They draw a number of young men from their vicinity who never could be allured to more
distant and expensive places. If they cannot impart a wide and varied culture, they often give a substantial training. It is a happy circumstance that in almost all these colleges religion is inculcated; and they may be the means of compelling our larger colleges not to abandon it, when they might be led to do so by the pressure of the times.
These colleges change little from year to year, but the record of a period of years shows many evidences of growth. Increase in the number of students is more noticeable in the southern and western than in the eastern colleges. Roanoke College, Virginia, which reported 76 students in 1880, reports 108 in 1885; the University of North Carolina increased in the same time from 171 to 207; Wofford College, South Carolina, from 83 to 124; the University of Georgia, from 83 to 184; Emory College, Georgia, from 141 to 189; the University of Tennessee, from 154 to 180.
The following table shows for a number of colleges the increase in property valuation, or productive funds, or both, from 1880 to 1885:
Improvement in the college curriculum is a subject that deserves particular consideration. I can do no more than suggest that it is particularly noticeable in the methods of classical instruction, and in the increased attention given to the study of English.
The year under review completes the first half century of Marietta College, Ohio, whose history illustrates that of many Christian colleges in our country. In a brief summary of that history, President Andrews says:
The name of college was given to it by the legislature in 1835, and there were two college classes in the autumn of that year. At the beginning there were four departments of instruction, each in charge of a permanent professor. There were the departments of moral and intellectual philosophy, of the Greek and Latin languages, of mathematics and natural philosophy, and of logic, rhetoric and political economy. There was not at first a distinct department of natural science, though instruction was given in chemistry, etc., by the professor of natural philosophy. In this Marietta was not an exception; at that very time the juniors in Williams College recited in chemistry to a tutor, and heard a few lectures from a professor. But in 1840 provis ion was made for regular instruction in chemistry and mineralogy, and in 1846 this department was established by the election of a permanent professor. From that time to this, with the exception of two years, the time of one professor has been devoted to this class of studies.
At the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary in 1860, the whole number of volumes in the college and society libraries was 17,000. There were then only fifteen colleges in the United States that reported a larger number. According to the last Report of the United States Commissioner of Education, of 362 colleges reported, 12 have more books than Marietta, 2 have the same number, and 347 have less. Our total is now somewhat larger than at the date of the Commissioner's Report, being 33,000 volumes. At the 150th anniversary of Yale College, President Woolsey gave the number of volumes in their college library as 22,000. At our 50th anniversary we report, exclusive of the societies, 20,000. The library of Marietta College has been growing more and more valuable in the line of American, and especially Ohio, his
tory, there being but few libraries in the West that surpass it. And if, by and by, there shall come to its shelves and alcoves other collections of books, pamphlets, and manuscripts which are confidently expected, it will be in some respects unequaled.
This glance at the early work of some of our colleges of highest repute shows that almost all their instruction was at first by tutors instead of professors. Often these tutors began their teaching immediately after their own graduation. The difference between permanent and temporary instructors was the same then as now, and it was a great improvement in a college when students received their instruction from permanent professors. At Marietta there has been no occasion for this change, as nearly all the instruction has been professorial from the beginning. In the first catalogue issued every study now thought essential to a liberal education is enumerated. Even the German is not omitted; and through almost the whole history of the college German has been studied, either as required or optional. Political science has also had a prominent place. Complaint is made that in many colleges little or no attention has been given to studies of a governmental and economic character. Whatever may be true of other colleges, Marietta is certainly not open to this charge. These branches have always been taught here, and for the last quarter of a century they have been made specially prominent.
The greater the permanence of the students, the larger the number of seniors as compared with the freshmen. For our 48 years the seniors have been to the freshmen as 70 to 100; or, expressed with respect to the number admitted, it is found that the graduates are 63 per cent. of the whole number matriculated. The same ratio is found in Williams College for the 60 years from 1820 to 1880. It is believed that in very few colleges in the country has there been so little falling off between the beginning and close of the course.
There is an impression very prevalent that students often enter college too young; that they need maturity of years in order to profit by the course of study; and, therefore, other things being equal, the older students derive more advantage than the younger. Our experience of 50 years does not confirm this. This experience shows that when a lad is well prepared for entrance-can pass a good examination on the required studies-he is old enough to do the college work. The average age of our alumni is about 22.7 years. The average age of those who have held the first rank in their respective classes is 22.4; and, if we leave out 10 whose age at graduation was 25 and upwards, the age of the others is 21.3; that is, the average age of three-fourths of those who bave held the highest place in scholarship is a fraction over 21 years.
EVENTS OF THE YEAR.
An unusual number of college presidents have resigned during the year.
Hon. Leland Stanford, United States Senator from California, has devoted a large part of his fortune to the endowment of a new university. The gift includes lands valued at about $5,000,000, with a money endowment not yet stated. The site chosen for the university is the Palo Alto estate near San Francisco. The formal transfer of the estates to the trustees of the university was made November 14th.
CATALOGUES OF AMERICAN COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES.
The American college has fallen into the habit of publishing little else of itself, its methods, work, results, or alumni, than appears in its annual and triennial or general catalogues. When the historical work of this Office was commenced in this direction, it was found that a considerable number of colleges had not complete sets of their own catalogues. Harvard, under President Eliot, and some older colleges are now giving the public more definite reports. State universities and colleges of agriculture, in accordance with law, generally publish somewhat fully the facts in their administration from year to year, but the American college annual catalogue is much the same in all cases. In the triennial or general catalogue there is greater diversity. There is a general demand for the results of college education. What have the colleges accomplished? How far does the triennial or general catalogue give the information desired? In order to bring into the smallest possible space the data contained in these general catalogues, I have had those sent this Office carefully examined and the data grouped in the accompanying tables.
If any college is omitted, it is because its catalogue is not in the possession of the Office. It should be borne in mind that the effort in making this collection of data
is not to show the work of our colleges, or what their alumni have accomplished, but to exhibit what they report for themselves. It may be added that generally the results here presented are obtained by an amount of careful, painstaking examination that readers in general have not time to bestow upon a college catalogue, and therefore, as a rule, the catalogues would not yield to the public the information presented in the accompanying exhibit.
With regard to the meaning of the word "alumni" there are differences of usage; some college authorities include in the term all former students, others only those who have been graduated.