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European nations, will remain a permanent acquisition when the last ammunition has been used in the fireworks that celebrate the final peace. I believe as he does. It would be simply preposterous if the only force that could work ideals of honor and standards of efficiency into English or American natures should be the fear of being killed by the Germans or the Japanese. Great indeed is Fear; but it is not, as our military enthusiasts believe and try to make us believe, the only stimulus known for awakening the higher ranges of men's spiritual energy. The amount of alteration in public opinion which my utopia postulates is vastly less than the difference between the mentality of those black warriors who pursued Stanley's party on the Congo with their cannibal war cry of "Meat! Meat!” and that of the "general staff" of any civilized nation. History has seen the latter interval bridged over; the former one can be bridged over much more easily
WHAT IS A COLLEGE FOR? 1
Woodrow Wilson, twenty-eighth president of the United States, was born at Staunton, Virginia, December 28, 1856. educated at Davidson College, Princeton, the University of Virginia, and Johns Hopkins University. He held professional positions at Bryn Mawr College, Wesleyan University, and Princeton University, in the last named teaching political economy, political science, and jurisprudence. As a teacher he was noted for the simplicity and adequacy with which he illustrated and made clear the difficult phases of the subjects on which he lectured, and also for his direct and intimate methods of appeal to the student. Mr. Wilson was president of Princeton from 1902 to 1910, during which time he made many progressive changes in that university's methods of instruction, especially through his emphasis upon the tutorial system. In 1911 he became governor of New Jersey, in 1913 president of the United States, and in 1917 president for a second term. The World War occurring during his administration, he was at the head of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace, and signed the Peace Treaty in 1919. His writings include, among many other books and published addresses, Congressional Government, The State, Division and Reunion, Mere Literature and Other Essays, and A History of the American People (in five volumes). Mere Literature and Other Essays and his state papers during the War best reveal his powers as a writer.
His style is forceful, direct, clear, stimulating, characterized above all by aptness of word and flexibility of phrase. His most impressive addresses, both from the quality of their form and the importance of their effect upon history "in the making,” were the three delivered April 2, 1917, January 8, 1918, and July 4, 1918, respectively, and entitled The Necessity for War Against Germany, The Fourteen Points of Peace, and Four Steps to Peace. Closely bound up with the Peace Treaty, which President Wilson signed in 1919, was the League of Nations. It is not too much to say that this was the dearest thing to Mr. Wilson's heart. While it was being violently attacked in the United States Senate, the president started on a tour of the United States to take the issue directly to the people. On this trip Mr. Wilson's health broke down and he was taken back to Washington, where, after a lingering illness, he died February 3, 1924. He lies buried in the National Cathedral of St. Albans, District of Columbia.
Reprinted through the courtesy of ex-President Woodrow Wilson. Copyright, 1915, by Charles Scribner's Sons.
It may seem singular that at this time of day and in this confident century it should be necessary to ask: What is a college for? But it has become necessary. I take it for granted that there are few real doubts concerning the question in the minds of those who look at the college from the inside and have made themselves responsible for the realization of its serious purposes; but there are many divergent opinions held concerning it by those who, standing on the outside, have pondered the uses of the college in the life of the country; and their many varieties of opinion may very well have created a confusion of counsel in the public mind.
They are, of course, entirely entitled to their independent opinions and have a right to expect that full consideration will be given what they say by those who are in fact responsible. The college is for the use of the nation, not for the satisfaction of those who administer it or for the carrying out of their private views. They may speak as experts and with a very intimate knowledge, but they also speak as servants of the country and must be challenged to give reasons for the convictions they entertain. Controversy, it may be, is not profitable in such matters, because it is so easy, in the face of opposition, to become a partizan of one's own views and exaggerate them in seeking to vindicate and establish them; but an explicit profession of faith cannot fail to clear the air and to assist the thinking both of those who are responsible and of those who only look on and seek to make serviceable comment.
Why, then, should a man send his son to college when school is finished; or why should he advise any youngster in whom he is interested to go to college? What does he expect and desire him to get there? The question might be carried back and asked also with regard to the higher schools to which lads resort for preparation for college. What are they meant to get there? But it will suffice to center the question on the college. What should a lad go to college for-for work, for the realization of a definite aim, for discipline and a severe training of his faculties, or for relaxation, for the release and exercise of his social powers, for the broadening effects of life in a sort of miniature world in which study is only one among many interests? That is not the only alternative suggested by recent discussions. They also suggest a sharp alternative with regard to the character of the study the college student should undertake. Should he seek at college a general discipline of his faculties, a general awakening to the issues and interests of the modern world, or should he, rather, seek specially and definitely to prepare himself for the work he expects to do after he leaves college, for his support and advancement in the world? The two alternatives are very different. The one asks whether the lad does not get as good a preparation for modern life by being manager of a football team with a complicated program of intercollegiate games and trips away from home as by becoming proficient in mathematics or in history and mastering the abstract tasks of the mind; the other asks whether he is not better prepared by being given the special skill and training of a particular calling or profession, an immediate drill in the work he is to do after he graduates, than by being made a master of his own mind in the more general fields of knowledge to which his subsequent calling will be related, in all probability, only as every undertaking is related to the general thought and experience of the world.
“Learning" is not involved. No one has ever dreamed of imparting learning to undergraduates. It cannot be done in four years. To become a man of learning is the enterprise of a lifetime. The issue does not rise to that high ground. The question is merely this: Do we wish college to be, first of all and chiefly, a place of mental discipline or only a school of general experience; and, if we wish it to be a place of mental discipline, of what sort do we wish the discipline to be a general awakening and release of the faculties or a preliminary initiation into the drill of a particular vocation?
These are questions which go to the root of the matter. They admit of no simple and confident answer. Their roots spring out of life and all its varied sources. To reply to them, therefore, involves an examination of modern life and an assessment of the part an educated man ought to play in it-an analysis which no man may attempt with perfect self-confidence. The life of our day is a very complex thing which no man can pretend to comprehend in its entirety.
But some things are obvious enough concerning it. There is an uncommon challenge to effort in the modern world, and all the achievements to which it challenges are uncommonly difficult. Individuals are yoked together in modern enterprise by a harness which is both new and inelastic. The man who understands only some single process, some single piece of work which he has been set to do, will never do anything else, and is apt to be deprived at almost any moment of the opportunity to do even that, because processes change, industry undergoes instant revolutions. New inventions, fresh discoveries, alterations in the markets of the world throw accustomed methods and the men who are accustomed to them out of date and use without pause or pity. The man of special skill may be changed into an unskilled laborer overnight. Moreover, it is a day in which no enterprise stands alone