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fit, means for imparting to the growing mind a complete, symmetrical, and rounded development. If this is so again (and the question whether it is so or not can hardly be discussed with profit here) it is possible once more, considering the suggestion made above, that they were not so greatly wise as greatly fortunate. Whether wise or fortunate, or wise and fortunate, or not, however, they created a system very fit for the purpose in view, and a system to which we ought to go back -in form and principle, at least, if not in substance-if it is indeed true that we contemplate, or ought to contemplate, in our colleges of to-day, the identical object which they set before them in theirs.
In saying that we should adopt their system in form and principle, it is simply meant that we should return to a curriculum of two or three subjects; but whether these two or three should be Latin, Greek, and the pure mathematics, or French, German, and physics, or any other triad which may be selected from the copious répertoire of an American university of the present day, it is not intended to suggest.
But the question returns, is the object which we aim at to-day in our colleges the identical one contemplated in the colleges of the last century? Do we still design them to be merely mental gymnasia, and not schools for the acquisition of useful knowledge at all? If we do so, we have practically ruined them for the avowed purpose, by overloading them with so large and so distracting a variety of subjects as practically to eliminate the gymnastic feature altogether. The well known fact is that these subjects have been added, not on the ground that they improve the disciplinary efficacy of the course, which manifestly they do not, but for the reason, distinctly avowed, that they are subjects which educated men ought to know something about. If their advocates talk, as they sometimes do, of their disciplinary value, it is not because they attach importance to this view, but to soften opposition to their introduction. All of them, or most of them, at least, would have a disciplinary value, if opportunity were afforded to make it felt. But in the conflict of contending claims, it is hardly possible to secure the attention of the learner to any one for a period sufficiently long or sufficiently continuous to afford anything like a fair test of what, in this respect, it might be worth.
Age of Admission Fifty Years Ago. When our colleges were first founded, there was nothing between them and the elementary schools, and the elementary schools themselves were very imperfect. The requisitions for admission were very humble, and their attendance was principally made up of lads of tender age. * *
Ogden Hoffman, one of our own distinguished alumni and a former member of this board, was graduated in 1812, at the early age of thirteen. The eminent physician and surgeon, T. Romeyn Beck, was graduated at Union College, in 1804, at the same age.
The senior member of this board, Samuel B. Ruggles (senior in the order of appointment), graduated at Yale College in 1814, at the age of fourteen. Benjamin Rush, chairman of the committee of the Pennsylvania State Provincial Conference (June, 1776) on the Declaration of Independence, and an eminent member of the medical profession, graduated at Princeton in 1760, also at fourteen.
Gulian C. Verplanck, famous in many ways, graduated at our College in 1801, at the age of fifteen, and made the day of his graduation memorable by an exciting scene in Trinity church, in which his indiscretion nearly lost him his degree. Our former professor of chemistry and physics, James Renwick; Richard Stockton, Senator from New Jersey in 1796 ; the Rt. Rev. Manton Eastburn, Bishop of Massachusetts; J. McPherson Berrien, of Georgia, and Nicholas Biddle of Pennsylvania, also graduated at the age of fifteen.
Governor and Chief Justice Hutchinson, of Massachusetts ; Gouverneur Morris, of the Continental Congress; Aaron Burr, of unhappy memory; Chief Justice Joel Parker, of New Hampshire; Edward Holyoke, and John Thornton Kirkland, presidents of Harvard College; Nathan Lord, president of Dartmouth College; Samuel Provoost, second chairman of this board ; Joseph Reed and William B. Reed, of Pennsylvania ; John Tyler, of Virginia ; Joseph Hopkinson and John Sergeant, of Pennsylvania ; Jonathan Dayton, of New Jersey; Professors J. W. Alexander and Henry Vethake; George Ticknor, of Boston, and the eminent surgeons, S. W. Dickson and A. C. Post, of this city, all graduated at sixteen.
Among graduates at the age of seventeen may be enumerated Cotton Mather and Increase Mather; Chief Justice James Winthrop; John Hancock, first signer of the Declaration of Independence; Governor Jonathan Trumbull; Edward Livingston ; Jared Ingersoll ;. William Samuel Johnson, first president of Columbia College under the new charter; Richard Rush; James A. Bayard; James Blair Smith, first president of Union College; John Wheelock, second president of Dartmouth College ; Jonathan Edwards, third president of the College of New Jersey ; Timothy Dwight, president of Yale College; Sereno Edwards Dwight, president of Hamilton College ; Francis Wayland, president of Brown University; Edward Everett, president of Harvard University; Henry Reed; DeWitt Clinton ; Gouverneur Kemble; Henry Wheaton; Theodore Frelinghuysen ; Emory Washburne; Benjamin Silliman; George Bancroft; J. Addison Alexander ; John McVickar; and Charles Anthon.
Graduating at eighteen, we find John Caldwell Calhoun; James Kent; Robert R. Livingston, chancellor; John Wentworth, governor ; John Cotton Smith, governor; James Otis; Timothy Pickering; Elbridge Gerry; Oliver Wolcott; Ambrose Spencer; William Cranch; Samuel Johnson, first president of King's College, now Columbia ; Eliphalet Nott, president of Union College; Josiah Quincy, president of Harvard College ; Jeremiah Day, president of Yale College ; Jonathan Dickinson, president of the College of New Jersey ; Horace Holley, president of Transylvania University ; Isaac Ferris, chancellor of the University of the City of New York; William Ellery Channing; Ralph Waldo Emerson ; Henry W. Longfellow; Bishop John Henry Hobart; Bishop Benjamin T. Onderdonk, and Bishop Charles P. McIlvaine. It would be easy to extend this list.
It is true that, in the early period of which we are speaking, there were students in the colleges above the age of boyhood. They were there because there were no better schools. But the system both of education and of discipline had to be adapted to the prevailing character of the academic body, and that was determined by the predomi. nance of the juvenile element. Students more advanced in years could, of course, accommodate themselves to this, but it would have been an unpardonable mistake as well as a perversion of the original design, to have attempted to accommodate the system to them. From this consideration resulted naturally the establishment of an invariable and strictly limited curriculum of study. * * With the progress of time, the extremely juvenile element has been eliminated from our colleges alınost completely.
The average age of the student body in an American college of the present time is greater than it was a century ago, by about three years. The college of that day stands to the college of this, very nearly in the same relation as that which Eton College in England bears to the colleges of the University of Oxford. Eton and not Oxford was in fact the model on which our early colleges were constructed. That has remained substantially unchanged to the present time; ours have been so transformed that they have lost all resemblance to the original type. The average age of the Eton boys at the completion of their course is eighteen years, and they then go to Oxford. The average of applicants for admission to Harvard University, as reported by President Eliot, is also eighteen years.
Now it is certain that the educational system which is best adapted to the case of boys between fourteen and eighteen, cannot be equally beneficial for young men between seventeen and twenty-one. During the earlier period, the mind is plastic, and a uniform system which disregards native differences between individuals, and assumes that a perfectly equal and symmetrical development is practically possible in every case, is susceptible of being plausibly defended. But experience teaches the hard and unalterable fact that nature cannot be forced beyond a certain limit which time distinctly brings to view ; that there are differences between minds as decided as those between faces; and that when, in the process of development, these have become distinctly pronounced, it is worse than a waste of energy to attempt to extinguish them by any process of educational forcing. A true theory of education, a wise plan of instruction, is one which first seeks to detect these differences, and then endeavors to adapt itself to them. Nothing is easier than their detection. There is no educator of any experience who will not, after a few months' careful observation, pronounce with the most unhesitating confidence that such or such a pupil will never be a mathematician, or that such or such another will never inake a linguist. It does not follow that he will say that these two ought not both to be exercised in both kinds of study. During the formative process uncongenial studies no doubt have their uses. But there comes a time when the formative process practically ceases, and then the kind of mental exercise which is educationally profitable will be found in the study of subjects that are congenial.
Development of Elective Studies. From a comparison of catalogues, it appears that, fifteen years ago, when the system of graduate instruction at Harvard University was still in its infaucy, the number of resident graduates was only nine, and the number of undergraduates three hundred and eighty-five. This latter number had remained stationary for the previous eight years, having been three hundred and eighty-one in 1857. During the year just past, the number of graduate students on the roll, most of them studying for higher degree, is fifty-one. The number of undergraduates is eight hundred and thirteen, having considerably more than doubled.
At Yale College, fifteen years ago, there were no resident graduates. The number of undergraduates was in that year four hundred and fiftyeight. This number was actually less than eight years previously, the total number of undergraduates at Yale in 1856-7 having been four hundred and seventy-two. The catalogue for the present year shows the number in the graduate course to be thirty-nine, and the total of undergraduates to have advanced to five hundred and eighty-one, a gain of more than twenty-five per cent.
At Princeton, fifteen years ago, there were no resident graduates, and the undergraduates numbered two hundred and forty-eight. This college had been for eight years stationary, having had two hundred and thirty-six undergraduates in 1857. During the year just closing, the number of the graduates under instruction at Princeton has been fortyeight, and the total on the undergraduate list four hundred and thir. teen, an increase of one hundred and sixty-five, or sixty-seven per cent.
The growth of these institutions is the more remarkable from the fact that it is shared with scarcely any of their contemporaries. Bow. doin, Brown, the Wesleyan, Trinity, Middlebury, Union, Hamilton, Madison, and Rutgers are substantially where they were ten, fifteen, or twenty years ago. Williams had two hundred and twenty-four on her list in 1857, and has two hundred and six in 1880. Amherst alone has materially gained, her undergraduate attendance having increased since 1870 from two hundred and fifty-five to three hundred and fortyseven. But Amherst, since 1875, has established the elective system in the junior and senior classes, and has provided for giving advanced instruction to graduates.
The figures here presented require no comment. They prove more conclusively than any argument could do that just in proportion as provision is made in any educational institution for the wants of students of superior grade, in the same proportion its attractiveness is increased for those of the inferior.
COLUMBIA COLLEGE AS A UNIVERSITY.
BY F. A. P. BARNARD, S. T. D., LL. D.
DISTINCTION BETWEEN COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY.* In popular parlance, the words college and university are so indiscriminately applied, that it has become necessary to define the proper distinction between the two. Going back to the origin of the terms, we shall find that the university of the twelfth or thirteenth century was an educational institution established by decree of the supreme authorities of Church or State, and empowered to give instruction in the Liberal Arts, or in Law, Medicine, or Theology; and also to license such of its own proficients as should satisfy certain tests prescribed by itself to become instructors likewise. It was this licensing power which became the distinctive characteristic of the university. The license was originally bestowed only on those whose purpose it was to become teachers, in fact; and along with the license was imposed the duty of teaching in the university itself. The number of licentiates annually made was, accordingly, in the early history of the university system, very small; being only sufficient to maintain an effective corps of instructors. The numerical strength of this corps was not indeed rigorously fixed, as it is usually in American colleges. Instructors competed with each other in the same field, and their emoluments consisted mainly of the fees of their students. The number was, therefore, as great as under this system could obtain for themselves subsistence; but it necessarily reduced the annual number of licentiates far below that of the students annually completing their course of instruction in the university. The time came at length when licentiates were made without being rigorously required to exercise actually the functions they were licensed to perform. Then the license ceased to be a burden, and became an honorable distinction, becoming known as it is to this day as an academic degree. It does not appear that, during the prevalence of this system, any person not duly licensed by the universities was at liberty to give instruction in the liberal arts or in the studies preparatory to either of the so-called learned professions at all. Certainly no one without such authority might open a school for that purpose. It was a commendable feature of the system that it recognized the educational career as a profession, which was as carefully guarded from the intrusions of the ignorant or inexpert as were the universally acknowledged professions of medicine, law, or theology.
The distinctive characteristic of the original university was, therefore, not the exercise of the teaching function, nor the nature of the subjects taught. Universities were sometimes established in a single
*Report of the President to the Trustees of Columbia College.