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other in residence and ideas, yet flowing in one direction, means something. What is it? At the source of it lies, doubtless, a perception of duty to the country and a feeling of pride in the country's glory. United with this is, naturally, more or less of an honorable personal ambition; but this is not all; strong common sense has done much to create the current and still more to shape its course. For, as to the origin of this stream, the wealthy American knows perfectly that the laws of his country favor the dispersion of inherited wealth rather than its retention; that in two or three generations at most his descendants, no matter how large their inheritance, must come to the level determined by their character and ability; that their character and ability are most likely to be injured, and therefore the level to which they subside lowered, by an inheritance so large as to engender self-indulgence; that while, in Great Britain, the laws and customs of primogeniture and entail enable men of vast wealth to tie up their property, and so to found families, this, in America, is impossible; and that though the tendency toward the equalization of fortunes may sometimes be retarded, it cannot be prevented.
So, too, as to the direction of the stream; this same common sense has given its main channel. These great donors have recognized the fact that the necessity for universal primary education will always be seen, and can be adequately provided for, only by the people as a whole; but that the necessity for that advanced education which can alone vivify and energize the whole school system, drawing a rich life up through it, sending a richer life down through it, will rarely be provided for, save by the few men wise enough to understand a great national system of education, and strong enough efficiently to aid it.
It is, then, plain, good sense which has led mainly to the development of a munificence such as no other land has seen; therefore it is that the long list of men who have thus distinguished themselves and their country is steadily growing longer, and it may be safely prophesied that the same causes which have led to this large growth of munificence will lead to yet larger growths. It is in view of these vast future gifts to the country that I present this paper. It is the result of no sudden impulse or whim; it is the outgrowth of years of observation and thought
among men as well as among books, in public business as well as in university work, in other countries as well as our own, in other times as well as our own.
Our country has already not far short of four hundred colleges and universities more or less worthy of those names, beside a vast number of high-schools and academies quite as worthy to be called colleges and universities as many which bear those titles. But the system embracing all these has by no means reached its final form. Probably in its more complete development the stronger institutions, to the number of twenty or thirty, will, within a generation or two, become universities in the true sense of the word, restricting themselves to university work; beginning, perhaps, at the studies now usually undertaken in the junior year of our colleges, and carrying them on through the senior year, with two or three years of special or professional study afterward. The best of the others will probably accept their mission as colleges in the true sense of the word, beginning the course two years earlier than at present, and continuing it to what is now the junior year. Thus they will do a work intermediate between the general school system of the country and the universities, a work which can be properly called collegiate, a work the need of which is now sorely felt, and which is most useful and honorable. Such an organization will give us as good a system as the world has ever seen, probably the best system.
Every man who has thought to much purpose upon this mass of institutions devoted to advanced instruction must feel that it is just now far more important to strengthen those we have than to make any immediate additions to their number. How can this best be done? My answer is, that this and a multitude of other needs of the country can be best met by the foundation of a university in the city of Washington.
But let me say, at the outset, that what I now advocate is not a teaching university at the national capital. That would be, indeed, of vast value, and the day is not far off when some publicspirited millionaire will link his name to the glory of his country by establishing it. He will find the eight or ten millions it will require a small price to pay for the glory which it will bring to
the nation and to him; he will see that the number of men distinguished in science and literature who live there or go there; the scientific collections streaming into that center from all points in our vast domain; the great national library and the precious special and private libraries accumulating there; the attractiveness, accessibility, beautiful climate, and increasing salubrity of the place; the facilities of every sort for bringing the best thought of the world to bear upon the political center of the nation; that all these constitute an argument than which none can be more cogent for the establishment of a teaching university, in the highest sense of the word, at Washington. Such an institution could be united perfectly well with that which I now advocate; but it is not now of such a teaching university that I am to speak; that I may discuss in a future paper. In the present article I shall sketch a plan for a university in that city with no teaching body of its own, but using the teaching bodies of all our preparatory schools, colleges, and universities already existing, and making them all, from Maine to California and from Alaska to Florida, better and stronger. It is a plan which involves, indeed, large outlay; but very little of this would be incurred for salaried officials, and still less for brick and mortar. Without farther preface, then, the part of my plan which I now present may be sketched as follows:
I will suppose, first, that some American shall have appropriated the sum, let us say, of from three to five millions of dollars as a basis for the institution. That this is not a violent supposition is seen by the fact that we already hear of intended gifts in one place of from six to eight millions, and in another of from ten millions to a much greater sum. I would have the donor select a board of trustees from men of high character and suitable attainments, using the same care which was taken by Mr. Peabody in choosing the trustees of his various institutions; by Mr. Johns Hopkins, Mr. Cornell, Mr. Tulane, and Mr. Clark in selecting trustees of their universities; by Mr. Slater in selecting the trustees of his fund for education in the South. Of this board the donor might well be the first president.
This body of trustees, having assembled in the city of Washington, should select a head of the proposed institution, who
might be called its chancellor or president, and who should be, ex officio, a member of its board of trustees. To the acting head thus elected would be added such clerical force as he may need, with such local habitation and center for the proposed university as the trustees may think advisable. Such local habitation may be a plain suit of rooms in any building already existing, or it may well be a noble edifice, which shall adorn the capital of the United States and be the worthy outward and visible sign of the institution, indicating to all who visit the metropolis that this is the center of a vast provision for the higher education in the nation at large.
The first main duty of this head of the new university should be to select every year, subject to confirmation by the trustees, a small body of examiners, and the first main duty of these examiners should be to prepare proper examination papers on the leading subjects required for admission to the first year in the various departments of our American colleges and universities of a worthy grade. There would naturally be different sets of these papers, adjusted to the needs of various sections of the country and to the best standard which instruction has reached in each of those sections. On these papers examinations should be held at central points in these various sections of the United States, the simple methods being used which have been for some time employed by several of our larger universities, as in the local examinations conducted by Harvard, Yale, and Cornell in some of the greater Western cities.
The answers thus obtained to the examination papers, with proper certificates as to character, health, and physical strength of the candidates, having been forwarded to the examiners at Washington, a certain number of the persons showing the highest ability and giving proper guarantees of moral earnestness and sound health, shall each receive a scholarship, bearing the name of the founder of the university, to the amount of, say, three hundred and fifty dollars a year, and good for four years, with the right and duty of expending it in securing instruction at any college or university in the United States which such successful candidate may select. The principal further condition would be one requiring such scholar from time to time during the four
years' course to furnish proper certificates and reports, satisfying the officers of the proposed university at Washington that he or she is making worthy progress as well as maintaining a good character and satisfactory physical condition.
The immediate result of such a system of scholarships would be to give to young persons of small means but of high character and talent, in all parts of the country, an opportunity, which they at present cannot have, and to stimulate all such to high endeavor in developing their talents for their own honorable ambition, for the prosperity of the communities in which they live, and for the good of the country. How valuable this result would be every one engaged in advanced instruction knows. In every part of our land there are many youth of great talents, whose small means debar them from a suitable education and the country from their services. As a rule great talents and small means go together in American students. The quickness of thought, fertility in expedients, closeness of attention, willingness to save and sacrifice, and all the other qualities so frequently fostered in poverty, naturally develop intellectual strength. This honorable combination of poverty with ability is the richest treasure which any nation possesses; and the first effect of this plan would be, I believe, to unlock the treasure-house and make this treasure more available to the country.
The next result would be a great service to all preparatory schools and academies, public and private, in the United States. It would interest boards of education and trustees to improve their courses of instruction and to elect teachers for merit; it would incite teachers to select the best methods and devote their best energies to their work; it would stimulate communities to bring into the schools and keep in the schools the best of their youth. To increase this feeling I would have the names of such preparatory schools and instructors as contribute especially to the success of any candidate published in the annual reports of the central university at Washington.
Another great effect for good would be exerted upon the various existing colleges and universities. It would become an ambition with them to attract the youth of talent and character who have secured these scholarships. Every college and uni