Charles W. Eliot: President of Harvard University (May 19, 1869-May 19, 1909)

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Houghton Mifflin, 1909 - Education, Higher - 89 pages

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Page 31 - The worthy fruit of academic culture is an open mind, trained to careful thinking, instructed in the methods of philosophic investigation, acquainted in a general way with the accumulated thought of past generations, and penetrated with humility.
Page 30 - With good methods, we may confidently hope to give young men of twenty or twenty-five an accurate general knowledge of all the main subjects of human interest, besides a minute and thorough knowledge of the one subject which each may select, as his principal occupation in life. To think this impossible is to despair of mankind...
Page 54 - Since it is a fundamental object of a democracy to promote the happiness and well-being of the masses of the population, the democratic school should explicitly teach children to see and utilize the means of happiness which lie about them in the beauties and splendors of nature.
Page 53 - Do we not all know many people who seem to live in a mental vacuum — to whom, indeed, we have great difficulty in attributing immortality, because they apparently have so little life except that of the body? Fifteen minutes a day of good reading would have given any one of this multitude a really human life. The uplifting of the democratic masses depends on this implanting at school of the taste for good reading.
Page 62 - American women unsurpassable in grace and graciousness, in serenity and dignity, in effluent gladness and abounding courtesy ? Now, the lady is the consummate fruit of human society at its best. In all the higher walks of American life there are men whose bearing and aspect at once distinguish them as gentlemen. They have personal force, magnanimity, moderation, and refinement; they are quick to see and to sympathize; they are pure, brave, and firm.
Page 32 - The poverty of scholars is of inestimable worth in this money-getting nation. It maintains the true standards of virtue and honor. The poor friars, not the bishops, saved the church.
Page 33 - It takes a hurricane to blow wheat away. An atmosphere of intellectual freedom is the native air of literature and science. This University aspires to serve the nation by training men to intellectual honesty and independence of mind. The Corporation demands of all its teachers that they be grave, reverent, and high-minded; but it leaves them, like their pupils, free.
Page 34 - You recognize, gentlemen, the picture which I have drawn in thus delineating the true spirit of the Corporation of this College. I have described the noble quintessence of the New England character, — that character which has made us a free and enlightened people, — that character which, please God, shall yet do a great work in the world for the lifting up of humanity.
Page 62 - ... in a family stock free opportunity to develop, is immeasurably more beneficial to a nation than any selective in-breeding, founded on class distinctions, which has ever been devised. Since democracy has every advantage for producing in due season and proportion the best human types, it is reasonable to expect that science and literature, music and art, and all the finer graces of society, will develop and thrive in America as soon as the more urgent tasks of subduing a wilderness and organizing...
Page 67 - The university touches all human interests, is concerned with the past, the present, and the future, ranges through the whole history of letters, sciences, arts, and professions, and aspires to teach all systematized knowledge. More and more, as time goes on, and individual and social wealth accumulates, it will find itself realizing its ideal of yesterday, though still pursuing eagerly its ideal for to-morrow.

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