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قراءة كتاب The New England Magazine Volume 1, No. 6, June, 1886, Bay State Monthly Volume 4, No. 6, June, 1886

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‏اللغة: English
The New England Magazine Volume 1, No. 6, June, 1886, Bay State Monthly Volume 4, No. 6, June, 1886

The New England Magazine Volume 1, No. 6, June, 1886, Bay State Monthly Volume 4, No. 6, June, 1886

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 2

are informed that the executors of Williams' estate were obliged to allow the proceeds of it to accumulate for thirty years before they ventured to organize the school or erect a building for its use.

WEST COLLEGE.From Harper's Magazine. Copyright, 1881, by Harper & Brothers.

That it was to be something more than an ordinary school was insured from the beginning by the character of the trustees who so patiently brooded over the work committed to them while the funds in their hands were gaining the needful increase. They were among the most distinguished and intelligent citizens of the Colony. Most of them were of collegiate training, and a large number graduates of Yale. They believed in the value of a liberal education, not only to the person immediately concerned, but to the community of which he might be a member. They believed in the importance of basing liberty upon sound education. Such men, at such a time, could hardly have done otherwise than to lay foundations which could be fitly built upon for a long time to come. They designed to give the youth who might come to their school such a training as would fit them for the engagements and duties of practical life. So they began their school in the wilderness, as it then was, so far out on the verge of settlement that a few years before there had been debate as to whether it was not actually beyond the boundaries of New England. Now that the wilderness is gone, and the college, long secluded from observation, has been made so accessible by the construction of one of our transcontinental lines of railway along the valley of the Hoosac, and the town to which Williams gave name has become noted far and wide for its beauty, one wonders whether those early founders were aware of the fair setting which Nature had provided for their school. Certainly the æsthetic sense can ask for nothing more in the way of natural scenery than is here presented to the eye in the combination of mountain, valley, and stream; the infinite variety on every hand, with a quiet grandeur characterizing all. The visitor no sooner looks out upon the enchanting scene than he is ready to say this is pre-eminently a fit place for the training of students; all without is so in harmony with what is best in culture and character.

COLONEL WILLIAMS' MONUMENT.From Harper's Magazine. Copyright, 1881, by Harper & Brothers.
MISSION PARK MONUMENT.From Harper's Magazine. Copyright, 1881, by Harper & Brothers.

But outward or geographical situation is of secondary importance with a seat of learning. Scenery will not make scholars, though it may be desirable and helpful, and is likely to impress itself upon the habitual beholder with life-long influence. The college is where the teachers are. It is also what they are. Plato made the Academy. And judged by this standard Williams has not been deficient. From its beginning it has had able instructors, men of sound learning, of exemplary character, and "apt to teach." Among the earliest was Jeremiah Day, afterwards, and for so long a time, serving as the president of Yale College. Ex-President Hopkins is just now completing the fiftieth year of continuous instruction in the college since he was called to be its head, and no name is higher than his as a teacher. With him have been associated fit and eminent coadjutors in the various departments of instruction. If the work of the college has been done quietly and unobtrusively, it has been done well. The faculty of Williams have not been ambitious to make a university amid the Berkshire Hills, nor to enter into a strife with other institutions for the purpose of swelling the number of its students. They have been content to do the work of a simple college, and to be judged by the quality rather than the quantity of their work. Faithful to the students who might be led to seek the benefits of such an institution, they have sought to make their pupils faithful to themselves and to their opportunities. In the working of the college, the training of character has been regarded as of prime importance. While sound scholarship has been insisted upon,—sound rather than showy,—no scholarship has been allowed to take the place of character. The moral element has ever been held uppermost, and the endeavor has been to blend it with all the studies of the assigned curriculum. A truly manly character has been the finished product which the college has sought to give to the world from year to year in the persons of its graduates.

THE COLLEGE CHAPEL.From Harper's Magazine. Copyright, 1881, by Harper & Brothers.
GRIFFIN HALL (OLD COLLEGE CHAPEL), AND SOLDIERS' MONUMENT.From Harper's Magazine. Copyright, 1881, by Harper & Brothers.

Colleges no less than persons have their peculiarities and special characteristics. Its very situation made it almost certain that at Williams much attention would be given to the natural sciences. With mountains and meadows on every side inviting their exploration, it was almost a matter of course that much attention should be given to botanical studies, and that the new sciences of chemistry and geology should meet a hearty welcome. This was made the more certain by the special qualification of the teachers of these sciences. Professor Dewey was distinguished by his lectures and experiments in natural philosophy and chemistry. Professor Eaton early gave lectures in mineralogy, geology, and botany. He was a pioneer in these departments of science, and an enthusiast whose spirit easily kindled a like spirit in others. To pursue his favorite studies he had forsaken the profession of law. It was his custom to take his classes into the fields and woods and there interrogate Nature. Emmons, the younger Hopkins, Tenney, and Chadbourne were teachers of similar spirit. Aided by the instruction of such men the natural sciences have been studied with a zeal which has become traditional at Williams. As evidence and result of this, a Lyceum of Natural History has been established and maintained for many years by the students, and has become a fixed institution. The Society has a substantial brick building on the college campus containing a valuable collection of specimens in the various departments of natural history, and a hall in which the Society holds regular meetings for the reading of papers and the discussion of questions relating to natural science. The students have been encouraged also to pursue their researches at a distance from the college, and various expeditions have been undertaken for this purpose. The long summer vacations have frequently been profitably spent in this way. In