Passages, #1:

On Selecting Professors

Ed note: A second reading selection originally appearing as a separate post has been appended to this post for the readers convenience DS
Passages, #2:

Impending Secularization follows the first reading selection below the fold.

“It is just here that the difficulty of securing the right men for college professorships arises. This difficulty consists in the rareness of the perfect combination of head and heart, of the ardent scholar and the patient, helpful teacher. The university will select the most eminent in letters or science. It may generally with safety appoint professors according to this single principle. The university may suffer little from grotesqueness, moroseness, or narrowness of character in its professors, if it asks of them the instruction of but few pupils and no responsibility for their character– the college, will suffer immensely.
/ For the College is a sort of Family, in which the Professors should be the elder brothers and present models of dignity in speech and manners: where offenses should be treated rather with fraternal sorrow than with hot anger. This is not always possible. There must be law as well as personal influence.
/ I am laying bare no secret, if I say in the presence of these august Presidents, that the difficulty of finding the right man for the College Professorship is greater than finding an eminent ‘Scholar.’

This is one part in a Series.

Series Introduction
Reading Questions (1)


Passages, #2:
Impending Secularization
As I understand the purpose of the Founders of this College, and of the men who in conformity to that purpose to-day shape its counsels, the secularization of education has had and can have no advocates on their list. So long as young men enter this college between the ages of fifteen and twenty, and are graduated at an average of less than twenty-three, the guardians of this trust hope to provide as instructors for their students not necessarily adherents to any definite creed, or necessarily members of any church, but men who aim to govern their life by the perfect life, and who will have an unselfish interest in the moral welfare of those committed to their charge. And if Christian motive is what we believe it to be, if it is what the lives of the most eminent educators in New England have proved it to be, there need be no fear that such educators will be inferior on the scholarly side. Woolsey and Porter and Hadley and Thacher, Wayland and Sears, Hopkins and Chadbourne, let these names tell us whether the most illustrious of our New England teachers have been Christian theists. Let them also suggest the question whether the personal interest in a pupil that the Christian faith and enthusiasm inspire are any disadvantage to the student. From thousands of happy and cultured firesides, if we will listen, we shall hear the welling chorus of an emphatic “No.” The tender, grateful accent of remembrance that such names evoke, let it be ours, my colleagues, in the uncertain future, not to miss.

Print  •  Email