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Full text of "The addresses at the inauguration of Charles Kendall Adams, LL. D. to the presidency of the University of Wisconsin January, 17, 1893"

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University of California. 




Inauguration of 
President Adams 

/^^ '6/ TH" ' ■ ->^\ 

With the Compliments of 

President Adams. 










JANUARY 17, 1893 









Ei)t OnibtrBits ISrtes of Chirago 


Invocation by the Right Reverend Bishop Fallows, of the 
Class of 1862, -, - - - - - .7 

Introductory Address by the Honorable W. P. Bartlett, 

President of the Board of Trustees, - - 9 

Address on Behalf of the Faculty, by Professor John C. 

Freeman, LL.D., - - - - - - 11 

Address on Behalf of the Students, by H. H. Jacobs, of 

the Class of 1893, ----- 19 

Address on Behalf of the Alumni, by James L. High, LL.D., 

of the Class of 1864, - - - - - 23 

Address on Behalf of the State, by His Excellency, 
Governor George W. Peck, - - - - 31 

Address on Behalf of the Sister Universities, by Presi- 
dent James B. Angell, LL.D., of the University of 
Michigan, - - - - - - - 37 

Address on Behalf of the Regents of the University, by 
the Honorable John Johnston, - - - 41 

Inaugural Address by President Adams, - - - 45 



The Inauguration of President Adams took place in Library 
Hall, at 2. JO o'clock on the after nooji of January ly, i8gj. The 
audience, which filled the room to its utmost limits, was made up of 
Members of the Legislature, Alum?tt, Invited Guests, Citizens, and 
Students. On the Rostrum were His Excellency Governor Peck, 
the Chief Justice a?id three of the Associate Justices of the Supreme 
Court, several of the State Officers, the Board of Regents, the 
Officers of Instruction of the University, and Distingtdshed Guests. 
Music for the occasion was firnished by the University Glee Club 
and Lender s Orchestra. hi the evening a brilliant receptioji was 
given to Preside7it and Mrs. Adams by the Alumni of the University. 


CLASS OF 1859. 

ALMIGHTY GOD, our Heavenly Father, the giver of 
every good and perfect gift, we pray for thy blessing 
upon us on this important occasion. We thank thee that 
thou wast with this university in the days of its early strug- 
gles, enabling it to surmount all the difificulties it encountered 
and to gather renewed strength from all the adversities with 
which it was buffeted. We thank thee for the unbroken 
succession to this present hour of its instructors who, con- 
secrated to their noble work, have put the impress of their 
earnestness and culture upon the minds of thousands of our 
youth. We also give thee hearty thanks for the good 
examples of all those thy servants, among their number who, 
having finished their course in faith, do now rest from their 
labors. We bless thee for the tender and inspiring memories 
so many of us cherish of their faithfulness, their sympathy 
and their helpfulness in the formative period of our lives. 
We thank thee for the response made by the University to the 
call of our common country in the supreme hour of its peril, 
by the gladly surrendered services and lives of its patriotic 
soldier students. We give thanks for this bright day in the 
history of this beloved institution ; for all the prosperity 
which now crowns it, and for the increasing opportunities of 
usefulness opening before it. May thy benediction especially 
rest upon him who has been called in thy good Providence 
to the arduous and responsible duty of presiding over its 
interests. Endow him, we pray thee, with every executive 
gift, and enrich him with every needed grace. May the 
faculty associated with him be loyal and harmonious. May 
the Board of Regents be filled with the spirit of wisdom to 



counsel and direct, and ever be saved from misapprehension, 
prejudice, and error. May the sons and daughters of the 
people thronging here for instruction make his administration 
one of abundant joy and success by their prompt obedience 
to law and their passionate devotion to study. May the 
alumni ever manifest a just and an affectionate regard for the 
welfare of their university, and, as her living epistles, constantly 
add to her renown. May private benefactions be multiplied 
to meet her urgent and unfolding needs, and the state whose 
name she so worthily bears be unceasing in its unstinted 
liberality towards her. And we pray that she may thus be 
fully prepared to fill the conspicuous place to which she has 
been exalted, and like a city set on a hill, whose light cannot 
be hid, stream out for generations to come the glories of con- 
servative learning and the splendors of progressive science. 
Bless abundantly our common schools, with which, wisely con- 
ducted, we have nothing to fear, and without which we have 
nothing to hope, for the future of our American institutions. 
Bless richly our normal schools, our private and parochial 
schools and all our seminaries, colleges, and universities. 
Bless thy servant, the president of the United States, the 
chief magistrate of this great commonwealth, its legislature 
and all in authority. And now, O Lord, we pray thee, direct 
us in all our doings with thy most gracious favor, and further 
us with thy continual help, that in all our works, begun, 
continued and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy name, 
and finally by thy mercy obtain everlasting life; through 
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 


President of the Board of Regents. 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN : A little less than half a 
' century ago, the foundation was laid and the organiza- 
tion was perfected for an institution of learning to be known 
as the University of Wisconsin. 

Our state then contained a population very little in 
excess of the population of its principal city at the present 
time. Steady and rapid has been the growth of the com- 
monwealth in wealth and population. The interest in educa- 
tion has not abated but ever kept pace with the growth 
of the state. Then unknown beyond the borders of the state, 
to-day Wisconsin University is known and respected as a 
university, in all that the name implies, in every part of the 
globe where the English language is known and spoken. 

Six gentlemen, known as scholars and educators, have 
been honored with and have honored the position of president 
of the university. To-day, we meet to confer that honor 
upon the seventh, and in commemoration of the event, and 
as an introduction to the ceremonies thereof, I have the 
honor and pleasure of introducing one well known to you, 
one who is held in high esteem as an eloquent speaker, a 
terse writer, and a successful educator. Professor John C. 
Freeman, who will address you on behalf of the Faculty of 
the University. 



THE FACULTY have done me the honor to choose me 
to express to you our welcome to the first place in our 
body, and to promise you our hearty co-operation in your 
efforts to make this institution of the best and widest usefulness. 

We are the more ready to pledge you our co-operation, 
knowing, as we do, your interest in the form of education 
which is given here. In the promotion of education by the 
state you have spent your best efforts, in class room and 
lecture hall, with voice and pen. As long ago as 1874 the 
president of an Ohio denominational college, with a pardon- 
able partiality for that particular form of education, devoted 
his inaugural to an argument against higher education by the 
state. It was as powerful an arraignment of state universities 
as I have ever seen. I allude to the inaugural of President 
Andrews, then of a denominational college in Ohio, but now 
President of Brown University. I notice that he singled you 
out as his particular opponent, on account of certain articles 
of yours in the public press. He recognized that you stood 
for the idea and plan which he thought it his place to oppose. 
We will not say that we love you for the enemies you have 
made ; but we have confidence in you for the combats you 
have waged, for the able opponents you have met, before 
whose arguments you have not come off second. 

In commending your vindication of education by the state, 
we do not understand that you advocate any narrow policy in 
education. We understand that you hold as we do : Let 
knowledge be disseminated, at public expense, at private 
expense, in whatever way, by whatever means ! Give truth a 
fair field and let her grapple with error and we will abide the 
outcome. We have seconded your election by the regents also 



because wc have observed your appreciation of the value of the 
various methods of instruction and your alertness in discern- 
ing what was the next step necessarv in matters of education. 
We recall that you were the first to employ in this country the 
German method of the historical seminary ; that you were 
prominent in securing the adoption of that democratic system 
of accredited high schools, by which the humblest graduate of 
the village high school is, without expense to him, admitted to 
the privileges of the university as readily as he is passed, by due 
promotion, from grade to grade of the township high school. 
We know you as one of the promoters of university exten- 
sion, a system by which what was once deemed a miracle has 
become a fact of daily experience. In this state, as in others, 
last winter, once more were five thousand fed, not with five 
barley loaves and two small fishes, but with what was cjuite as 
delectable, fruit from the tree of knowledge itself. We recall 
that you have had an experience of thirty years in public 
education, and that you have stood high in thecouncils of the 
two foremost state universities in the periods of their greatest 

The condition of this university to -day seems quite similar 
to that of Cornell University when you assumed its j^residcncy 
seven years ago. The founding and organization of Cornell 
had been accomplished, the period of expansion had arrived. 
If the people of Wisconsin shall give to your plans the cordial 
financial support which you received in New York, we have 
reason to anticipate that a similar or even greater success will 
be enjoyed by this institution in the coming years. 

In pledging you the co-operation of this facultN' 1 may be 
permitted to say that our body has been noted for harmony. 
In speaking of its unity of feeling I do not refer simply to 
those periods in the history of the college when its faculty 
consisted of one professor. But even wIkii there have been 
twenty heads of departments arid thirty assistants, this harmony 
of action has been almost ecjually manifest. 

The chair to which you are called has bicn occupied by 


distinguished predecessors. On January i6, 1850, just forty- 
three years ago yesterday, and not far from the spot where we 
now stand, its first presiding officer was inaugurated. Chancel- 
lor John H. Lathrop, whose scholarship and facile speech 
adorned high positions in various states of the union and who 
held the helm of the university with a skillful hand during the 
first decade of its voyage. 

The second president of the university was a man still 
more distinguished, the Honorable Henry Barnard. The 
variety and number of his educational collections, and that 
colossal work which has been passing through the press for 
more than half a century, the youmal of Education, have given 
him a world-wide fame. It will ever be one of the glories of 
this university that he was once its head. 

Time does not permit me to describe the services of the 
modest, scholarly, self-denying Sterling, the eloquent Twom- 
bly, or the versatile President Chadbourne. 

In recent years the diffusion of the educational spirit, 
never, in the history of the country, more active than in the 
last five years ; the establishment of the system of accredited 
schools, which we borrowed in part from you ; and the liber- 
ality of the people through their representatives in the legis- 
lature, have greatly widened the influence of the institution. 
Many of us here present know something of the late success- 
ful administrations of that distinguished man of science. Presi- 
dent Chamberlin, and of his predecessor. President Bascom, an 
acute thinker, a subtle philosopher, a man of exalted character, 
and out from whose instruction no student ever passed without 
receiving a profound impression. 

In some respects, Mr. Chairman, this is an extraordinary 
gathering. We have here to-day three members* of that first 
class of twenty that were gathered in February, 1849, ^^ begin 
preparatory study under Professor John W. Sterling. We 
have here the first graduate of the university. f We have here 
the first regent of the university, ;|: who was appointed in 1848 

♦C.T.Wakely, F. A.Ogden, J. M. Flower, f Justice C.T.Wakely. X Hon. Simeon Mills. 


by Governor Dewey, and who negotiated the purchase of 
these grounds and superintended the erection of the first build- 
ings. Here sits that member* of the first senate of this state, 
who in June, 1848, drew up and introduced the bill which was 
enacted into law and became the charter of the university. 
There have come up to-day to witness these ceremonies the 
two first white inhabitants of what is now the city of Madi- 
son. f As on the lOth day of June, 1837, they chose each 
his roof-tree, they stood on the summit of yonder hill and 
looked out on an unbroken wilderness. They have seen every 
house built in the city of Madison. They have seen this 
institution pass from the humblest beginnings, deepening and 
broadening its work from year to year, to its present rank, 
when its beneficent influence is scarcely limited by the bound- 
aries of the Union. They have seen the forests fall, the mines 
open, the fields prove their fertility, the habitations of the set- 
tlers dot the prairies, the cities rise, the lines of transportation 
go threading the valleys, and what was a savage wild become 
a Christian state. Where once in his lonely cabin the settler 
listened in breathless terror to the midnight yell of the sav- 
age, now is heard the voice of mighty congregations giving 
praise to God. 

Fathers and brethren, what your eyes have seen is not 
often given to mortal vision. Yours was no mere Pisgah 
view. You have entered in and possessed the land. You 
have penetrated even to Mount Zion. You have witnessed the 
building of the first and the second temple ; and have taken 
up the abode of your declining years within the shadow of the 
revered structures that crown these twin heights, the temples 
of law and learning. I can scarcely refrain from addressing 
you in the words of Webster to the veterans of the Revolution 
at Bunker Hill. 

" Venerable men : You have come down to us from a former Keneration. 
Heaven has bounteously lengthened out your lives that you might behold this day." 

You are now where you stood fifty-six years ago choosing 
* General Mills. "f Darwin Clark, Simeon Mills. 


a spot for a home and purposing in these forests to lay the 
foundations of a state. Behold how altered ! The same 
heavens are indeed over your heads ; the same lakes are shin- 
ing at your feet ; the same swelling hills with their graceful 
proportions are diversifying the beauty of the scene ; but all 
else how changed ! No longer the solitude, the privations, 
the alarms of frontier life. No more the weary longing for 
friends, the long and painful journeys to the seaboard. The 
whole world has brought its comforts, its inventions, its society 
to your doors. Events so various that they might crowd and 
distinguish centuries have been compressed within the com- 
pass of your single lives. You have witnessed the erection of 
seventeen sovereign states ; the rolling of the vast wave of 
Christian civilization from the Alleghenies through this Mis- 
sissippi valley up and over the mountain ridges and down the 
Pacific slope ; the expansion of the newspaper press, the 
revolution of intercourse between men by the applications of 
steam and electricity. These events you saw, and part of 
them you were. But no more is there the hasty summons 
of the minute-men to the frontier, or the departure of 
volunteers to the halls of the Montezumas, or the up- 
rising of the whole state for the restoration of the Union. 
No longer the rolling drums and marching squadrons are con- 
verting the western slope of this hill, and indeed this whole 
city into one vast camp. All is peace. God has granted you 
this sight of your country's happiness. He has allowed you 
to behold and to partake the reward of your patriotic toils; 
and He has allowed us, your sons and daughters and country- 
men, to meet you here, and in the name of the present gen- 
eration, in the name of the commonwealth, in the name of 
civilization, to thank you. 

It is remarked by the citizens of Madison that a change 
has come over the personnel of the University in the last few 
years; that the students are better dressed, better housed, and 
have the manners of the well-to-do. It is evident that the 
sons of the rich have chosen the higher education. But we 

^A^ OF Txir, ^ ^^\ 


have also another class of students, of plain dress, simple 
manners, who do not indulge in costly suppers or rooms 
decorated like a New York club-house, but devote their 
best efforts to the attainment of a higher intellectual and 
moral level. But, although we know that the inheritors 
of wealth and poverty are here, we do not propose to 
make, and we do not make, any distinction between them. 
A college is perhaps the only real democracy in the world. 
We delight to observe that the children of the humblest wood- 
chopper from Ashland or iron-worker from Bay View meet 
with the same favor that is accorded the sons and daughters 
of the millionaire or the supreme judge. We may, perhaps, 
be pardoned in feeling a special gratification that the scions of 
poverty are here, when we remember that without the liber- 
ality of the country, as expressed in public institutions like 
this, the privilege and advantage of the higher education it 
would be impossible for them to attain. 

A few winters ago one of these poor boys was supporting 
himself by teaching a school a part of the day across the lake. 
He was accustomed to reach his work by a three-mile spin 
across the ice on skates. One March morning, on nearing the 
further shore, he saw that the ice had broken and a wide gulf 
of open water barred his way. It was close to the hour of 
opening. He slipped his skates into his pocket, plunged in 
and swam that icy gulf, and pressing the water from his 
clothing, walked up to his desk and opened his school on 

I should not altogether approve that feat. But it shows 
the stuff of which some students arc made. It shows us what 
we have to expect when the Horatii and the Curiatii of the 
twentieth century arc drawn out for combat. When it is 
necessary for some future Horatius to keep the bridge, or when 
some gulf has again opened in our national forum which will 
not close until the nation has cast in that which she most 
loves, and it becomes necessary for another Marcus Curtius in 
full armor to leap into that gulf, then it will be seen even 


among the graduates of the University of Wisconsin, that dar- 
ing for the right and heroism of more than knightly flavor 
have not perished from the state. 

In performing the bidding of this Faculty, as I now do, by 
offering you our cordial welcome, I can scarcely forbear an 
allusion to a day twenty-eight years ago, when a young man, 
dififident and downcast at the recollection of the many things 
that he did not know, knocked at the door of a great Univer- 
sity in a neighboring State. Seven years had passed since he 
had spent time over books. Tupto and Amo had been alto- 
gether driven out of his ears by the bugles of the Shenandoah 
and the guns of Gettysburg. He didn't remember whether 
y2 = 2px was the equation of the parabola or the parachute; 
and differential x and differential y were altogether unknown 
quantities. He had listened awhile to the examination of can- 
didates, and was concluding that the doors of the higher edu- 
cation would not open to him. At that turning point of life 
a professor went out of his way to show the stranger a kind- 
ness and to speak a word of counsel and encouragement. It 
was an incident which yoti doubtless have long since forgotten, 
but one which /shall never forget. "Cast thy bread upon 
the waters and it shall return unto thee after many days." 

This assemblage will pardon me for seeing some poetry as 
well as propriety in the fact that as you to-day confront this 
great company, most of whose faces are unknown to you, and 
assume new duties in new surroundings, you should be met at 
the threshold by one whom you years ago befriended and who 
is charged with the grateful duty of bidding you welcome and 



PRESIDENT ADAMS : The students of the University of 
Wisconsin, in all its schools and departments, extend to 
you their most cordial welcome. Had you been an alumnus 
or a favorite professor of the University, you could not in 
your new position have more quickly won our hearts. 

Your name and work in the great cause of education have 
long been familiar to us. By friendship and sympathy you 
have exalted the relation of teacher and student above types, 
and offices, and institutions. In your thought that the true 
professor should be an inspiring companion to the truth -seek- 
ing student, you have enlarged the student's individualism, 
through methods of original research and study, through the 
discipline that self-government brings, and in that larger lib- 
erty of selection of studies that has gone far to revolutionize 
college curricula. This influence, bound by no tradition, sec- 
tionalism, or formality, has extended even to institutions not 
your own, thus earning for you the larger title The All -Uni- 
versity President. 

We recall, at this time, your words to the students of Cor- 
nell University on the occasion of your induction as their 
president: "The end of all Universities is the advantage of 
students and nobody else. All the abounding resources that 
have here been brought together are for them and for their 
successors." Forty -three years ago yesterday. Dr. John 
Lathrop was formally inaugurated as the first president of the 
University of Wisconsin. On that occasion, not only was 
there no address of welcome by or on behalf of the students, 
but in the two speeches that were made there was not one 
word of reference to them. In those early days when the 
student body numbered less than eighty, when every student 



was obliged to present testimonials of good moral character 
and attend chapel daily at the morning hour, when he strove 
for merit marks on the permanent deportment record of the 
faculty, — at that time, I say, the mutual relation and common 
interest of professor and student had not received the empha- 
sis in the educational world which you, sir, as perhaps no other 
great educator, have helped to give it. 

College discipline has, in the last generation, passed through 
an evolution ; and the central principle of this change is 
expressed in that magic word of modern life — cooperation. In 
progressive college government the University of Wisconsin is 
in the forefront. For years it has practiced your maxim that 
the government of students should be more largely self gov- 
ernment, and has dealt with its students as "incipient men 
and women," and not as "overgrown girls and boys." If the 
quaint rules of a generation ago seem to us absurd and impos- 
sible, what would they of the last generation have thought at 
the spectacle of a college president presiding, not in his official 
capacity, but simply as an individual, over a mass meeting of 
students called in the interest of a college boat house. That 
spectacle is unique and typical of the new regime. It means 
the [death of the traditional hostility between college student 
and faculty, and gives emphasis to the identity of their inter- 
ests. It means an end of college riots, and ushers in the larger 
relations of friendship and sympathy. The faculty should 
stand to the student "in loco parentis," said the old rules, and 
so it did — officially, coldly, and with the stress of duty. You, 
sir, come to us as you said, "somewhat as a father would come 
to a large family." You offer us your sympathy, friendship, 
and fatherly advice, and urge us to use you. You have taken 
high ground in the matter of college discii)linc, and the stu- 
dents of old Wisconsin will make every effort to come up to 
your high level, and will meet your trust and confidence with 
heartiest sympathy and most cordial cooj)eration. You have 
said in your published writings that every student should be 
regarded as an individual person and not as a member of any 


class or organization ; that students are citizens, and that civil 
authorities should regard them so and deal with them as such. 
We heartily accept these principles. The false relation that 
formerly existed between student and faculty has gone forever. 
We, as students, shall not be laggards in the march toward an 
ideal college government. Under your predecessors we have 
enjoyed the larger liberties which you have helped to bring to 
the college students of America. We shall hold those liber- 
ties as a sacred trust, believing that with the present freedom 
your slightest request will yield a more general and hearty 
obedience than the most binding restrictions. 

You bring us rich stores of learning. You give point and 
prominence to our own enlarging powers. Your very name 
has already accentuated our growing importance in the educa- 
tional world. We prize you, sir, not for the reputation you 
give us, but for your wealth of learning, for your ripe experi- 
ence, your Christian character, and above all for those intel- 
lectual and moral habits which reveal to us the true method of 
attaining knowledge and character. 

We realize that the mere bigness of an institution in build- 
ings or in numbers does not constitute its greatness, and we 
rejoice to-day in your inauguration as president because it 
means emphasis upon those things which do make our insti- 
tution great — the honest labor, the virtue, the character of its 

You are Wisconsin's seventh president. In that perfect 
number of the Jews, I seem to see an augury for good. For, 
according to the ancients, there were seven senses, seven vir- 
tues, and seven wise men. Six times seven were the genera- 
tions of our Lord, and to-day completes the same magic cycle 
of years in our University's history. For seven years you 
were president of Cornell University. Surely, if we still 
believed in propitious gods and favorable omens, we could in 
these alone prophesy for yourself and the University a pros- 
perous future. But we believe with you that success lies with 
ourselves, not in our stars. Those faithful years as professor 


at Ann Arbor, the seven years of successful administration as 
president of Cornell University, are more than an omen of 
good and more prophetic than lambent flame or mysterious 
music, for, couj)led with your wealth of learning, your ripe 
character, they are the earnest, the sure pledge, of the good 
things that must come to Wisconsin under your wise and 
inspiring leadership. Wisconsin has had a brilliant past. She 
shall have a glorious future, and in all your plannings for that 
future I pledge you the unswerving loyalty of the entire stu- 
dent body. 


CLASS OF 1864. 

CONVENED to witness the formal installation of a 
distinguished scholar and educator as president of this 
university, the occasion affords fit opportunity to note the 
relation of the State to the University, and to mark the just 
boundaries which define the participation of the state in the 
higher education. The origin of state assistance in the work 
of education, so far as concerns the states of the Northwest, 
may be traced back through a century of state and con- 
gressional legislation to the ordinance enacted by Congress, 
July 13, 1787, for the government of the Northwest Territory. 
Six articles were declared by that ordinance to be articles of 
solemn compact between the original states and the people 
and states in such territory, which should forever remain 
unalterable unless by common consent. By the third of these 
articles it was declared that " religion, morality and knowl- 
edge being necessary to good government and the happiness 
of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever 
be encouraged." By this simple declaration in their funda- 
mental law the states which have been from time to time 
carved out of the territory of the Northwest were pledged, 
even in advance of their creation, to the policy of fostering 
and promoting education, with no limit other than their own 
discretion as to whether such assistance should be confined to 
its simpler, or should extend to its higher forms. As if 
inspired with the genius of prophecy, the framers of that 
ordinance seem to have foreseen with undimmed vision and 
with unalterable faith the growth of a mighty empire which 
should people the Northwest Territory with teeming millions 
of peaceful, happy and prosperous people. 



The policy of thus forever stamping upon the organic law 
of the territory this salutary provision for promoting all means 
of education has been fully justified by the event. The lapse 
of a century has transformed that great wilderness into five 
imperial states with an aggregate population exceeding thir- 
teen millions of people. The orginal compact concerning 
education thus entered into has never been, and in human 
probability will never be altered. With the growth of these 
commonwealths from their original condition as parts of the 
Northwest Territory, followed by individual territorial organ- 
ization, and ultimately by complete statehood, the third article 
of compact has stood as the Magna Charta under whose 
supreme authority has been inaugurated and carried forward a 
system of public education which, without invidious compari- 
son, may be justly said to fully equal that of the older states 
of the Atlantic seaboard. 

It is a fact of especial significance that within the borders 
of the great Northwest Territory thus forever dedicated as 
the home of the school -house and of the college, lie the two 
states of Michigan and Wisconsin, whose record marks the 
extreme advance in fostering, under state supervision, the 
higher education. The story of the growth of the universities 
of these sister states, the former slightly exceeding, our own 
just falling short of half a century of duration, is indeed the 
story of the growth and development of the principle of 
state assistance in fostering college and university education. 
Originating in doubt and uncertainty, opposed in its earlier 
history in this state by passion and prejudice, and sometimes 
by religious bigotry upon the part of denominational colleges, 
this principle has steadily made its way until theory has at 
last become fact, and what was formerly experiment has 
become the established, and, let us trust, the unalterable 
policy of the state. How marked has been this advance will 
be best remembered by the older alumni and friends of this 
University who have witnessed its steady growth from those 
earlier years of doubt and apathy and prejudice to its present 


assured function of imparting, by liberal endowment under 
wise instruction, and in the name and by the authority of the 
state, the most advanced knowledge to her sons and daughters 
who gather here from year to year in constantly increasing 

Here too, in the new Northwest, was the most fitting 
theater upon which to test the experiment thus inaugurated 
half a century ago. A population still dealing with the more 
material and practical questions incident to the formation of 
new states, and lacking the wealth which could avail of the 
advantages offered by the colleges of New England, presented 
conditions most favorable for determining how far the state 
might safely go in supplying the growing demands of its citi- 
zens for educational advantages of a higher order than those 
afforded by the common schools. Amid such surroundings 
the experiment has gone forward until it is coming to be 
accepted as the general verdict of all who have studied the 
problem, that, whatever may be done by private benefaction 
or under denominational auspices in promoting the more 
advanced forms and methods of education may, likewise, be 
done as well, and often better, by the state itself. And while, 
under a government of the people, whatever savors of pater- 
nalism necessarily seems, when tested by purely economic 
standards, to appear paradoxical and illogical, yet in attaining 
the larger ends of national life which lie beyond the line of 
its mere material prosperity, and which pertain to its intel- 
lectual developnlent, the problem transcends the mere laws of 
supply and demand, or of the production and exchange of 
material commodities. The question is no longer one of mere 
political economy, to be governed by the hard and fast 
rules which apply to the commercial exchange ; rather, let 
us say, that the wise paternalism which prompts the state to 
supply to all of its citizens at first cost, the highest educa- 
tional advantages is, indeed, the wisest policy, even upon 
purely economic grounds, since it best promotes the higher 
growth and ultimate prosperity of the state itself. 


The wisdom of promoting, under state auspices, the 
higher forms of education, has, at least in the western states, 
long since passed beyond the stage of experiment and has 
become an assured fact. If further justification of this salu- 
tary policy were needed, it would be found in the rapid and 
steady growth of state institutions of learning as compared 
with denominational colleges. So acute an observer of our 
institutions as Mr. Bryce, who made a special study of state 
education in the West, has not failed to note in his "American 
Commonwealth " the struggle which is still going on in the 
middle and western states between the state universities and 
the smaller denominational colleges, and the rapid develop- 
ment of the former as compared with the latter. He observes 
that as the alumni of the state institutions become more 
numerous, and more influential in public life, and as it becomes 
more and more clearly apparent that the smaller colleges, 
hampered by lack of sufficient endowment, are unable to pro- 
vide the libraries, museums, laboratories, and complicated 
appliances necessary for university education, the balance of 
power seems likely to incline in favor of the state institutions ; 
and that it is within the bounds of reasonable probability that 
these will steadily rise to the level of the great eastern uni- 
versities, while many of the denominational colleges will sub- 
side to the rank of places of preparatory training. 

One feature, also, which he observes in American univer- 
sities generally, as in those of Scotland, is especially notice- 
able in the leading universities under state control in the West. 
It may best be stated in his own words ; that " while the Ger- 
man universities have been popular but not free, while the 
English universities have been free but not popular, the Ameri- 
can universities have been both free and popular." And yet 
Mr. Bryce has failed to note that this result is more natural 
and inevitable in institutions suj)[)orted by the state than in 
those which are under private control. Whatever else may 
be justly said against the jjolicy of university education by 
the state, from the very conditions of the case it is absolutely 


free from even the suggestion of religious bias or sectarian 
instruction. Whether such a complete sundering of religious 
and secular training is productive always of the best results is 
a question foreign to this occasion. But it is certain that it is 
the only condition under which state instruction is possible 
under a system of constitutional government which has for- 
ever divorced the church from the state. And any system of 
education which, in the name of the state, should seek to blend 
religious with secular instruction, would be so utterly repug- 
nant to the genius of our institutions as to find no toleration 
or support from any intelligent friend of religion of whatever 
sect or faith. 

The fact that most of the eastern colleges, including 
several of those which have attained the rank of universities, 
are still fettered by certain religious and sectarian conditions, 
brings out in clear relief, and as more consistent with our 
form of government, the absolutely unsectarian character of 
all state institutions for the promotion of learning. That such 
eastern colleges have attained so large a degree of prosperity, 
and have so nearly approached the best European standards 
of university work has resulted, not because of, but rather in 
spite of the sectarian influences which a mistaken zeal in a ruder 
and more illiberal age impressed upon their foundation. With- 
out such religious environment their growth and prosperity, in 
this century at least, would doubtless have been far more 
marked and conspicuous. And the absolute freedom of state 
universities from all religious fetters, however slight, will, more 
and more, as the years go on, tend to popularize and strengthen 
them in the affections of a people singularly sensitive, as we 
are, to the slightest trace of religious coercion or sectarian 

What, then, is the just relation which the state sustains 
toward the university, and what the function of the state as 
regards the higher education? It is to do all in the name and 
by the authority of the state which may be done by denomi- 
national zeal or by private benefaction ; to supplement but not 


to supplant the work more imperfectly done by poorly 
equipped colleges under private control ; to furnish a maximum 
of educational advantages at a minimum of cost ; and to place 
within the reach of its humblest citizens an opportunity for the 
most advanced technical education, assured that in so doing 
it is best subserving the great purpose declared in the ordi- 
nance of 1787, of forever encouraging the means of education, 
for the better promotion of "good government and the happi- 
ness of mankind." 

Nor need there be any apprehension that the work of the 
state, even under the most generous policy, in thus providing 
for its citizens the most liberal appliances for acquiring the 
higher education, will wholly supplant the more modest work 
done by smaller colleges under sectarian or private control. 
The problem of the relations between the two systems is not 
necessarily a question of the survival of the fittest, since there 
is room for both, and room to spare. The higher learning is 
in no danger ; the smaller institutions need have no fear. The 
demand for all forms of education above that of the common 
school is increasing in a constantly accelerating ratio, and 
with even more rapidity than the marvelous increase in our 
population. A century of growth has increased our popula- 
tion from three to sixty-two millions, and still the tide which 
knows no ebb moves from the old world to the new. Still 
with restless energy the resistless wave of immigration sweeps 
westward, and sweeps on. The alien of yesterday becomes 
the immigrant of to-day and the citizen of to-morrow. America 
stands with all-embracing arm, gathering her miscellaneous 
sons from every sea and shore and binding them into one 
homogeneous and united people. With this rapid increase in 
population, and with a corresponding growth in wealth and 
material prosperity, comes always an increasing demand for 
the higher education which taxes to the utmost all e.xisting 
appliances and institutions, whether public or private. In a 
more literal sense than that of scripture, the harvest is j)lcnty, 
the laborers are all too few. 


That the state universities, especially in the states of the 
Northwest, are keeping fully abreast with these demands upon 
them, no unprejudiced observer will deny. That they are 
steadily gaining upon the older institutions in the eastern 
states is equally true. It would be premature to assert that 
they have yet attained the rank of Harvard or of Yale in our 
own country, or of those ancient seats of learning in England 
and upon the continent, rich with endowments of material 
wealth, but richer far in the centuries of history and of tradi- 
tion which surround them, and in the splendid heritage of his- 
toric names of their sons who have shaped the destinies of the 
old world and the new. As you stand within the ivied walls 
of the many colleges which form the ancient University of 
Oxford, every stone of which is rich with history and tradi- 
tion, you may seem to see, with stately tread, eight centuries 
of English history pass by. 

Not alone in present wealth, in stately buildings or in 
costly appliances, but in the memories, the traditions and the 
associations of all the past lies the real endowment of a 
great university. It is a growth, not a creation ; it is born, 
not made. But let us gladly note, and hopefully remember 
that the cause of state education keeps steady pace and goes 
side by side with the higher education as administered by uni- 
versities under private control. The ideal state university 
may still be far in the future. We may be moving onward 
with slow, and sometimes faltering steps, but we are moving 
onward, not backward. Pledged, let us hope irrevocably, to 
the policy of placing the highest educational advantages within 
the reach of its poorest citizens, the state can afford to take 
no backward step. And when our college walls shall have 
grown gray with the centuries and shall have been enriched 
with traditions of a historic past, may this university, still 
hallowed in the recollection of her loyal alumni, and in the 
affections of a grateful people, forever stand as the foremost 
agency of an imperial state in promoting the higher education. 



GOVERNOR PECK was next introduced, and in his humor- 
ous way told of the relation existing between the common- 
wealth and the university and higher education. His address 
was pithy and to the point, and was characteristic of his 
excellency. He said : 

Mr. President : It is doubtful if the founders of this 
university contemplated the greatness of the institution that 
would grow up here. When the first modest building was 
erected there was very little of Wisconsin, very few children 
to educate, and a prospect that was^ not flattering for a great 
institution like the one by which we are surrounded to-day. 
Those who were foremost in the enterprise felt that there was 
need for some education higher than could have been received 
in the country school, and as the facilities for sending children 
to the colleges of the East were not great, this university was 
considered necessary. The old pioneers who came across the 
Allegheny mountains and through the valleys of Pennsyl- 
vania, noticed a strong odor about Oil creek and its vicinity, but 
they did not contemplate that within a third of a century that 
strong odor would develop a commerce that would make men 
worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and that one man, then 
a child, would endow a great university in the State of Illi- 
nois with millions of dollars, to compete with this modest 
Wisconsin affair. They had read of the gold mines in Cali- 
fornia, but they little dreamed that a briefless lawyer in Port 
Washington, in this State, would emigrate to California and 
become worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and endow a 
university with so many millions that it must be a success, 
whether it has students or not, and compete with our own state 
university. They had no means of knowing that the Milwau- 



kee butcher would eventually become worth so many millions 
of dollars that it would become necessary for him to give some 
of those millions for educational purposes in order to make 
himself happy, and thus compete again with this state uni- 
versity ; but all these things have been realized, and the gen- 
tlemen who are the agents of the State of Wisconsin in main- 
taining this university find \hat they have much competition, 
and yet, what must they do ? If the motto of the State of 
Wisconsin were the word "backward," it is easy to see what 
would be the duty of the managers of this university ; if the 
motto of the State of Wisconsin were "stand still," then it 
would be easy for any man to say what should be the course 
of this university ; but the motto of Wisconsin is "forward," 
and that one word must show to you that the people of Wis- 
consin, who back this university, mean that it shall go forward 
and not backward, and that it shall not stand still. You must 
remember that the support of this university comes from the 
hard-earned money of those who pay taxes, whereas the sup- 
port of other universities comes from the millions that are 
made from the oil that bubbles from the earth, or from the 
gold, which Wisconsin people have no means of digging from 
the earth, so you must be careful, and yet you must compete 
with these great universities, with their immense endowments. 
You must do as business men do. You have a reputation for 
the output of this university which is equal to the reputation 
of the output of any manufacturing establishment in Wiscon- 
sin. The output must be increased gradually, and its market 
value must be kept up, if not increased constantly. The 
manufacturer of a great article of machinery employs experts 
in every department in which a portion of that machinery is 
made, and when the comi)lctcd article is j)ut upon the market 
he points with pride to it, and says to the world: "We can 
make as good an article, or better, to-morrow and the next 
day." The university must be in the same position. It sends 
forth these young men into the world and points with pride to 
them. It must be in a position to send out this work another 


year and another, even better equipped for contact with the 
world, and to make a success. 

The reputation of Wisconsin is at stake in the output of 
this university, and it must not be allowed to suffer in any 
way in the future. Every young man or woman who graduates 
from this university is an advertisement of the work of the 
faculty, as much as a steam engine is an advertisement for the 
shop that turns it out. You take the crude material and give 
every portion of it strength it knew not before, and the indi- 
viduality of each teacher is shown to some extent in the 
finished work turned out on graduation day. If there proves 
to be a weakness in any portion of the graduate, it can be 
traced back and the blame given to that particular workman 
who has slighted his work in the process of education, the 
same as a defect in a portion of a steam engine can be traced 
to the workman who has neglected some important element of 
its construction. If investigation proves that the weakness is 
caused by the material which is put into the engine or into the 
graduate of the university, then the faculty is not to blame ; 
neither is the workman who built the engine. 

A university that is endowed by a million and a half of 
taxpayers is on a sounder basis than any endowed by private 
subscription. Gold mines may cease to pay, or the watering 
of the stock of the gold mines may render it valueless ; oil 
may cease to flow from the ground or become unfashionable 
as a means of lighting the world. Every man may become 
his own pork packer, and a corner in pork may become an 
impossibility to endow a university or a school, but taxpaying 
for educational purposes will never go out of fashion, and the 
taxpayer will always be glad that he is in a position to assist 
in the education of other people's children as well as his 

You are in position to be of great assistance to the youth 
of other states as well as Wisconsin, and the youth from Flor- 
ida or Nebraska who is educated at the Wisconsin University 
loses his identity as a product of Florida or Nebraska and 


becomes a product of Wisconsin. The man who desires to 
come from another state to this and exercise the elective fran- 
chise must live in this state a year. If he desires to procure 
a divorce he must live in the state a year; but the young man 
who desires an education, which is greater than the elective 
franchise and greater than the divorce, has only to appear in 
the state of Wisconsin with sufficient money to pay his tuition 
and he can be turned out after a season of hard work an alum- 
nus of the University of Wisconsin and a credit to himself and 
the state. The education which you give to the young will 
make them capable of building an engine or writing a consti- 
tution for a new state; will make them capable of making 
laws, as well as executing them; will fit them for the White 
House or the little red school house, where they will be an 
honor in their position. You may teach them to milk a cow 
or to bleed a client, and each will be done as well as can be 
done by a graduate of any institution of learning that is known 
to man ; but what your great University needs above all things 
is to have the people of the State of Wisconsin know what it 
is. But one man in a thousand of the taxpayers of the state 
knows what the University is, and that one man knows it 
because he has read of it and seen a picture of it in the blue 
book. What is needed is that you advertise this University as 
men would advertise any business that is successful. The man 
who brews beer lets it be known the world over that his is 
better than any other; you brew brains, that are more valuable 
than anything that is turned out of a manufactory. Let the 
people know this. Let as fine ])icturcs as can be procured of 
all the buildings about this University be sent abroad through- 
out the state and land, that jjcople may know that it is not a 
University in name only, but in all that the name implies. Let 
your good work go on under the new administration of this 
grand institution until the time shall come that the battle cry, 
or the grand hailing sign of distress, U'Rah, 'Rah, Wis-con- 
sin! wherever heard, on the battle field, in the Salvation army, 
calling sinners to rejientance, in any place that the song may 



go forth, may cause people to raise their hats and say: "This 
is Wisconsin, the grandest state in all the Union," 

President Adams, in behalf of the State of Wisconsin and 
all its people, I welcome you heartily to what I believe to be 
a long life of great usefulness. You have come from other 
fields, where you have made a name second to that of no man 
engaged in the educational field of the whole world. May 
your stay with us be pleasant to you, and all whom you love, 
and the state believes you will make better all with whom you 
come in contact, and impress your work upon every student 
that comes under your kindly hand. 



MR. PRESIDENT: I count it a great honor to be invited 
to represent here so choice a constituency as the Sister 
Universities. In their name, I beg to extend to this institution 
their heartiest congratulations on this auspicious occasion, and 
to give utterance, in words however inadequate, to their 
unfeigned joy at the great and increasing prosperity of this 

If, as is commonly believed, it has ever been true that 
worthy universities and colleges are jealous of each other's 
success, the day of such petty and unbecoming jealousy has 
passed. Every good and strong university really rejoices in 
the prosperity of every other good university or college, be- 
cause, in a large sense, it is true that the prosperity of each 
helps the prosperity of all. If one receives large gifts, the 
benefactors of others are stimulated to give. If one, by 
brave and prudent experimentation, improves its niethods of 
administration or of instruction, all others, that will, may reap 
the benefit of the discovery. There is no educational trust 
or patent right which holds a monopoly of any good educa- 
tional idea. The increasing intimacy of the professors of various 
colleges, the growing custom, formerly almost unknown, 
of their passing from the Faculty of one institution to that of 
another, the commendable practice of making public by presi- 
dent's reports and other publications, the inner life of univer- 
sities, have enabled every institution of higher education to 
profit by all the improvements in any other, and thus to share, 
in some degree, in the prosperity of every other. This is one 
of the reasons why it has come to pass that in the last twenty 



years the American colleges and universities have made a 
greater advance in the range and cjuality of their work, in the 
enlargement of their endowments, and in the number of stu- 
dents, than they had made in half a century before. And it 
is but simple justice to say, that well up in the front rank of 
the most rapidly advancing institutions has been this Univer- 
sity of Wisconsin. We rejoice with you most heartily in your 
progress, and yet more in the prophecies, which we read in all 
the signs we see about us, of your still more signal prosperity 
to come. 

I trust the Sister Universities, in whose behalf I am per- 
mitted to speak, will allow me to say a special word in behalf 
of the University of Michigan, which I, as a delegate, par- 
ticularly represent. That university is one of your nearest 
neighbors. She existed in a somewhat different form under 
the Territorial government of Michigan, when that govern- 
ment had jurisdiction over all the present domain of Wiscon- 
sin. She has furnished some of her choicest sons for your 
Faculty. You have just been charmed by the brilliant elo- 
quence of one of them. Another is your accomplished pro- 
fessor of astronomy. As I entered this room I passed by the 
portrait of his predecessor in office, perhaps the most brilliant 
genius our university ever graduated, James C. Watson, who 
by his astronomical discoveries, before he was forty years of 
age, wrote his name and that of his university among the 
stars, to be read and known of all men, and who to your great 
.sorrow and ours was too early cut down, while in the very 
prime of his strength. It is the University of Michigan, too, 
which is the Alma Mater of the distinguished president, whom 
we have met to induct formally into office. That university, 
therefore, has the right to cherish, j)erhai)s, a deeper interest 
in this glad and auspicious celebration than any other univer- 
sity excejjt your own. It is with a fond mother's pride and joy 
that she commends to you her honored son, and pronounces 
her benediction on the ties that henceforth bind him and you 
together. We, his old colleagues, know better than you can 


yet know, how richly he is furnished in his own special branch 
of research, how large is his knowledge of the best ideas of 
our time concerning university work, how wide is his acquaint- 
ance with the wisest teachers in the land, how firm is his grasp 
of the principles of administration which must be mastered 
in these days by the president of a great university. The 
impressions of his ample equipment for the leadership of an 
institution like this, which you are about to receive from his 
erudite address, will be only deepened as the months go on. 
Long may he be spared to you, to promote the success of this 
university, and to rejoice with you in the enlarged prosperity 
with which it is to be crowned. 

You may well be encouraged by the grounds of hope for your 
future. The university has been founded within the memory 
of not a few of those whom I address. And yet it has 
reached a development which Harvard college required more 
than two centuries to attain. You have behind you the re- 
sources of a state larger in area than some European king- 
doms, inhabited by an intelligent and rapidly increasing popu- 
lation, who mean that their children shall have the best facili- 
ties for education. They have taxed themselves for your 
support with a generosity which we cite as a suggestive ex- 
ample to our legislatures in Michigan. And this generous 
support is true economy. 

We, of the West, are looking confidently for the day 
when, by virtue of our numbers, the responsibility for the con- 
duct of the affairs of this nation shall be vested in us. We 
ought not to have that power, and we ought not to wish for 
it, unless we can rear generations of thoroughly -trained, 
large-minded, large -souled men, who can wield it wisely. To 
rear such men, and to rear women worthy to be their com- 
panions and helpers, we, in the West, must have the best edu- 
cation which the age can furnish. Let Wisconsin so furnish 
this vigorous university that it may do its full part in this be- 
nign and noble work. 



the able, interesting and eloquent addresses to which 
we have listened, and anticipating as we do the address of 
the occasion after I sit down, I am sure I could not expect 
your forgiveness were I to occupy more than a few minutes 
of your time. 

I need not assure you that none can be happier on this 
occasion than the regents. We stand between the people of 
the state and the university. We are expected to conduct the 
business of the university in a business-like way. The tax- 
payers expect us to get the largest possible results from the 
means committed to our charge. We must have all the careful 
and economical habits of the most strict man of business, and 
we must have all that warm and responsive sympathy with 
higher education and progressive methods, which are to be 
found in the most enthusiastic scholar. We are expected by 
the people of the state to be both business men and university 

You may well imagine the concern, if not actual alarm, 
which filled our minds on receiving the resignation of Presi- 
dent Chamberlin last summer. The more we considered the 
varied qualities necessary for the president of a vast and 
growing institution like the University of Wisconsin, the more 
did our solicitude and anxiety increase as to where we could 
find a man for the place. This occasion, therefore, can be the 
source of a higher satisfaction to none of you than it is to the 

We feel that the Faculty, the alumni, and the students of 
the university, as well as the people of the state, ratify the 
appointment of Dr. Adams as President of the University of 



Wisconsin. I am sure I but express the sentiments of my 
colleagues when I say that there is a great future before our 
university. We have now a revenue equal to the income of 
§5,000,000, besides 200 acres of land and buildings. Ours is 
probably the finest situation for a great seat of learning to be 
found in this country. There is no disguising the fact, how- 
ever, that the students arc increasing at a greater ratio than 
are the means of educating them, and we shall have to appeal 
from time to time to the representatives of the people for an 
increase of accommodations and revenue. 

We have a Faculty of great ability, and we should be in a 
position to ward off all raids upon our ranks which may be 
attempted by other institutions of learning. Backed as it is 
by two millions of people, the University of Wisconsin should 
take a place second to none. All honor to the beneficence of 
those individuals who have founded a great university in a 
neighboring city, but I believe the great State of Wisconsin 
can not be excelled in liberality by any private beneficence, 
however munificent. 

Our university stands on a broader and far more liberal 
basis than the one referred to. It must in the long run 
command greater support from independent and thinking 
minds than an institution whose charter requires that its presi- 
dent and a majority of its trustees must always be of one 
particular religious denomination. 

I believe the people of Wisconsin begin to realize that the 
university pays handsome dividends, not only of an intellect- 
ual but also of a material character. As was said here last 
summer, "Wisdom and water run down hill, the fountains of 
the rivers are in the mountains, and the fountains of knowl- 
edge are in colleges and universities." There is not a county 
in Wisconsin which is not richer because of the university. 
The cheese of Sheboygan, the butter of Rock, the tobacco of 
Dane, the sheep of Walworth, the horses and cattle of Racine 
and Kenosha, and the potatoes of Waupaca arc all better 
because of our university, while the existence of those men 


who dig in the sunless mines of Gogebic have been made 
comparatively comfortable and safe through the discoveries of 

The university wrests from nature her best guarded secrets 
and yokes her powers to the wheels of progress. Classic 
mythology tells us how Hercules cleaned the Augean stables 
in one day, where 3,000 oxen had been kept for thirty years. 
He made nature do it ; he turned the waters of two rivers 
through the stalls. We have professors in our university who 
can do much more wonderful things than Hercules ever 
dreamed of, and in our science hall Vulcan has at last suc- 
ceeded in wooing Minerva, and industry and science join 
hands in their triumphs over the forces of nature. 

After all, we should aim at intellectual, rather than material 
greatness in our beloved commonwealth. 

" What if men sow cities 

Like shells along the shore, 
And thatch with towns the prairie broad 

With railways iron'd o'er ; 
They are but sailing foam - bell 

Along thought's coursing stream, 
And take their shape and sun - color 

From Him that sends the dream." 

Nations live in history because of the intellectual greatness 
of their sons. The grand old "Bard of Chios' rocky Isle," 
whose fame remains undimmed after 3,000 years, the honor 
of whose birth was claimed by seven cities, and ten times 
seven generations have done homage to the productions of 
his matchless genius ; he alone has done more to make Greece 
renowned through time than all the wealth and luxury of 

I believe we can congratulate ourselves that the people of 
Wisconsin are learning more and more to appreciate the 
university, and that we need look through no long vista of 
years to behold enthroned in this picturesque and lovely land- 
scape a seat of learning unsurpassed in the nation, whither the 
sons and daughters of Wisconsin shall come up in thousands 


to participate in all the aesthetic and scientific treasures of the 
past and the present, under the guidance of the ablest minds. 
I firmly believe the ceremonies of this hour will tend to help 
on this happy consummation. 

Dr. Adams, in behalf of the Regents of the University of 
Wisconsin, I now invest you with the seal of the University, 
and declare vou duly installed as its President. I congratu- 
late you on this ausj^icious occasion, but I still more con- 
gratulate the University. 



I SHOULD not fitly comply with the demand of this hour 
if I did not devote the time at my disposal to a considera- 
tion of the relations of the university and the state. In this 
favored domain these relations are peculiarly intimate. No- 
where else are the university and the preparatory schools 
bound together in a firmer or more helpful alliance. In no 
other state has the modern method of reaching the people by 
the means known as University Extension been so general or 
so successful. Nowhere else have the masses of the people 
at the farmers' institutes received so much direct assistance 
from the teaching force at the university ; and nowhere else 
have the people in their turn shown a higher appreciation and 
esteem for the university which bears the name of the com- 

The institution, in the interests of which we are assembled, 
is peculiarly fortunate in its situation. I do not mean simply 
that it occupies a site of unsurpassed picturesqueness in a city 
of unusual beauty and culture, nor do I refer chiefly to the 
important fact that it is favorably situated at the capital of an 
important state. What I have in mind indicates the far more 
comprehensive advantage of having its sphere of activity at 
a capital that is exceptionally fitted to be the encouraging 
abode of a great institution of learning. The organization 
of Wisconsin and of its institutions was largely modeled by 
people who had a profound respect and love for education. 
Many of the older inhabitants of the state came from Ver- 
mont and Massachusetts and Connecticut. The influences of 
New England were tempered by influences from New York and 
Northeastern Ohio. Men from those regions with all their pre- 
possessions in favor of education, not only gave form to the 



constitution and government, but also established those socie- 
ties and institutions that have become such a power and such 
a credit to the state. The Historical Society, which has 
brought together one of the noblest collections in the country, 
is conspicuous evidence of the scholarly impulses that were 
dominant in the earlier days. The Wisconsin Academy of 
Sciences, Arts, and Letters gives perpetual proof that the 
interests of the people are as wide as the realm of knowledge. 
These associations of learning have had their abode by the 
side of the university. 

Hither also came the Supreme Court of the State, and one 
of the District Courts of the United States. This capital 
thus became the home of distinguished judges and lawyers, 
as well as the abode of science, art, and literature. And 
thus it was that this beautiful city, — on the one hand through 
the natural advantages of its situation, and the attractiveness 
of its institutions, and on the other through the absence of the 
distracting and absorbing turmoil of great commercial activ- 
ity, — became the beneficent home of those quiet and scholarly 
tastes which are favorable to academic studies. 

Then, too, the foreign element that has come into Wiscon- 
sin has favored in every way the upbuilding of our educational 
institutions. If there is any people in the world which has 
put a higher value than any other upon education as a 
necessity and a power, it is the people of that Teutonic 
race, from which so many of our people have come. The 
census shows that the German population of Wisconsin is 
larger than that of any other state, and that the Norwegian 
population is second in number only to that of our neighbor 
on the west. With their industry, their enterprise, their fru- 
gality, and their thrift, the Germans and Norwegians alike have 
retained those educational predilections which were so firmly 
rooted in their native countries. The boundless resources of 
the state, united with the invigorating power of the climate, 
make it certain that Wisconsin will always be inhabited by a 
hardy and thrifty race ; and when, coupled with these, wc have 


liberal and enlarged ideas on educational matters, we have 
conditions peculiarly fitted for successful educational develop- 

But there is another element in the situation that we must 
not lose sight of. Our relations to the neighboring states and 
the country at large are elements of peculiar strength. Within 
the past twenty-five years there is no other phenomenon con- 
nected with the development of this country that is so remark- 
able as the growth of the Mississippi valley. The unrivalled 
natural resources and the consequent enormous possibilities of 
the region have so attracted the capital, the intelligence, and the 
enterprise, not only of the Atlantic states, but of transatlantic 
nations as well, that in comparison with the seaboard it is fast 
coming to remind us of the relative importance of the inland 
portions of Great Britain, of Italy, of Germany and of France. 

Nor is the most remarkable feature of this prosperity its 
material growth alone. Go where we may, we discover a deter- 
mination at the earliest possible moment to be in possession of 
the best things that civilization offers. The most luxurious Pull- 
man cars go to the West quite as much as to the East. The 
electrical engineer treads upon the heels of the frontiersman. 
The most conspicuous building in the typical city of the 
Northwest is the school-house. An opening is made in the 
forest, a school-house is erected, a city charter is procured, a 
literary club is formed, and . then Shakespeare and Browning 
are duly installed. This is the normal way in which a frontier 
society finds relief from its earliest privations. It is but 
natural, therefore, that the very best things often find their 
way even more rapidly into the West than into the East. 

This rapidity of advancement shows itself in education as 
well as in material development. It is a common observation 
at the meeting of the National Teachers Association, that the 
soil of the prairies seems to be peculiarly hospitable to the 
roots of new educational ideas. The kindergarten, the manual 
training school, the seminary and laboratory methods of 
advanced instruction in our universities, the generous provis- 


ions of legislatures and of private benevolence for education, 
all these bespeak an alertness of enterprise in securing the best 
methods for the development of mind as well as for the 
extension of material resources. Surely these are fortunate 

But a noble situation is nothing more than a noble oppor- 
tunity. Universities are not born, they are made. The Uni- 
versity of Wisconsin is the creation and the possession of the 
people. If it is to do in an adequate way what a university 
ought to do for a people in so large a place, it will be because 
the people nourish it with the food without which a univer- 
sity can not grow and do its work. The Northwest will not 
deserve to exert the influence that seems to await its future, 
unless it is fully alive to the moral and intellectual obligations 
that rest upon it. 

We are living in a period of educational transition. A 
few of the larger institutions have now grown to be 
universities. There is coming for the first time in this 
country to be a distinct difference between the college and the 
university. Within the past three years this difference has 
been emphasized and made more conspicuous by the great 
endowments in California and Chicago. Every large institu- 
tion, especially every state institution, finds itself obliged to 
ask itself whether it will take rank among the universities or 
whether it will be content to do the work of the smaller 

There are jjrevalent two ideas in regard to higher educa- 
tion. The one is that private endowment may safely be left 
to care for the interests of advanced education of every kind ; 
the other is that it is the duty of the state to foster and sup- 
port education in all its grades, from the lowest to the highest 
Wisconsin, like her sister states in the Northwest, is committed 
to the latter view ; and it has seemed to me on coming to the 
presidency of this university that I might appro|)riatcly dis- 
cuss the reasons why this view is to be upheld and maintained. 
In a business crisis prudence requires a careful examination of 


the securities and title deeds. Even when there is no more 
than a change of officers in the corporation, such an examina- 
tion may renew familiarity and strengthen confidence. 

If it be true, as has so often been said, that tendencies are 
stronger than men, the remark is but another way of saying 
that society is sometimes moved and influenced by an all- 
controlling exterior force. We recognize certain general cur- 
rents that sweep us along, regardless of our own volition. The 
breaking down of the doctrine of the divine right of kings ; the 
belief in the inherent rights of the individual man, ever broad- 
ening out into the masses of humanity; the ever -increasing 
tendency toward universal suffrage and universal education ; 
these forces, for better or for worse, are as irresistible as the 
movement of the earth about its axis. What we call the 
spirit of the age, what the Germans call the Zeitgeist, is a force 

" Wie das Gestirn, ohne Hast, aber ohne Kasf 

we can neither stay nor control. 

This controlling spirit shows itself in the realm of higher 
education as well as in the domain of nature and politics. Let 
us look for a moment at the history of this movement. There 
was a time when education was exclusively under the direction 
of the church. During the middle ages, that is to say, so long 
as the church was a unit, it controlled the methods of educa- 
tion even more completely than it controlled the methods of 
government ; but when the church came to be divided, when it 
came no longer to embrace within its folds all the members of 
society, the government was obliged either to assume respon- 
sibility in matters of education, or to permit large numbers of 
the people to remain without any of the advantages of educa- 
tion. And so it was found everywhere that just in proportion 
as the church came to be divided, and so lost control of the 
government, education came to be cared for by the state. 

We may go a step further than this, and we shall find that 
in those nations which, during the past century, have been 
most conspicuous for their enlightenment and progress, the 


tendency has most conspicuously been in the same direction. 
Illustrations are everywhere at hand. For example, if we 
turn to the history of that individual nation of the old world 
which, during this century, has made the most remarkable 
progress in the arts and sciences and in practical power, we 
shall see that the history of that progress has been little more 
than the history of education. Glance for a moment at 
the progress of that nation. The paternalism of Frederick 
the Great left the people peculiarly dependent upon the 
government. They acquired the habit of looking to political 
authority for everything. They lost their self-reliance. The 
weakness and folly of Frederick William II. gave emphasis to 
this tendency by robbing them of their respect for their 
rulers and their country. 

"Those were the days when 
An Emperor trampled where an Emperor knelt ; 
Kingdoms were shrunk to provinces, and chains 
Clanked over sceptered cities." 

The disasters of the Napoleonic wars were a natural result ; 
but the storm and stress of the time cleared the atmosjjhere of 
many delusions. It aroused the people of Germany to their 
own consciousness. It was one of those events when the 
crash of defeat and the threat of annihilation seemed to be the 
only agency capable of arousing the best energies and the 
most careful discrimination. The movement was not a revival 
inspired by monarchs, or the government ; it was a revival that 
was forced upon the government by the best representatives of 
the people. A new spirit took possession of the atmosphere, 
and it found voice in one of the great philosophers of the time. 
Fichte's '' Rede?i an die Deutschen" diddr esses to the Germans, 
so far as I know, were unique in the history of literature. They 
were a solemn and deliberate and elaborate attcmjjt to show 
the German people what they should dt) in order to recover 
their lost nationality and their greatness. And the key note 
was in this sentence : 

"I hope — perhaps I deceive myself — but it is only 


because of this hope that I care to live — I hope to convince 
some Germans that nothing but education can rescue us from 
all the miseries that overwhelm us." 

After this solemn declaration he went on to say that, while 
everything else had been taken from them, the privileges of 
education alone had been left ; and that in this privilege there 
were greater possibilities for Germany than they had ever yet 
dreamed of. 

It was on the basis of instruction like this that the Ger- 
mans went to work. They reorganized schools from top to 
bottom. Pestalozzi was brought from republican Switzerland 
to found that system of normal schools which even up to the 
present day has never again been equaled. Henceforth every 
teacher was to be trained for his profession with a thorough- 
ness which perhaps can best be compared with the thorough- 
ness with which our military ofificers are trained at West Point. 
Every primary school in the kingdom was to be taught by 
one who had received this professional training. The sec- 
ondary schools were to be taught exclusively by those who 
had received a university training or had passed an equivalent 
examination by the state. Financial provision for these new 
requirements were made on the most liberal scale. Royal 
palaces at Berlin and Bonn were consecrated to this new en- 
thusiasm and this new learning. The story has too often been 
told to need any elaboration, that in scarcely more than a single 
year the University of Berlin brought together the most extra- 
ordinary array of scholars the world had ever seen. German 
professors soon became the schoolmasters of the world. Stu- 
dents of history flocked to Niebuhr and Ranke and Mommsen ; 
students of philosophy deemed their education incomplete 
if they had not heard Fichte, Schelling, Schleiermacher, or 
Trendelenburg. Savigny revealed the continuity of Roman 
law ; Bunsen and Kirchoff invented the marvelous instrument 
with which, by the polarization of light, we can even deter- 
mine the chemical constituents of the fixed stars ; Virchow 
revolutionized the knowledge of physiology, and Helmholz, 


by revealing the laws of sound, made possible the invention 
of the telephone and the phonograph. 

This spirit permeated all their institutions. The most 
conspicuous, if not the most salutary, example was the revolu- 
tion of the army. The fruit gathered by Moltke was grown 
from the tree planted by Bliicher and Scharnhorst. What all 
this meant was taught by the war of 1870. The crash, the 
cUbdcle of France, scarcely less complete and humiliating than 
had been that of Germany two generations before, set thought- 
ful men everywhere to meditating upon the laws of cause and 
effect. Every thinking man saw that it was the normal school 
and the gymnasium and the university and the principles they 
had inculcated that had triumphed at Metz, at Gravclotte, at 
Sedan, and at Versailles. 

Nor was this enthusiasm temporary. The purpose of 
Fichte had taken permanent possession of all German thought 
and method; and so when the Franco -German war was at an 
end it was but natural that they should remember the reward 
the nation had received for that spirit which had expressed 
itself in the founding of the universities at Berlin and Bonn. 
It was in obedience to this spirit that a large part of the 
indemnity fund was devoted to the establishment of other 
noble institutions of learning. At Charlottenburg and Stras- 
burg arose majestic tokens of the nation's gratitude, in the 
form of consummate expressions of scholastic architecture and 
endowment. In ten years the new university of Strasburg, 
housed in a succession of educational palaces erected for the 
purpose, had crowned its preparations for beginning its work, 
by bringing together a library of more than 300,000 volumes. 

The same spirit permeated other institutions. In Ger- 
many's agricultural schools, her schools of medicine and 
technology, the government of her cities, the administration 
of her railroads and telegraph lines, the care of human life — 
in whatever goes to make up the characteristics of efficient 
and economical education and administration, progress has 
been as extraordinary as it has been in the affairs of arms. 


If we turn from monarchical Germany to republican France 
we shall see that a kindred spirit has now taken possession of 
the people. During some years after 1815 the extraordinary 
successes of the French resulted in a spirit of self-satisfaction 
that was as fatal to all progress as was that of Germany after 
Frederick the Great. For a second time in this century there 
was an illustration of the poet's words : 

" Nations melt 
From power's high pinnacle, when they have felt 
The sunshine for a while, and downward go 
Like lauwine loosened from the mountain's belt." 

While, therefore, after the Napoleonic period, the Germans 
were making prodigious advances, the French were relying 
upon the renown of past achievements. But the disasters 
of 1870 and 1 87 1 accomplished for them what had been done 
for Germany by the disasters of Jena and Tilsit. During the 
last twenty years their system of education has been funda- 
mentally remodeled. A commission visited Germany for the 
purpose of inspecting the German system. The result has 
been that in all grades of education, from the primary schools 
to the schools of technology and the university, the spirit of 
improvement is everywhere awake. The representatives of 
the French people have appropriated money with almost im- 
measurable liberality for every grade of institution. The con- 
sequence is that, even in those fields that are thought to be 
peculiarly German, the French schools are now taking a fore- 
most rank. For the first time in this century, word is now 
coming back from our American students in Europe that they 
are finding as thorough and as comprehensive instruction in 
Paris as in Berlin. 

I might call attention in detail to the extraordinary intel- 
lectual activity that has recently been characteristic of Italy ; 
how the government, even though under conditions of the 
greatest financial stress, has given fruitful encouragement to 
higher learning. Libraries have been founded ; library build- 
ings of vast proportions have been erected ; museums and 


laboratories have been established ; and liberal endowments 
have been provided. It might be interesting to trace the new 
activities that are shown in the old universities of Holland and 
Belgium ; how at Liege, at Louvain, and at Levden, the 
modern spirit has usurped the place of the old, and how 
generous studies in science, in literature, in history, and in the 
learned professions, have found a congenial and encouraging 
abode. Most important and interesting of all, it would be 
profitable, if there were time, to dwell at some length upon 
the extraordinary intellectual activity of the little republic of 
Switzerland. It would be easy to show how within the past 
ten years those frugal sons of the mountains, inspired by a 
consciousness of what learning will do for a people, have 
made most astonishing advances in the interests of education. 
Switzerland in superficial area has less than 16,000 square 
miles ; scarcely more than a quarter of the area of Wisconsin, 
and nothing but the remarkable energy and frugality of the 
people is able to extort a scanty livelihood from the rocks 
and mountain sides on which they live. But their intellectual 
courage is equal to their physical hardihood. For a single 
institution, the Polytechnicum at Zurich, less than ten years 
ago, this little people contributed two million five hundred 
thousand francs (§500,000) for the erection of a chemical 
laboratory ; and five years later, not less than three million 
five hundred thousand francs (or $750,000) for the erection 
and equipment of a laboratory of physics. A million and a 
quarter of dollars voted by the Swiss parliament for two 
buildings in less than ten years! Is it too great a price for 
the reward she receives ? Thither in winter as in summer 
scholars are now drawn by the glories of achievement as well 
as by the glories of nature. Of this little republic it niav now 
be said as was said of the republic of Venice : 

"In purple is she robed, and of her feast 
Monarchs partake, and deem their dif^nity increased." 

But I must not dwell in detail upon these interesting charac- 
teristics. It is enough to show with what spirit and purpose 


the people of the old world, in monarchies and republics 
alike, are devoting their moneys to the purposes of higher 
education. It is fully time that I turn to our own side of the 

It is not my purpose to recount the events that led to the 
establishment of colleges and universities in the American 
colonies. The story has often been told how within colonial 
and provincial days the legislature of Massachusetts gave 
more than a hundred different grants for the founding and the 
support of Harvard College. It is a part of history that Yale, 
and William and Mary, and Dartmouth, and the other earlier 
colleges of the country were founded and supported by the 
provident care of the state. Passing over the colonial period, 
let us notice a little more particularly the drift of public 
opinion on this subject during the constitutional period. 

First of all, it may be remembered that the establishment 
of a national university was a favorite project of Washington, 
who advocated such an institution often during his life, and 
made generous provisions for carrying out such a project in 
his will. Perhaps the most comprehensive and liberal project 
of an educational endeavor ever devised in this country, was 
the one outlined by Jefferson for the University of Virginia. 
Unfortunately, Jefferson's ideas were adopted only in part; 
but the institution which he founded and moulded, and to 
which during the later years of his life he gave such devoted 
attention, became the model of all that is best for higher 
education in the southern states. 

If we turn from the desires and projects of individual men 
to the provisions made by the government, we shall find that 
the same spirit prevailed. As we all know, one of the last 
acts of the old Confederate Congress was the adoption of that 
new Magna Charta which, for all time, was to be the funda- 
mental law of the Northwest. The ordinance of 1787 
abounded in provisions of so great importance that Daniel 
Webster, in his first speech on Foote's resolution, said he 
doubted "whether any single law, ancient or modern, had 


produced effects of more distinct, marked and lasting a char- 
acter." Besides providing that slavery and involuntary servi- 
tude, save as punishment for crime, shall never exist in any 
state formed out of the new territory, and that the waters lead- 
ing into the Mississippi shall always be public highways, it 
adopteda third provision that becamea perpetual and ever pres- 
ent obligation upon all the states of the Northwest. It was in 
the declaration, that " Religion, morality, and knowledge being 
necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, 
schools and the means of education shall forever be encour- 
aged." This provision, " forever to remain unaltered, except 
by general consent," as Daniel Webster said of it, " went 
deeper than any local law, deeper than all local constitutions ; 
and we shall never cease to see its consequences while the 
Ohio shall flow." 

It was in obedience to the spirit of this charter that when 
the Northwest territory came to be divided into states, the 
government gave to each of them at least one section of land 
in every township for common schools, and not less than two 
townships in every state for the founding of a university. 
These grants were in some cases not indeed the beginning of 
higher education, but they showed at least a determination to 
afford encouragement and support. In some of the states 
these lands were fortunately located, and the proceeds from 
their sale afforded a perpetual endowment. In others the law- 
makers forgot the injunction of the ordinance, that the " means 
of education" should be "encouraged": that is to say, the 
lands granted by the government for education, instead of 
being "encouraged," were squandered in the interests of pri- 
vate cupidity. In all such cases the support of the univer- 
sities had been thrown directly upon the people of the state. 

It was in the same spirit that the next great federal pro- 
vision for education was made by what is known as the Mor- 
rill act of 1862. At a time when the life of the nation was 
in peril, when it even seemed doubtful whether we should 
continue to be one nation, a liberal grant was made by con- 


gress to provide for " the endowment, support, and mainte- 
nance of at least one college where the leading object should 
be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies, 
and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learn- 
ing as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such 
manner as the legislature of the states may respectively pre- 
scribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education 
of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions 
of life." 

In the same spirit was what is known as the Hatch act of 
1887. The agricultural interests of the country had become 
aware that at Rothamstead, in England, and in many places 
on the European continent, agricultural experiment stations 
had been established for the investigation of the laws and 
principles that govern the successful and profitable tillage 
of the soil. Our government was prompt to imitate their 
example, and more than forty agricultural stations have been 
founded and equipped as the beneficent result of this generous 
federal act. Then came the supplementary Morrill act of 
1890, providing for the ultimate grant of ^25,000 a year, 
equivalent to a permanent endowment of half a million dol- 
lars, to each of the institutions founded by the Morrill act of 
1862, for the more complete equipment and endowment of the 
colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts. 

It is doubtless true that in some of the older states the 
time has already come, which was once eloquently fore- 
told by Edward Everett when he said : " The mother state, 
having nourished her daughters, the higher institutions of 
learning, through a struggling and precarious childhood, 
can safely turn them over, in their maturity, to the care of 
their own children." But during the whole of the colonial 
period the colonists recognized the support of the colleges as 
one of the first duties of the state. The spirit, naturally 
showing itself in the federal government, took the form of the 
appropriations to which I have referred ; and the fostering 
care of the universities of the Northwest, has been the fruit of 


the same spirit. In this way it was, that even while the people 

were making the very first advances from the privations of 
frontier life, the foundations were laid for institutions where 
generous learning should be taught. The Universities of Michi- 
gan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, of Iowa and Nebraska, of 
Kansas and California, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, have all 
had a similar history ; and it is not too much to say that not 
one of these institutions, all of which are the glory, if not the 
pride, of their respective states, could have had any pros- 
perity, if indeed they could have existed at all, but for the 
initiative bounty of the federal government and the subsequent 
bounty of the state. The people of Wisconsin may therefore 
congratulate themselves that in supporting the State University 
they have been acting in accordance with the best thought of 
the nation as well as the most enlightened spirit of the age. 

Accompanying this trend of public opinion, there has been 
another tendency that is not less interesting and important. 
I refer to the multiplying of university studies. A hundred 
years ago the college was an institution of limited significance. 
It educated for the learned professions alone ; and the learned 
professions were medicine, theology, and the law. What has 
aptly been called the Age of Invention, was far more com- 
prehensive in its influence than has sometimes been supposed. 
In our national life it is a fact of striking significance that this 
age has been coeval with the natural development of our 
national resources. The application of steam to motive power 
occurred during the same generation as the adoption of the 
Constitution of the United States. To say, as has sometimes 
been said, that the exigencies of our national enlargement and 
development have given us no time or op])ortunity for the 
higher culture, is as unjust as it is offensive ; but it must never- 
theless be recognized as true, that a very large part of our 
national energies have been devoted to what has been 
nothing less than the |)rocess of converting a vast region from 
a condition of primitive savagery to a condition of civilization. 
All this has been primarily and chiefly a process of personal, 


municipal, and national development. It has called for new 
applications of the arts and sciences. It has demanded not 
simply law, medicine, and theology, but all those professions 
and occupations that deal more directly with the natural forces 
of nature. The construction of mills, the building of bridges, 
the laying out of railroads, the excavation of canals, the 
devopment of mines, the transportation of products, and above 
all, the organization of governments adapted to these new 
and interesting and intricate conditions, demanded a kind of 
education for which the institutions of learning had as yet 
made no adequate provision. 

But the demand was met as soon as it was recognized. It 
was but natural, then, that the new education should have its 
first adequate development in the west. I shall not enter into 
the controverted questions as to when the new educational 
movement had its birth ; but I look in vain for any adequate 
expression of it, before the reorganization of the University of 
Michigan in 1852. At that time the ground was boldly taken, 
that in the education demanded by the age, the arts and sci- 
ences, both natural and applied, are entitled to the same con- 
sideration as those studies that are supposed to be peculiarly 
adapted to the wants of the learned professions. On this 
theory the courses of instruction were remodelled ; and the 
general educational thought, then adopted, has not only served 
as the model of all the other State Universities of the North- 
west, but has influenced powerfully, even if it has not defi- 
nitely shaped the newer institutions in all parts of the country. 
It would scarcely be too much to say that the same thought 
has revolutionized the older seats of learning in the East. 

With the numerous advantages that have come from the 
enlargement of the scope of instruction, there has come one 
disadvantage or embarassment that must not be overlooked. 
The natural equipment necessary for the old college was small 
and inexpensive. A few rooms, a few books, a small apparatus, 
and a small teaching corps — these were all that even up to a 
generation ago were deemed necessary by the oldest and the 


richest of our institutions. But what a change has been made 
necessary by the new conditions. The number of subjects to 
be taught has been increased by ten fold. The president of 
Harvard University recently said that it would require a stu- 
dent forty years to complete the courses offered by that insti- 

But even this statement, impressive as it is, does not accu- 
rately represent the modern situation. The true condition of 
the modern university can only be understood when it is re- 
membered that the courses of instruction which have recently 
for the first time been called for, demand far more than 
their proportion of outlay for material equipment. Modern 
scholarship, unlike that of the atmosphere in which Newman 
published his "Idea of a University," is a scholarship of in- 
vestigation, and investigation requires vast resources in the 
way of apparatus, libraries, laboratories, and museums. In the 
old days all the apparatus that was needed for the teaching of 
mathematics was a book, a blackboard, and a piece of chalk. 
For Latin and Greek all that was called for was a cheap book 
and a hard bench. And the Latin, the Greek, and the mathe- 
matics were nearly all. But when the university came to the 
age of research, what vast resources were at once required ; re- 
sources as indispensable to modern education as are the reaper 
and the threshing machine to modern agriculture. 

Is it any wonder, then, that modern education is expensive ? 
The current expenditures of Harvard University during the 
past year can hardly have fallen short of a million dollars. 
The expenditures of half a dozen of the other universities 
amounted to considerably more than half a million each. The 
state universities are not less comprehensive in their scope or 
less generous in their jjurjjose, and if the jjcople of the north- 
western states would do their full part in the opportunities 
they give to their sons and daughters, they must not fail to 
supply all the requisite conditions of success. 

Another consideration that must be observed, though it is 
common -place, is the fact that no higher education can be 


self-sustaining. In the nature of things it costs more to edu- 
cate the children than the children or the parents of children 
can afford to pay. This is a recognized condition of civiliza- 
tion everywhere, and one that is accepted by all enlightened 
peoples. It is only those who have no education, that is to 
say, the barbarous, that insist that the cost of education shall 
be left solely to those who avail themselves of it. And this 
is even truer in the range of higher education than in the 
range of the lower. The cost of material equipment necessarily 
increases with the advancement of studies. Instruction for 
advanced students grows more and more costly. Libraries and 
museums and laboratories are of the first necessity. If the 
treasury books of the most efficient colleges and universities 
are scanned, it will be found that, apart from all permanent 
improvement, the cost of a liberal education, to the institution 
that gives it, is not much, if at all, less than three hundred 
dollars a year for every student. In many institutions it is 
more. In other words, exclusive of permanent improvements, 
a tuition fee of three hundred dollars a year would be needed, 
if the costs were to be defrayed by the students alone. Even 
in an old country such a rate would leave education to be en- 
joyed by the rich alone ; in a new country it would be pro- 

Wisconsin has generously chosen to make the education 
offered by the university free to rich and poor alike. Aside 
from the College of Law, which is strictly a professional 
school, only a small fee, designed to cover in part the inci- 
dental expenses of the university, is exacted. This wise pro- 
vision, established as it is in accordance with legislative require- 
ments, imposes a great obligation upon the legislature itself. 

Every addition to the number of our students is an addi- 
tional call for larger legislative provision. This year the number 
of students is more than twenty per cent, greater than it was two 
years ago. Meanwhile our working income, while slightly in- 
creased, haslfallen far behind our real necessities. This state- 
ment may be a matter of surprise to those who recall the 


generous provisions of the legislature two years ago ; but that 
surprise will vanish when it is remembered that the legislation 
referred towas for the erection of buildings. The fruit of that 
legislation will be three noble structures in every way creditable 
to the university and the state. The Dairy Building, the Armory, 
and the Law Building were called for by absolute necessity. 
But the gift of a building without an endowment for its care 
often impoverishes an institution. The care of the three 
buildings provided for by the act of 1891, including janitors, 
fuel, lights, insurance, repairs, and administration cannot be 
less than ten thousand dollars a year. To meet such a demand 
on the university treasury, no provision whatever has been 

Other buildings are loudly called for. The large acces- 
sions to the College of Engineering demand an immediate 
increase of accommodations in the shops, class-rooms, and 
laboratories. The chemical laboratory can hardly satisfy the 
necessities of the university another year. Ladies' Hall, 
crowded to its utmost capacity, greatly needs an addition for 
a dining-room, a gymnasium, and enlarged accommodations 
for the department of music. It must be extended, if it is to 
be continued. 

But even these are not the largest of the material needs of 
the university. The most pressing necessity is a library ade- 
quate to immediate wants. A college may be eminently suc- 
cessful with a comparatively small library. But to a university 
a large and constantly increasing collection of books is as 
necessary as fuel to a fire. This necessity is founded in the 
very nature of things. A university is an organization for the 
discovery and the promulgation of truth. There is not a 
single domain in all the vast realm of knowledge in which the 
best that has been done is not embodied in the literature of 
the subject. This knowledge may be found in books or in 
technical periodicals ; and in proportion as the pupil advances 
into the higher realms of knowledge, in the same proportion 
does the function of the teacher become less and less that of 


a dogmatist and more and more that of one who simply points 
out the way and guides the student in his own independent 
investigations. Every sphere of knowledge is now inclining 
to the historical method of investigation. Every successful 
investigator must know what has been done before. Adams 
and Leverrier discovered Neptune simultaneously and inde- 
pendently, simply because certain observations had revealed 
perturbations that could be most naturally accounted for by the 
existence of an unknown planet. There were so many invent- 
ors of the telephone, because investigations chiefly in the 
laboratory of Professor Helmholz and his predecessors had 
brought knowledge of the curious and subtle laws of the 
transmission of sound to a point from which but a single step 
was necessary to bring all these elusive conditions into prac- 
tical and daily use. Even Columbus would have never pushed 
his way across the unknown western ocean but for the evi- 
dence he had collected in books concerning the sphericity of 
the earth. We now know that he made himself thoroughly 
familiar with the literature of the subject. He finally suc- 
ceeded, not only because he had in unusual measure the cour- 
age of his convictions, but also because those convictions were 
founded on an unalterable belief that the known phenomena 
could only be accounted for by the existence of land in the 
far West, and that a westward voyage must result in dis- 
covery. And so it is in every domain of knowledge. If the 
investigator would know whether he is finding what is new, he 
must know what has been done by those before him. It may 
be in a measure true, as Garfield said, that a bench with a boy 
at one end and Mark Hopkins at the other, is a good college. 
But a university must be constructed on another plan. It is 
as true now as it was when Newman wrote, that a university is 
a place for the teaching of universal knowledge ; but the 
first necessity of such a function is a generous store of books. 
In all ages of the world such provisions have been considered 
of the most elementary and necessary importance. The new 
University of Strasburg, established, as I have already said, as 


one of the fruits of the Franco-German war, was not willing 
even to begin instruction till it had collected a quarter of a 
million volumes. This number in the course of fifteen years 
increased to nearly or quite four hundred thousand. 

Up to the present time this university has been chiefly 
dependent upon the resources of the Library of the State 
Historical Society. In some departments of knowledge this 
noble collection has afforded invaluable aid. But even for stu- 
dents in those departments, the remoteness of the collection from 
the University is a serious drawback. The use of a library for 
university students is greatly enhanced if it can be visited dur- 
ing the intervals of one or two hours between the regular exer- 
cises of the class-room. The recent report of the secretary 
shows that more than nine-tenths of the use of the State His- 
torical Library is by members of the university. This use 
would be increased by many fold if the library were located 
near the center of university activity. The present library 
accommodation at the university are altogether indequatc, and 
the building where the library is housed will not readily adapt 
itself to enlargement. It may profitably be used for other 
purposes. For these reasons I cannot resist the conviction 
that the good of the university recjuires either the moving of 
the Historical Library, or an immediate jjrovision for a sepa- 
rate library building, and a large separate library for the use 
of the university. 

As yet I have spoken only of what may be called the 
material needs of the university. I should not do my full duty 
if I did not add that there are other needs of no less pressing 
importance. It is as true as it is trite to say that the domain 
of knowledge is ever growing wider and wider. Advancing 
civilization is ever growing more and more complicated. The 
demands of to-day are far greater than were the demands of 
yesterday. The luxuries of a few years ago are the necessities 
of to-day. The boundless resources of Wisconsin may well 
awaken the just pride of every citizen. These resources, 
developed and husbanded by an energetic ami frugal i)et)ple, 
are rapidly augmenting the wealth of the stale. Hiil this rajjid 


advancement is exceeded,»by the advancement of the univer- 
sity. It is to the credit of our civilization that as soon as the 
bare necessities of life are satisfied, the demands of our higher 
nature begin to assert themselves. Hence in communities 
with healthful public opinion the desires for better and higher 
things are apt to multiply even more rapidly than the means 
of satisfying them. This has constantly been the fact in this 
state ; and for this reason the percentage of increase in the 
classes at the university has been much greater than the rate 
of increase in population or even in wealth. The significance 
of this fact is that the university must constantly come to the 
state for additional support. Even to-day our classes are too 
large to be well taught by the force at our command ; and a 
real injustice has in some cases to be done. The teaching 
force ought to be very considerably increased. 

But even this is not all. The wants of the people are not 
satisfied with the instruction that is given at the university. 
Within the past few years the feeling has grown to be one of 
the most notable features in modern education that the uni- 
versity should not limit its instruction to those who are able 
to be in actual attendance. There are thousands, yea, tens of 
thousands, who desire to avail themselves of such instruction, 
but cannot leave their homes to go to the university. Cannot 
the university be taken to them? The modern University 
Extension movement is an effort to answer this question. It 
is an interesting fact that this question first received definite 
form in one of the conservative seats of learning in conserva- 
tive England. Within a few years after this desire took prac- 
tical form, lectures and teachers went from Oxford and Cam- 
bridge to every important city and village in Great Britain ; 
and several thousand carefully prepared courses of instruction 
are now annually given. The movement was so unmistakably 
beneficial that it crossed the Atlantic as naturally as did the 
jury system and the common law. It has found congenial soil 
wKerever there is an enterprising desire for more knowledge 
and greater intelligence. The growth of the movement has 


been perhaps even more rajjid in Uic west than in the east. 
The impulse early took definite form in Wisconsin. Last year 
more than a hundred calls for courses of extension lectures 
came to the university ; more than forty were given. This 
year the demands thus far have been greater than they were 
at the corresponding date last year. It has been the policy 
of the university to respond to these calls as often as can be 
done without great injustice to the students and to the univer- 
sity itself. But the demands are more than we can supply. 
Even this year we have found ourselves impelled to go farther 
than can be justified as a permanent policy. It will be uni- 
versally admitted that the first duties of our teaching force are 
at the university itself, and unless the legislature deems it best 
to make some adequate provision for the administration and 
support of the mouement, the university will be obliged to 
diminish, if not to discontinue its efforts in this direction alto- 
gether. The legislature has shown how the work can be done 
by the provision it has made for the kindred work of the 
farmers' institutes, and any one who looks at the list of the 
institutes held and knows the interest that has been evinced 
and the profit that has been realized by the attendance, will 
find it difificult to believe that the same amount of money 
expended in any other way within the past two years has 
resulted in any greater good. Whether similar provision 
should not be made for the support of the university extension 
movement must be decided by the legislature, and not by the 
authorities of the university. 

At the risk of making still further drafts upon your 
patience, I must add a word in regard to the youngest child 
of the University, the School of Economics, Political Science, 
and History. The two jjarents of the child were the Library 
and the Wisconsin State Historical Society, the best for the 
purpose in the Northwest, and the fact that judicious, careful 
and wise instruction in political science is one of the greatest 
needs of the time. If anywhere in the world it is desirable 
that political information, free from all partisanship, should be 


disseminated among the people, it is in a republic like ours, 
where it is by the people, as well as for the people, that insti- 
tutions are created and given their characteristics. It is 
because the people have not considered this fact in all its 
bearings that we have very justly come to have the reputation 
of being the most wasteful nation in the world in matters per- 
taining to political and municipal administration. It has 
recently been shown that a city in England with as many 
charitable and benevolent institutions as a corresponding city 
in the United States is more perfectly governed and adminis- 
tered at a fourth part of the cost. Everybody whose intelli- 
gence and judgment are equal to his patriotism, when comparing 
the administrative methods of our American cities with those 
of European cities of corresponding importance, is greatly 
impressed with the superior efficiency and economy of Euro- 
pean methods. Nothing is more certain than that we have 
gone too far in adopting the belief that it is more profitable to 
devote our time to making money than to protecting or sav- 
ing it. To ignorant or partially educated men the two often 
seem incompatible; but the only obstacle to uniting the two 
is the fact that while the accumulation of a fortune is the fruit 
of individual effort, the protection and preservation of it is 
very largely the result of efforts made by society as a whole. 
It is for this reason that the education of society in methods 
of efficiency and economic administration is of the highest 
importance. And the education of society is best accom- 
plished by the education of those who, for better or for worse, 
are to give society its opinions. 

I might raise a similar query in regard to the momentous 
questions involved in the present relations of capital and labor. 
Capital thinks labor has no right to complain, while labor 
thinks that capital gets more than its share of the profits. In 
a government by public opinion, the question is not more. 
What is the right, than it is, Can the people be made to see 
and adopt the right? Less than two months ago I received a 
letter from a business man, who is at once a capitalist, a phil- 


anthropist, and a scholar, in which he used these impressive 

"Capital and labor stand in about the same antagonism 
that the king and the people of F"rance stood in 1793, and 
consecjuences as great will, in mv ojjinion, result from the con- 
flict that now seems upon us. Men who think must now direct 
public affairs, or chaos will come to the republic." 

That this is a gloomy view of the situation cannot be denied; 
but the fact that such a view is held by a man of prominence 
and intelligence is enough to show that there is call for what- 
ever we can do for a higher education in political and eco- 
nomic affairs. The School of Economics, Political Science, 
and History has been established for the careful study of all 
such questions. Its spirit is that of investigation. . It will tol- 
erate no partisanship; it will promulgate no political dogmas. 
It will be its constant effort to study whatever is to be learned 
in the old world, or in the new, of the best methods of con- 
ducting the affairs of the general government, of the state, and 
of the municipality. It will have to deal with great questions. 
Its ambition is a worthy one, and it bespeaks the generous 
sympathy, and support of public and private beneficence. 

There are other directions in which the University, by 
means of new departments and the enlargement of depart- 
ments already established, can render additional service to 
the sons and daughters of the state. But I will further ask 
your indulgence only while I say a single word in regard to 
what I conceive to be the proper attitude of the President of 
this University toward the Legislature and the i)eo}jle in the 
matter of legislative appropriations. This University does not 
belong to the Regents; still less docs it belong to the Presi- 
dent and the Faculty. It belongs to the people of Wisconsin. 
The Regents, and under them, the President and the corps of 
teachers, are administrators of a trust. In the administration 
of this trust our duties are two-fold. It is our first business to 
afford the best instruction in our j)ower with the means at our 
disposal. Our second duty is to report from time tt) time in 


regard to the conditions of greater efficiency and power. I 
cannot see why our duty is not at an end, when, after provid- 
ing for proper instruction and administration, we point out to 
the Legislature the ways in which, according to our judgment, 
the University can be improved and made more efficient. I 
hope we shall never regard it as our duty to play the role of 
importunity. We must do the best we can with the means 
submitted to our charge. 

It is equally our duty to say that, if it is to keep pace with 
the demands of a rapidly growing state and advancing civili- 
zation, not to say with neighboring institutions, it must have 
ever large and increasing supplies of the means by which alone 
a university can do its duty in an adequate way. To the leg- 
islators we would say: You are fortunate in having the means 
of supply in large abundance. Visit the University. Examine 
it in its minutest details. All its interests are yours, as the 
representatives of the people. Consider its usefulness and its 
possibilities. Make yourselves familiar with it; and then, I 
have no doubt, you will decide wisely and generously what 
provisions you will make for the improvement of the sons and 
daughters of Wisconsin. As I recall the history of what has 
already been accomplished ; as I contemplate the resources of 
this great and noble state ; as I survey the enormous possi- 
bilities and opportunities, I cannot doubt that the legislature 
and the people will be content with nothing short of making 
it worthy of the state ; and this means, the peer of any other 
university in the land. 


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