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College-bred men in the business world.-Andrew Carnegie: The total absence of the college graduate in every department of affairs should be deeply weighed. I have inquired and searched everywhere in all quarters, but find scarcely a trace of him. Nor is this surprising. The prize-takers have too many years the start of the graduate; they have entered for the race invariably in their teens-in the most valuable of all the years for learning anything-from 14 to 20. While the college student has been learning a little about the barbarous and petty squabbles of a far-distant past, or trying to master languages which are dead, such knowledge as seems adapted for life upon another planet than this as far as business affairs are concerned, the future captain of industry is hotly engaged in the school of experience, obtaining the very knowledge required for his future triumphs. I do not speak of the effect of college education upon young men training for the learned professions; but the almost total absence of the graduate from high position in the business world seems to justify the conclusion that college education as it exists is fatal to success in that domain. The graduate has not the slightest chance, entering at 20, against the boy who swept the office, or who begins as shipping clerk at 14. The facts prove this.
Henry Clews: I have given it some thought, and my conclusions are the result of experience. I might say in beginning that I do not employ college men in my banking office. None need apply. I don't want them, for I think they have been spoiled for business life.
After spending several of the best years, the years when the mind is most active and most open to impression, in learning a lot of things which are utterly useless for business, they come to the cities to make their way in the world. They are perfectly ignorant of business methods. Their whole education has tended to shut their minds to knowledge of this kind. While they have been at college other men have been in the business offices, have begun at the bottom and have worked up, learning all the details, getting that knowledge which can not be set down in books.
Now, the college graduate is not willing to begin at the bottom. He looks down on the humble place which he is fitted to fill. And, indeed, he looks down on all business as dull and unattractive. He wants a place such as his education and his years seem to command. This place he can not get, for he has as yet the A, B, C's of business to acquire.
And even if he does bring himself to accept the place, which he must accept if he would have any measure of success, he does not utilize it in a way to advance. His thoughts are not with his business, but with his books, literature, philosophy, Latin. Now, no man can approach the exacting business life in this half-hearted way. Business requires the undivided mind.
Winthrop D. Sheldon, in the New Englander and Yale Review: It is not less education, but more and better, that is needed in business life, an education that is so all-around as to give a larger success than the mere accumulation of a fortune. Hitherto such have been the unexampled opportunities for fortune-making, always to be found in a new and undeveloped country, that multitudes of men have "stumbled" into wealth, not because of any special capacity of their own superior to that of their neighbors, but by some happy accident. The attainment of riches by no means proves that a man possesses superior ability in any large sense of the term. Indeed, it has been well said that very often the rich man in a community is conspicuously stupid, ignorant, and narrow-minded outside of his special sphere. This is the natural result of a lifetime's "moneygrubbing," when all of a man's thoughts and energies are concentrated upon the one object of making money for money's sake. If it be true that comparatively few of the college-educated win a great fortune, it is doubtless due in great measure to the fact, which is much to their credit, that such men have too many and diversified intellectual interests to be able or willing to turn themselves into mere money-making machines. Thereby the community at large is greatly the gainer and its common life is preserved from becoming mercenary and
sordid. * * *
Does it not involve a serious impeachment of the standards of business capacity to maintain that a youth of 14, who goes at once into a store, his mental powers as yet comparatively undisciplined, and spends the next few years in
1 The other extracts upon this subject given in this connection were compiled by Mr. Sheldou in illustration of his argument in the New Englander. Most of them appeared originally in the New York Tribune in reply to Mr. Carnegie's assertion.
sweeping it out, running of errands, and tying up bundles, is more likely to achieve a pronounced business success than the college graduate, who meanwhile has been schooling himself to accurate thinking, cultivating his powers of observation and reflection, storing his mind with a wide range of knowledge and bringing it into permanent relation with those things which adorn and dignify our lives and make them really worth the living? The education of the store and the counting room or the shop, exceedingly valuable in its way, is in the comparison essentially narrow in its scope; and, narrow and narrowing, it is going on during the very years when the question is being determined in the case of most persons whether their future life is to be of a narrow or of a broad gauge pattern. The great mass of business men are men of mere routine; they are made such by their lack of a thorough general education and by the narrow lines of their early training, and the trend of their lives is to confine them in this mental bias. The man who brings to the routine of his work a broadly trained intelligence will be worth in the long run a great deal more than he who for lack of such intelligence is a slave to routine.
President Seth Low, of Columbia College (who has been himself a business man): While it is harder for a college graduate to get started in business than for one who enters it as a boy, in five years from the time he does start, other things being equal, the college graduate will be the peer in business of his friend who began as a boy, and while equally successful in business he will fill a much larger place in the community than the one-sided man can ever hope to fill.
James W. Alexander, a Princeton graduate and vice-president of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of New York: However it may be with the boy whose talents, temperament, and environments are such as to limit his prospects and ambition to a life of physical labor in a subordinate capacity, who can doubt that the boy who has within him the germ of some future master in affairs will be all the more of a leader by reason of a thorough college education and even that he will outstrip in the mere matter of time the boy whose only training was sweeping the shop or adding up columns of figures at a desk? It is the successful men we are talking about. And when the shop-bred boy reaches the high station to which his abstention from college education has assisted him, does it require argument to prove that he would be a more useful, a more influential, a more attractive man if he could have added to and combined with his industrial training that knowledge, science, literature, and philosophy to the mastering of which the college is the open door?
Mr. Charles L. Colby, a graduate of Brown University and president of the Wisconsin Central Railroad: I admit a man may succeed in banking or business without an education, but I earnestly believe that if two men of equal ability start together in the race, one an educated man and the other without college training, the college man will win every time in the long run. Machinery and methods are constantly changing. The uneducated do not readily comprehend them and must be instructed step by step. The more a man is educated, the more readily he adapts himself to these sudden changes in business methods. When it comes to the scientific, technical, brain requirements of a calling, the college man moves easily ahead.
Mr. Daniel Heald, a Yale graduate and president of the Home Insurance Company of New York: I believe the success I may have attained in the world is directly due to my college training. I there acquired system, analysis, and methods of thought that have been of inestimable value in life. If nature has given a man fair talent education will make better a man of him and positively aid him in his daily work. Suppose a boy is going into any manufacturing business-making pumps, for example. Give him an education. He will make better pumps because of it. Strip the rich, uneducated man of his wealth and what is left? What we want in American life is the ripe, well-rounded man of affairs.
Gen. Brayton Ives, a Yale graduate: Given a boy with a natural aptitude for business, his college training, particularly in methods of thought, will afterward be of such practical aid as more than to offset the loss of those years in business. Observe that learning how to learn is the summarized advantage of a college training; that is, it is the discipline which the boy obtains at college that enables him to learn after he leaves college and learn more rapidly, readily, and intelligently than his uneducated competitors. I can trace every step in my own career to the influence of my college.course, and as every man can, of course, speak best of his own life, it is not egotistical to be personal. I was graduated from Yale in 1861, entered the Army, and instantly found my training of the utmost benefit. Being accustomed to study, I mastered the tactics more easily and in less time than was required by men whose minds had not been trained.
This enabled me to compete with men who had been there much longer than I and was the cause of much more rapid promotion than I could have gained otherwise. All the progress I have since made in civil life, including that of my present occupation-banking-is directly traceable to the special advantages afforded by my education. A man of ability educated is better, no matter where he may be placed, than a man of ability uneducated.
Chauncey M. Depew, a Yale graduate: Have the eight years passed in the preparatory school and the university, acquiring many things which would be useless in the factory or store, been thrown away? My observation leads me to directly the contrary opinion. The college-bred man, under equal conditions of capacity and health, has a trained intellect, a disciplined mind, a store of information, and a breadth of grasp, with the fearlessness which it entails, that enable him to catch up with and pass his rival. Hundreds of college graduates within the last five years have begun in the various departments of railway work at the bottom. They were firing on the locomotives, working in the machine shops, switching in the yards, keeping books in the treasurer's office, serving in the freight and passenger departments, and my observation of them for this period has demonstrated the value of a college education. It used to be a popular theory that strong men who had won great places in the business world would have been ruined if they had been educated. The better belief is that on account of genius and special capacity they succeeded in spite of their disadvantages. It is the old question of the trained boxer, runner, athlete, debater, soldier, as against unskilled strength and courage. Whatever the popular delusions, in the trials there never has been but one result.
Winthrop D. Sheldon: Mr. Carnegie must have been gazing at the mountains and craters of the moon, inquiring and searching there, when he asserted the "total absence of the college graduate in every department of affairs." Had he taken pains to look about him he would have found successful college-bred men of business almost under the eaves of his factory in Pittsburg itself. If inquiry were to be made every important commercial or manufacturing center would furnish some conspicuous examples of the college man of affairs. Mr. James W. Alexander, from whom we have already quoted, reënforced his views with a list of 65 college graduates prominent in business circles and selected at random, mostly from New York and vicinity, and other names almost if not equally as significant will occur to every observant person. From an analysis of the list we notice that there are 15 railroad officials, including, besides vice-presidents and general managers, 6 presidents, among them Chauncey M. Depew, of the New York Central system; Charles Francis Adams, of the Union Pacific; Austin Corbin, of the Philadelphia and Reading, recently chosen president of the New York and New England; and to these we may add the late Frederick Billings, at one time president of the Northern Pacific; the late Levi C. Wade, of the Mexican Central, and Presidents Bishop and Watrous, of the New York and New Haven Railroad. There are also 18 bankers, including a number of bank presidents, 10 manufacturers, 10 merchants, 7 heads of prominent trust and insurance companies, and 5 heads of leading publishing houses. Certainly neither the late Alexander T. Stewart, the prince among dry-goods merchants, nor the late John Jacob Astor, who had the reputation of being an excellent business man, found the education which they obtained, respectively at Dublin University and Columbia College, any impediment whatever in the way of their success. It is said of the former that he retained his interest in his college studies to the latest years of his life.
Mr. Sheldon sums up as follows: The great mass of those who enter the various occupations of the business world could not, if they would, receive a college education. Most of them would not improve the opportunity if they had it, and it would be of no advantage to most, because they are not fitted to profit by it. But the youth who can have such an education, and is fitted to profit by it, is on no account justified in rejecting the opportunity for fear it will incapacitate him for a successful business career. Let him get all the education he can. in the full assurance that he will be more of a man, and therefore, more of a business man; not a man of an affair, but a man of affairs. For what men are in any one phase or province of their lives is largely determined by what they are in every other. No part of the individual life can escape the uplift which a thorough education gives to the entire being. And the young graduate who decides to set his face towards a business career has no occasion to look upon the four years of his college life as thrown away or to feel that he is handicapped in the race for success. It is not necessary for him to begin where the boy of fourteen begins, whose age and lack of training unfit him for anything higher than plying the broom and
running of errands. His age, mental training, and general maturity enable him to apply himself at once to the study of business methods themselves. Nor can any fixed rule be laid down as to the length of his novitiate. That will vary according to his ability, industry, and power of adaptation, and also according to the nature of the business which he has undertaken to learn. It may, in some instances, be only months; it may require years to master all the details. But as he proceeds the practical value of his cducation will become more and more apparent. The success of college-bred men who have adopted a business career will compare favorably with that of business men in general. They have been successful, not in spite of their education, but in part because of it." Education is no magic key that of itself unlocks the doors of success in any department of life; but in business, as in other occupations, if joined to health, industry, energy, and common sense it will win a success of finer mold and more enduring, more satisfying quality; it will be its own justification.
Old vs. new institutions of learning.-President G. Stanley Hall, of Clark University Age which brings wisdom may bring infirmities. In a time and land where change is so rapid trustees, alumni, and even faculties sometimes fall behind. Time is lost in administrative details better left to one. Young men are held back, and talent not held to its best thing, but kept doing the work of cheaper men, and the question may become pertinent why, with vast resources, so little is done for culture and for the advancement of knowledge by old institutions or comparatively so much by new ones. There is much to foster complacency and an unfortunate absence of competent criticism from without, whence all university reforms in history have really come. Prejudices may accumulate from without, and student custom and ideals grow up within that are as inveterate and ineradicable as they are vicious and absurd, but which make progress slow and hard. There is sometimes an excess of conservations, routine, and machinery. Saddest of all, perhaps, departments of endowed knowl edge, like professors, sometimes cease to be productive and grow dry, formal, sterile, but they can not be displaced. It may be harder to regard an old institution as a means, precious only as it broadly serves the highest culture-interests of the whole nation, and not as an end precious in and for itself. We know how wasteful and unproductive the vast resources of Oxford and Cambridge had become in 1854, and what old abuses had to be corrected in Italy and Holland by such and other somewhat drastic outside means. In this new country we need new men, new measures, and occasionally new universities; and we, like England, have in later years experienced their amazing good. In the field of experimental science, unlike some other departments, what is there of importance, that a few centuries can afford, that can not be at least as well provided in a few years?
The differentiation of higher educational institutions urged.-G. Stanley Hall: We [at Clark University] duplicato almost nothing in other universities in this country. A full department of physics, chemistry, or mathematics even. to say nothing of biology, the complexity of which is more obvious, as sketched for us by several European leaders in their field, would each require several professors, each with one or more assistant professors to represent its several sections or departments of the subject. Thus, to say nothing of difference of grade or standard, it does not follow, because we have physics, chemistry, and other departments found in other institutions, there is duplication. The contrary is, in fact, the case. The best professors in their fields, however authoritative they may be in the entire department, excel in and contribute chiefly to but a few chapters of it, leaving ample space for other directions of excellence elsewhere.
In the new era of university development, upon which this country is now entering, it is of fundamental importance for economy and for the success of a great movement that, in place of the monotonous uniformity, duplication, and servile imitation that has prevailed, institutions should freely differentiate and should be known to do so; that above the commendable loyalty to local institutions by their graduates, there should arise the same comparative and critical discrimination of institutions as of courses in the same institutions under the elective system. Perhaps the chief benefit of the latter has been the stimulus it gave to every professor to make his course so profitable that it should prove attractive to the most of the best students. The same stimulus could be given to institutions by the extension of the elective system to them.
What a real university is.—Nicholas Murray Butler: The university is a wholly different institution from the college, and while in this country we have scores
of nominal universities, the real ones may be counted on the fingers of a single hand. A college in which the course of study is elective wholly or in part is not a university. A group of professional or technical schools is not a university. A college and a group of professional and technical schools taken together is not a university. A university must have for its heart and soul the great philo sophical faculty of the Germans; the faculty which finds its reason for existence in the preservation of the humanities and in a careful and loving study of philosophy, philology, and letters. A university is marked by the time-honored freedom in teaching and freedom in study; it knows no trammels, no compulsion. It is not a disciplinary institution, but rather a field for research and investigation. At the university the bounds of knowledge will be continually widened and the leaders of the future generation in science and literature trained to their work. Professional schools or faculties, apart from the philosophical faculty, have always become technical and narrow-it is the philosophical faculty that is the real university center. Its spirit and insight must regulate and inspire all of the associated faculties.
The kindergarten the great remedy for formalism in the primary school.-W. T. Harris: The school teaches the conventionalities of life; it gives the child ac cess to the wisdom of the race, but it often errs in making its experiences to the child too formal. It is too rigid and unsympathetic, and the child is expected to throw off the freedom of the family at once, and all too scon assume the formalities of the world. Thus did the great need of a connecting link between the two call for some noble-hearted lover of his kind to suggest a change, and Froebel, whose memory all kindergartens, all true educationalists reverence, came to the rescue and supplied the need. The kindergarten takes the little one in his tenderest years, and by placing within his reach symbols and games suited to his comprehension, enables him to naturally, and without undue or forced effort, grasp and assimilate the ideas and teachings desired. It makes him notice what is going on in the great world around him, and seeing begets the desire to imitate. It leads him up from the initial stage of feeling to thinking, and from thought to action. But the games and plays are only a portion of the work; there are gifts and occupations. These are less symbolical and more logical, and train the quantitative faculties. A child does not readily realize what it means to think quantity; it is a hard and awkward step for him to take, and the idea of number, for instance, must be learned not by starting at a unit and adding, but by taking a divisible unit and dividing it; and thus Froebel, who perceived this point, introduced the divisible block. The kindergarten is the great remedy of this century for the formalism of the primary school, and it had been badly needed before it came to the rescue.
What children have a right to expect from the kindergartner.-W. E. Sheldon: Children have a right to expect that their individuality shall be recognized and respected; that their natural and hereditary traits shall be taken into account in their training; that all manifestations of interest in their development and culture shall be genuine; that an active and progressive intelligence shall be supplemented by a well-balanced self-poise of the trained kindergartner which the child will soon discover to be an element of true manhood or womanhood worthy of imitation; that their many questions shall be regarded as of importance and that the replies shall stimulate further respectful inquiries. Questions are the natural openings of the child's mind, which natural inclination prompts, and aid the teacher in the work of instruction. You should convince the learner that all proper inquiries are in order at suitable times and that it is a pleasure for you to answer them. If the inquisitiveness becomes unprofitable in characLet the ter or in frequency use your best tact as the means of restraining it. child appear to exercise the right of personal liberty and yet not gratify what may be really an unworthy curiosity.
Some straws.-The report of Superintendent Cassidy (Lexington, Ky.) declares the greatest need of the schools to be kindergartens.
Dr. James Mac Alister: To my mind to-day no problem is so important as the kindergarten universal.
Superintendent W. H. Love (Buffalo, N. Y.): The first change to be attempted in our school reform is to bring in the kindergarten or subprimary work.