Page images
PDF
EPUB

the debris, the tree tops, are piled up recklessly where fire can come and sweep it away, and then the soil is burned and nothing is left but the bare ledges, and that means centuries, of course, before there can come any replacing of the soil or of the forest.

There is another reason why I am in favor of the taking of these mountain reservations, a reason not of business, not of manufactories, not of trade, not of commerce, but of health and recreation. The White Mountains are the great playground of this section of the country. The people who have gone West from New England, and the descendants of those people, come back year after year to these mountains in the summer. I know of no form of exhilaration that is greater that can come to a man than when he has climbed a mountain; it makes him a better, a stronger, a more vigorous man physically, mentally and morally. If it be said, gentlemen, that this is sentiment, why, as a matter of sentiment, I do not hesitate to appeal that the mountains shall be saved to us with their forests standing. Sentiment! It is sentiment that has endowed our hospitals; it is sentiment that has built our schools; it is sentiment that attaches us to our flag; it is sentiment that has saved the battlefield of Gettysburg as a national monument; it is sentiment that erects statues; it is sentiment that leads us to put floral tributes on the graves of soldiers and sailors; and if it be only sentiment, then for sentiment alone I appeal that these White Mountains shall be saved to us, not as bare and naked rocks, but as the crowning glory of New England, clothed in the beauty of the forest as God gave them to our fathers. [Applause.]

President HARTSHORNE. A clergyman, it is said, may be greater than his pulpit, especially if there is a leaning towards something else. It was said of PHILIPS BROOKS that he was an Episcopal clergyman with a strong leaning toward Christianity. [Laughter.] We have with us tonight a gentleman who has a strong leaning towards mechanics as well as mankind, derived from his early experience as a railroad man before he entered the ministry. So that now, as the president of a college, he is better able to follow the Greek philosopher's admonition “to teach youth those things which they will need when they become men.” I have the great pleasure of introducing to you the Rev. FREDERICK W. HAMILTON, D.D., LL.D., president of Tufts College. [Applause.]

ADDRESS OF REV. FREDERICK W. HAMILTON, D. D., LL.D.

Mr. President and Gentlemen: It was with a great deal of pleasure that I accepted the invitation of my friend Dr. WoodBURY to come here tonight, because it seemed to me to be an opportunity to knit a little closer the bonds which in my opinion ought to unite the university with the world of business. The old conception of the university was that of a place where men were to be prepared for certain learned professions, and that until within a comparatively few years has been the principal function of the university. That period, however, has pretty largely passed. A very large proportion of the graduates of our universities are now finding their way into business, and many young men are going to college as a preparation for busi

That has raised a considerable number of new problems which the university man has to face, and it is some of those problems that I want to talk to you about for a few minutes, speaking to the general topic of the education of a business man.

I remember only as recently as 1880, when I took my own Bachelor of Arts degree, a great many of my friends expressed surprise that I should have gone to college, in view of the fact that at that time I had no expectation whatever of a professional career, but expected to be a railroad man. As I expected always to be a railroad man, my friends thought I was wasting my time, and my father was wasting his money in procuring a

ness.

degree of Bachelor of Arts. I did not think so, and my experience as a business man shows me pretty conclusively that there was no mistake on either side. When I finally decided on a professional pursuit, my friends all came and asked me if I was not sorry that I wasted so much time in business, and I told them that there was nothing wasted there, because I considered my business life was a very important training for my professional and ministerial life. This simply demonstrates the fact that only as recently as twenty-eight years ago the college-bred man, who intended to be a business man was an anomoly. Now he is a common occurrence.

And so there come these problems of the training of young men for business, problems which on one side are being met by the efforts of technical schools, and on the other side are being met and are to be met by the college of letters. A good deal of a question is coming up as to what should be taught in the colleges. We are hearing a great deal today about vocational training, about vocational training in colleges, about vocational training in the high schools, as if it was something new. I remind you that university training has always been vocational training, and it has never been anything else but vocational training. It took its form originally from the fact that college graduates were expected to go into certain professions in which certain subjects of study were particularly valuable. But as the conditions of society have changed and our modern social life has become more complex there has come about a demand for a greater range in academic training, and there is also, I think, coming about, a clearer conception of what is involved in the training of a business man.

My own idea about it, and the idea I am trying to work out in the college of which I am president, is that the important thing is not the kind of information that a man gets in college nearly as much as it is the amount of power which he gets in college. In other words, the purpose of the college is not to train a man so that he can go out from college and undertake the direction of any particular kind of business, but it is the

We can

furnishing of a man with a certain type of mental equipment. It is not possible for a college to train a man so that he can go out and assume charge of a business, or even of a profession. It is possible, I believe, however, to give him those qualities of mind, and perhaps in certain degree also of character and of temperament, which will enable him to learn the business or the profession which he is to pursue more quickly, to pursue it with more success, and to carry it further than he can expect to do without that equipment.

We have law schools, but I think my friend, Mr. SHEPARD here will agree with me that a man does not become a skilful practitioner at the bar in the law school but that he simply gets started, and he learns his business in the office of the lawyer, and in the practise which he picks up in the courts.

We may teach' a man the theory of engineering, as we try to do in the engineering department of the college with which I am connected, but he becomes an engineer in the office and in the field. And so of every profession he goes into. not train a man for the conduct of business, but we can give him those qualities which will fit him to learn a business and to become successful in the conduct of it.

In my mind it is pretty easy to sketch what those qualities should be. A man who is going to be a successful conductor of business, a wise and skilful administrator, in these days, must, in the first place, be the master of his own power. He must be able to control, to direct, and to use all his natural powers, plus whatever degree of strength he may have acquired in the developing process of education. He must be capable of concentration. He must be able not only to command those powers but to address all of them to the solution of definite problems. There are a great many men who are very brainy men, and who have a vast amount of information, who are brilliant in a way, but who are not successful because they are not able to apply those splendid qualities directly and definitely to the solution of a given problem. He must not only be able to do things himself, but he must be able to use the brains and abilities of other men. The days when a man could conduct his business for himself, by himself alone, have long since passed. Modern business has grown to immense proportions. The process of consolidation which has taken place within the last few years, comparatively, is a perfectly natural process, a perfectly inevitable process, an altogether praiseworthy process, and a process which is going to continue indefinitely. It is a process which leads incidentally to certain abuses because, if I may be allowed to lapse for a moment into the quoting habit of the preacher, “ we have this treasure in earthen vessels.” The men who run the consolidations are only men, and consequently they commit the mistakes, and some times the crimes, which men are prone to commit under all conditions, and under all circumstances. But the thing itself is a good thing, not to be opposed, and those who attempt to check the progress of consolidation are as unwise as they are short-sighted, in my humble opinion. Now, the man who is to be a success under those circumstances, clearly must be able to use his brain, he must be able to decide very quickly, and on the whole accurately on the basis of information which other men furnish to him. His heads of departments, his representatives here and there and everywhere, are to bring him the information, the results of their experience, the reports of what they are doing, the needs of their departments, the conditions of the work and all the other almost innumerable things which come under their immediate observation. He must be able to decide quickly what to do on the strength of those reports which are thus submitted to him, and in order to do that he must have two qualities of mind. He must have breadth of outlook, so that he can command not only a limited situation, but a very extended one, not only a certain set of conditions, but very many sets of conditions. A man who has charge of, or who is at the head of a large manufacturing business today, must have suflicient breadth of view so that he can not only understand what is going on in his factory, not only have some knowledge of the processes which must be carried on, and carried on properly, in

« PreviousContinue »