|Chapter 36 Conclusion|
The college story has been merely sketched; limits of space forbid fuller presentation. Summary of the student body of its century and a half must bring the story to an end. (This summary in full detail follows on pages 396 and 397. It indicates, as far as patient inquiry can show, what were the careers of those who were enrolled at Dickinson, to the end of the first Morgan presidency in 1928.)
The enrolment thus detailed shows that the college product has always contributed largely to public service. Those who served in less public station had the same training, probably acquitted themselves with equal fidelity, and did a like part in making their communities better places in which to live. The record seems to justify the terse statement of Monroe's Cyclopedia of Education. Though already quoted, it is here repeated in part:
The record of Dickinson's alumni is remarkable. With Princeton and Bowdoin, Dickinson is the only other American college possessing the distinction of having graduated in arts both a President of the United States and a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The list of other federal judges, of members of state judiciaries, and of governors of states is surprisingly long, while it is doubtful if any educational institution of similar size has furnished to its country as many as nine cabinet officers, ten members of the highest legislative body, and fifty members of the lower house.
It is a fair guess that the unusual character of these college alumni is largely due to the fitness of the men who trained them. The College has always planned to have mature and tried men as its instructors. There has been little use of the inexperienced tutor, and when the comparatively young man has come to the Faculty, it has been to make the College the place of his life work. Few Dickinson College teachers have left the College voluntarily. Most of them have felt, as did Spencer F. Baird in 1850, that no other educational institution could tempt them away.
Practically none leave the Dickinson Faculty to teach elsewhere, and they become mature and ripen as teachers and scholars in a college atmosphere friendly to culture.
This historic stability of faculty personnel continues to this day. The fifteen full professors of the College in 1933 have had an average service of nineteen years; the twelve associate professors have an average of six years; and the six instructors, an average of eight years. The Faculty as a whole thus averages more than twelve years of service in the College. In the spirit of Kipling's story, "The Ship That Found Herself," this kind of faculty has found itself and works in a common spirit and to a common end. Such a faculty could hardly fail to bring forth a vigorous intellectual progeny, as the record shows that it has done.
Finally, it may be said that in fair and stormy weather alike, some fair, but more of it stormy, the College has held steadily to its first and only love, the liberal arts and cultural studies. Many colleges have turned aside to fads of one kind or another, have said, "Lo, here, and lo, there," bowing to the changing winds of popular clamor; they have offered courses in near-engineering, in commerce and business easier courses suited to the many who are not fit for the culture of the liberal arts. These are all good courses for their purpose, but Dickinson has steadily maintained that they should not be confused with the old college courses whose aim is culture, and has adhered to its own standards. It has never bowed to commerce. Its continued hold on public esteem shows that many there are who approve such a course; and Dickinson is set to meet the want of many cultured people who, mindful of the springs of their own intellectual life, continue to demand that education exalt the things of the spirit.