The president of a college, used to presenting ideas and wondering what will become of them in subsequent deliberations, must view this ancient document with his own especial poignancy of feeling. It was Dr. Rush who had transformed the Carlisle Latin School into a degree-granting college two years before. He was now determining educational policy. A mere handful of his large board of trustees was concerned with him in the matter. We can only trust that his small faculty was consulted. But it was the few trustees living in or near Carlisle, regularly meeting and transacting College business, who mattered. It was they who "Expunged" with so liberal a hand after the good Doctor had returned to Philadelphia.
Dr. Rush would have taken a tight grip on himself, sharply and explicitly negative, had anyone suggested that not only should faculty have a major role in such a formulation as this, but students as well. Today we know that complexities and hazards are avoided rather than invited by the full participation of all in an open community of learning.
We look back from a summit of long experience, yet with a profound admiration for the thoughtful courage of those who stood alone, boldly, at the beginning, long ago. When Dickinson received her new name and college charter, September 9, 1783, the United States itself stood as a hazardous experiment. There had not been in history a democracy on so large a scale before. Far-sighted men like Rush moved to protect its future by a firm, enlightened educational system, in which he saw Dickinson College as a first step, a light of learning on the edge of the wilderness. In the cautious conservatism of this draft and its amendments we can sense the great value set upon right learning in our new land, and the eagerness to pass it on to the future unmarred by any temporal error. We today, with innovation and experiment vital to progress and survival, know also that we must guard the essential elements and ideals of learning as securely as our founders were determined to do.
We are most fortunate that the Plan of Education, here printed for the first time, can be presented to our own and a larger public with the precise and distinguished scholarship of Lyman H. Butterfield. Dr. Butterfield, editor of the Letters of Benjamin Rush, and currently directing publication of the Adams Papers, was the first of our Spahr Lecturers, March 7, 1947. Now, his interruption of an arduous schedule on our behalf comes as the latest of many friendly offices, all warmly and gratefully remembered.
   We are grateful to Mrs. T. Charlton Henry, a descendent of Benjamin Rush, for her permission to illustrate her ancestor's portrait by Charles Willson Peale. It was painted in 1783, year of the Dickinson College charter, and shows the Doctor in his library, composing a dissertation on the cause of earthquakes. Earthquakes and education: no college administrator of any day would consider them entirely disparate subjects. It is worth noting, too, that some of the books he has at hand held a place also in the Dickinson curriculum, "Reid on the Mind," "Beattie on Truth," "Butler's Analogy," "Franklin's Philosophical Works."
The details of publication have been the concern of Paul E. Kaylor, Coordinator of the Two Hundredth Anniversary, Asa N. Green, Executive Director of Communications and Development, George F. Stehley, and Charles C. Sellers, Historian.
It was thought that a title page in a style contemporary with the Plan would be appropriate, including that vestigial line or two from a Latin author which then distinguished serious works written in the vulgar tongue. Dickinson's learned and popular classicist, Philip N. Lockhart, promptly supplied for the purpose a most apt selection from Vergil's Georgics, 4. 6-7. In English, it tells us:
"It is a small-scale work; but the glory will not be small-scale, if hostile
spirits will allow it and if the God of Learning listens when invoked."

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