A New York Harvard graduate, and a friend to Columbia College, thus writes in reference to the proposed change in the curriculum at Columbia: "A few months since, public attention was called to the organization of a school of languages and literature in connection with Columbia College; now the perfected scheme for the ensuing year is open to examination. I confess that I regard it somewhat askance. It is a query whether or no a college gains by enlarging indefinitely its curriculum. The old American college course was and is well suited to our social conditions and needs, and any scheme which should entirely subvert it, I, at least, could not regard with a favorable eye. But there is another field of scholastic work little tilled thus far among us, where the widest facilities of research in every direction should be ready at hand, namely, the university or post-graduation curriculum. If now, as is apparently the case, Columbia means to offer to college-bred men superior facilities in the higher departments of literature and philology, I, for one, hail this step as a decided advance. The intellectual tide is setting ever more strongly toward New York, and here, more than anywhere else, we shall, in the immediate future, need institutions affording opportunities for the highest culture. The right place for our American college is, as it has always been, the country, with its fresh air and healthful moral influences; but, as the poet says, 'a character is formed in the stream of the world.' It is in cities, in those centres of stirring life, that the character of men should be developed, their higher courses of study pursued; in other words, a city is the place for a university. As a university, I see no limit to the possibilities of Columbia's power and influence, if she keep her face turned unflinchingly in the direction of progress."
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August 04, 2015