The returns from the various colleges of this country show an astonishing increase in the size of the incoming classes. This fact awakens in everyone the realization of the truth that during the past few years the strides made in all the departments of science and literature have been very great, but in no direction has this advance become more manifest than in the progress of learning at the different colleges. The faculties have adopted broader principles, giving the students a larger scope in the selection of studies, and the number of courses in the different schools have been constantly enlarged. In nearly all the radical changes which have occurred, Harvard has led the way, yet never has this been shown better than in the elective system and the change in the requirements for entrance to the freshman class.
It is yet too early to know precisely the size of our freshman class, still we may venture to say that it will have to be abnormally large to compare with the size of the freshman classes at Yale and Cornell, which number respectively three hundred and four and three hundred and fifty-one students. Yet why is this so? The only satisfactory solution of the problem lies in the fact that here all branches of athletics seem to be at their lowest ebb, while at the two colleges previously cited the case is reversed. Exeter Academy, Harvard's oldest and hitherto most reliable feeder, has sent nearly twice as many men to the other colleges as here, and the number of men who have gone to Yale from Andover is unprecedented. The only way to overcome this change of feeling is for Harvard to enter the athletic field with greater determination, vim and energy, and to win at least one of the three championships to which greatest importance is attached by the college at large.
While we are on the subject of the freshman class, the opportunity is a good one to say a few words to ninety-one. It is our custom, during the year, to select two members of the freshman class to our editorial board. And in order that we may decide on those two, it is necessary that we should have contributions from a great many. Editorials, articles on athletics, or other subjects of interest, communications and "Facts and Rumors" will be welcomed by the board. Let no one be discouraged if his first essays do not find their way into print. It does not necessarily follow that, if not published, a man's work is worth nothing. Remember that, ninety-one, and let us hear from you.