The annual report of Professor Peirce, Dean of the Graduate School, reveals a degree of development which is very gratifying. A decided increase in the membership of the school has been in progress during the past ten years and is still continuing at a steady rate. The increase in the current year is, indeed, greater than in any preceding year except 1891-92. It is to be added that no deterioration of quality accompanies the gain of numbers. On the contrary, the school has never contained so large a proportion of able and ambitious students as at the present time.
The special importance of fellowships and scholarships to students in the Graduate School appears to be inadequately understood by friends of the University. These students are not youths, maintained by relatives and friends while acquiring the elements of a liberal education; they are men who have already gone through the ordinary period of a costly education, and they have in many cases, relinquished salaried positions in order to come to the school. Their motive in coming is not that they may gain entrance to a lucrative profession; they are already qualified to do good service in their chosen field, but they are willing to make considerable sacrifices in order that they may do better service, and help to raise the tone of instuction and study throughout the country.
The Graduate School is one of a small number of places of study in America at which young men can prepare themselves in a thorough manner for a lifework of higher scholarship.
It is through its Graduate School that the University now makes its chief appeal as an institution of pure learning to the country at large, and holds a position of nationality. Out of the two hundred and forty-five resident students of the school for the current academic year, one hundred and fifty-eight, or nearly two-thirds are graduates of other institutions, or have without graduating pursued elsewhere the studies on the ground of which they have been admitted to the school; and one hundred and thirty, or more than one-half, come from homes outside of New England-eighty-two living in eastern, southern, and central states, thirty-three in states beyond the Mississippi River, nine in the Dominion of Canada, and six in foreign countries.
It is to be added that the Graduate School has an undoubted influence in broadening the membership of the college itself. Not a few students who have been drawn to the University by the attraction of the Graduate School find it advisable to enter in the first instance one of the higher undergraduate classes in order to complete their preparation for the school. There can be no doubt that a perceptible share of the recent prosperity of the college is due, in this and other ways to the Graduate School.