The following minute on the services of the late Professor Dunbar was adopted at the meeting of the--Faculty of Arts and Sciences on March 6. It appears today in the Bulletin as well as in our columns.
"In the death of Professor Dunbar the Faculty of Arts and Sciences has suffered a very serious loss--a loss that is irreparable for those of us who turned to him when they sought an adviser gifted with unusual sagacity, fairness of mind and quickness of sympathy. In the Faculty he held a unique position. At our meetings he spoke rarely, even while he was Dean; but when he did speak, whether in an official or an unofficial capacity, he was listened to with deferential attention, for we all knew that he weighed his words, and that what he had to say would be to the point and would advance business. On more than one important occasion he was chosen as the fittest person to express the mind of the Faculty, and on every such occasion his report was received with enthusiasm.
"It was characteristic of Professor Dunbar that he hesitated to accept the chair of Political Economy on the ground that he did not know the subject well enough to teach it successfully; but the appointing power knew him better than he knew himself. At the time of his appointment he was not, indeed, the profound and widely read scholar that he afterwards became; but he had the temperament of a scholar, and the will to succeed in whatever he undertook. He had, more-over, the training of a man of affaires. His practical experience as editor of a metropolitan journal and as writer of its leading articles on political and economic subjects, had given him a grasp of these subjects, and a hold upon the living world, which no amount of reading could have supplied. It had cultivated his powers of thinking and of presenting his thoughts in a clear, orderly, and convincing manner, and had exercised and developed his natural gifts--coolness of judgment, breadth of view, and temperance in expression.
"These qualities distinguished Professor Dunbar's work as teacher and writer. Drawing his instruction from first-hand sources of knowledge, he set for his students an inspiring example of thoroughness. His remarkable talent for the clear exposition of difficult subjects was rendered more effective by the methodical planning and careful preparation of his lectures. In them he incorporated the best results of recent inquiry and he spared no labor to keep them fresh in thought and in language. His opinions on controverted questions, firmly held though they were, he never imposed upon others; but he gave his pupils abundant material for thought and encouraged them to draw their own conclusions.
"Of his mastery of his subject his published writings give but fragmentary evidence. One volume, indeed, that on Banking, in which he presents systematically and concisely the mature results of prolonged investigation and reflection, is, in the opinion of experts, a classic in the literature of monetary theory and practice. On other subjects his essays are few; but they are all notable for abundant information, acute reasoning, and a dignified and flowing style. By his conduct of the Quarterly Journal of Economics for ten years and by his contributions to its pages, he added to the reputation of the University as a nursery of accurate scholarship and sound thinking. Indirectly through his pupils, and directly through his writings, he did much to educate public opinion; and he would have done more, had not his desire to enlarge his sphere of influence--for he was not without ambition--been held in check by the abiding belief that his paramount duty was to the institution into whose service he had entered.
"His loyalty to the University showed itself preeminently in his willingness to serve as Dean, first of the College, and then of the Faculty of Arts and Science, and as chairman of important committees. Though in private he expressed regret that administrative duties took so much time and strength from his work as professor, he gave himself to them devotedly, and brought to them the same thoroughness, soundness of judgment, and disinterestedness that distinguished his instruction and his writings. In the conduct of administrative business he was ready to assume responsibility; in this way, and by the careful preparation of the matter in hand, he saved his associates many hours of fatiguing labor.
"As Dean, as a member of the Faculty, and as an interested and trusted friend of the President, he rendered valuable assistance in the development of the elective system and of graduate instruction, and in every movement that has broadened and elevated the University.
"In all his relations with others, his strong and gracious personality inspired confidence, esteem, and affection. In him traits rarely found together were harmoniously blended. Naturally conservative, he yet never opposed a new policy because it was new: he proved all things, and held fast to that which seemed to him good. Habitually cautious and reticent, he was when occasion demanded, courageous and outspoken. Habitually grave and dignified, he appreciated the merits of those who took things less seriously, and he had a quick eye for the lighter side of life. Though he lived up to the highest standard himself, he was lenient to the shortcoming of the weaker brethen. He was not in good health at any time during his thirty years of service, but he was not in good health at any time during his thirty years of service, but he was always 'patient of labor and prodigal of life.' To the hardy virtues that belonged to him as a New Englander by birth and a Scotchman by descent, he added a delicacy of feeling and a sweetness of nature that hid themselves under a fine reserve."