Last night in Sanders Theatre was held the annual meeting for the announcement of academic distinctions won by students in Harvard College during the past year. After a choral from Beethoven by the Appleton Chapel choir, Dean Hurlbut, who presided, briefly outlined the purpose of the meeting. It has always been the good fortune of the University, said Dean Hurlbut, to have as speakers for this occasion men who have exerted an influence and felt an interest in the affairs of men. Tonight is no exception, and we have before us a man who has risen above party lines, and who is an example of integrity and devotion to high purposes--the Honorable Samuel Walker McCall.
If people listened to the public press, said Mr. McCall, it would seem that the importance of a college is for athletics, and incidentally, at most, for education. True, there is nothing spectacular in scholarship; but nothing depends more upon individual effort. Athletics ought not to be denounced; athletics are a good thing if indulged in by everybody, and they develop courage; but there is no question of the vast superiority of intellectual work.
Our scholarship of today is more exact than ever before, and it will become broader. The real work of scholars is to lay bare the problems of life and to show us the courses to be pursued. We are apt to take for granted the free institutions of this country; but we have now progressed far enough to see that we shall be required to struggle to maintain our political greatness. We threw away our great advantage of political isolation by taking the Philippines; we have changed the Constitution for external policy, and will soon find the Constitution inconvenient for internal policy. Problems like these are gradually coming to this country, which scholars alone can solve. Russia as she is today has much to fear from scholars, but the United States much to hope. Our country is going to owe a great debt to men who study things and see them clearly.
In closing, Mr. McCall said that he believed that Harvard through its scholars had sent forth the most potent single force in the country. This quiet presentation of academic distinctions, he said, is far better than the acclaim of forty thousand people in the Stadium. There is soon to be a reaction in the world, and it will become popular to be a scholar. And this is right, for nothing in the world is more useful to one's country than scholarship.
At the conclusion of the address the Harvard Hymn was sung, followed by an announcement of the origin and nature of the various prizes, and by the award of the deturs. The exercises closed with the singing of Fair Harvard.
The complete list of awards is given on another page of the CRIMSON.