There is significance in the rapidity with which articles on the colleges are appearing in the public press; evidently colleges are growing in some sort of reputation and are receiving notice accordingly. The latest discussion is in the current Outlook and is a substantiated opinion that colleges are giving valuable business training. This is scarcely in accord with Mr. Bok, who stated in the same magazine last summer that good business men avoid college graduates until they have had time to have foolish ideals and ideas knocked from their heads. And this article does not blame the college for the fools that sometimes graduate from it. Mr. Draper, the author of the recent article, has taken the trouble to get actual facts from a number of prominent industrial executives. This is more than most critics of the college have done; and the result is that his conclusions differ from most of theirs. He says that "the consensus of opinion and the weight of evidence show that, as a rule the college man goes the non-college man one better."
That is the conclusion. What are the reasons? In the first place, Mr. Draper believes that no man can lead a business without clear and "workable ideas;" and that "the harnessing of the imagination" can best be learned in college, for in college "he who knows but cannot express what he knows is no better off than as if he did not know at all." In the second place, "college life is a life among ideals;" and business is fast learning that it is not "alone a game of outwitting and profiting" but of "benefiting the community" and individual, "morally as well as materially."
Yet Mr. Draper is not all praise. He says that we cannot get away from the fact that college men are apt to be extravagant, careless, and lacking in application. Fortunately these generally prove to be superficial traits, soon overcome; but they indicate the course which college men should pursue in their reforms. We know from experience that carelessness, at least, is a college failing.