Professor Scott Nearing's study of "The Younger Generation of American Genius" has aroused widespread interest. He has come to the conclusion that American leadership "arises even the last generation from one-half of the population, the men from one small group of the population the college-bred, from one small geographical area, the northeastern section of the United States; from one small group of occupations, the professions." In reply to the criticism that the recent growth of the West makes a study of general nineteenth century talent unfair, Prof. Nearing chose 200 men in "Who's Who" who were born since 1870. The result was substantially the same.
Harvard led the United States with 155; Yale had 83; Columbia, 52; Michigan, 44; Cornell, 36; Pennsylvania, 36; Princeton, 34; Wisconsin, 28; Stanford, 28; Technology, 28; Johns Hopkins, 26; Chicago, 26, and California, 25. Various combinations could be made showing that the University has graduated since about 1890 as many distinguished men as a number of other institutions added together. Harvard has nearly twice at many as its nearest competitor and three times as many as the third institution.
But the present generation of undergraduates should note two things in regard to this gratifying showing. In the first place the western universities date growth from the last one or . The showing of Stanford, only twenty five years old, is significant and the buildings of Columbia University--not western to be sure--have nearly all been built since 1890. In the second place its is, strangely enough, our academic ancestors not ourselves from whom these figures were compiled. To quote Percy Haughton, to stay on top is hard work.