Three men, representing three phases of the literary world, were unanimous, when interviewed recently by a CRIMSON reporter, in their support of a liberal education as the best foundation for any vocation. These men were Mr. Royal Cortissoz, literary editor and art editor of the New York Tribune, Mr. Julian S. Mason, managing editor of that paper, and Owen Johnson, noted novelist and magazine writer
Few Liberally Educated College Men
Mr. Cortissoz, however, has found a dirth of liberally educated college men. "The lack of education shown by most college graduates with whom I have come in contact is simply appalling," he told the reporter, when interviewed in his downtown office in New York City "I find that most American college men are perfectly content to do just enough work to get their degrees and go no further.
"The real purpose of education," he went on, "is to make one think. Examinations and degrees are merely necessary instruments to guide the undergraduate and urge him to go on for himself. The college men I see every day, however, have not trained minds. They lack in imagination and initiative."
"Would you propose any change in the present system of education, such as adopting the English system or making the requirements harder?" asked the reporter.
Favors Purely Elective System
"No," Mr. Cortissoz answered, "for education rests entirely in the individual. It is wholly in his power to cultivate his mind and imagination or not. It is true, however, that Englishmen graduate from their colleges really educated. They learn from what I call the habit of mind, but only because the tradition of learning in English colleges is deeper than here. I am strongly in favor of a purely elective system of education, where the student is given a great deal of freedom"
Wants Concentration in Last 2 Years
When Mr. Owen Johnson was asked to view his opinions on education, he emphasized the importance of a liberal education.' "My idea is to have men select their courses irrespective of vocation during their first two years, and concentrate only in the last two."
"I do not believe that men should be made to concentrate in college at all, unless they want to", was the opinion expressed by Mr. Mason, a former chairman of the 'Yale Daily News'. Mr. Mason sat at his desk in one of the top floors of the Tribune Building. Reporters were hastily writing up the next day's paper, and copy boys and proof readers were hurriedly moving about.
"I do not remember anything, specific I learned at college", he declared, "except to use my mind. My experience on the 'News' is of no material benefit to my present newspaper work other than being part of a liberal education."