The Report of the Committee of Men from Other Colleges.


The meeting on Thursday evening of men from other colleges who are at present working in the different departments of the university was very interesting; and the report submitted by the committee appointed some months ago to look into the moral and intellectual condition of the life here, coming from these men and at this time, is full of significance.

The men who come to Harvard from other institutions form a distinct class. As one of the most prominent of them said at the meeting, they feel that they owe no allegiance to Harvard. They come here as the graduates of other institutions for the purpose of continuing their work in some of the departments of the university. They are almost uniformly men of considerable maturity, and of extended experience with educational institutions, as well as with the world. Their attitude here is that of impartial, disinterested observers. Their opinion must, therefore, carry great weight with it; and it is a fact that the report of their committee has been awaited in many quarters with a great deal of interest because of the definite and trustworthy information it would certainly give on the much discussed question of the moral and intellectual earnestness of Harvard students.

In substance the report says that as nearly as can be ascertained, there are in the graduate and undergraduate departments, ninety-seven men from other colleges; of these, seventy-five, or 77.3 per cent. have given the statistics asked for by the committee. These seventy-five men represent sixty-four colleges, including institutions in England, Canada, Germany, and Japan.

In reply to the questions, What advantages induced you to come to Harvard? Have your expectations been fulfilled? What advantages have you found that you did not expect? The answers are especially interesting; they show conclusively that men find here the advantages they have anticipated, and many others in addition. A full list of the advantages mentioned cannot be given, but a few of those most emphatically dwelt upon by the men who wrote the committee will be of interest; they are: general reputation, superiority of instructors, wide range of courses of instructions, methods of instruction including the elective system; various facilities for work, as libraries, laboratories, museums, gymnasium, etc.; other aids, such as department clubs, lectures, conferences. vicinity of Boston, the cordial relations existing between instructors and students, various religious advantages, financial aid and many others.

Some of the disadvantages which men coming here had been led to expect were: immoral and irreligious influences, lax and superficial spirit of work, extravagance, expense of living, snobbery, and others. Most of those who mentioned these thing found their anticipations to be groundless.

As to the moral tone of Harvard there is a very decided expression of opinion. The general consensus of this opinion is that the accusations brought against the University are grossly exaggerated, and have but little actual foundation; and that the moral atmosphere is as good or better than that of other colleges with which the writers have been previously connected.

Concerning the excellence of the general spirit of work, there seems little doubt. Ninety per cent of those who write on this point vary in their expressions of opinions from "good" to "never have seen a more thoroughly earnest spirit."

It is very fortunate that the entire report of this committee, together with extracts from the most of the letters received, is to be published. It is impossible to give a summary of the report which is at all satisfactory, and it will certainly be a pleasure to the many who are interested in it to be able to secure a full copy.

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