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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

ENGLISH 6.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Question: "Resolved, That the Harvard degree of A. B. should be regularly granted after three years residence and the satisfactory passing of sixteen courses."

Brief for the Affirmative.STEVENS HECKSCHER and A. C. TRAIN.

Best general references: Pamphlet published by the University containing the report of the faculty majority and minority upon this question (may be obtained of Mr. William at U. 2); Professor James, Harvard Monthly, Jan. 1891.

INTRODUCTION.The word "satisfactory" in the question for debate is to be construed to mean that the same percentage of "C" work shall be required as at present.

BRIEF PROPER.A. The present requirements have disadvantages.

I. The amount of work required per year is too small.- (a) The great majority of our best students carry extra courses.- (b) Many lazy and idle students now secure their degree after what is practically a "four years loaf."

II. The expense of four years residence is great.

III. The present age of graduation is too far advanced, the time required for securing the degree being unnecessarilly long.- (a) For those intending to study for the learned professions.- (b) For those intending to enter business.- (x) The college graduate is now too much handicapped by the four years spent at college in securing a general education.- (c) For those who intend to enter literary or intellectual pursuits.- (x) The degree of A. M. is now almost necessary for those intending to become teachers, specialists, etc.- (d) This difficulty cannot be sufficiently obviated by lowering the age of entering college to eighteen years.- (1) Twenty-one is the most desirable age for graduation.

B. The proposed plan is desirable.

I. It enforces more work.- (a) Five or five and a half courses a year is a good, fair amount of work to demand of an average student.- (1) That this amount can be carried is shown by the good standing of those now taking extra courses.

II. It greatly reduces expense.- (a) It would reduce the strain upon our poorer students.- (b) It would enable many men to go to college who now can not afford to do so.

III. It reduces the time spent at college without lowering the standard or value of the A. B. degree.- (a) Though the number of courses required will be lowered the standard of the remaining courses will be raised.- (1) The number of courses required for the A. B. degree has been steadily reduced from twenty-three in 1860 to the present number.- (2) The standard and value of the degree has notwithstanding steadily increased.

Brief for the Negative.B. C. MEAD and F. R. STEWARD.

Best general references: Minority Re-

(Continued on fourth page.)

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