The following reply to the charges of "indifference" at Harvard is taken from an article on Harvard University by Mr. B. S. Hurlbut in a book of memorial sketches of Cambridge now being prepared for publication. It is edited by Mr. Arthur Gilman, Regent of Radcliffe:
"From the world outside there comes a cry that Harvard is indifferent,- yet nothing is falser; men do not rightly judge the attitude of the college. From its foundation Harvard has stood for the cultivation of the individual, and those who do not think say this is selfishness. It is its opposite. Harvard individualism means that every man shall develop what is best in him, that thus he may fit himself to serve his fellows. Toward this ideal the University has struggled for two centuries and a half, and, in these later years, with the development of the elective system, by which each man has fitted his studies to his needs, the University has come nearer to it. To one who knows Harvard there is something almost ludicrous, were it not for the sorrowful thought that the University is so misunderstood, in the cry of Harvard indifference. Because schoolboy ideals and codes are fast disappearing, because men will not be driven in a body, because a man thinks that above all he should seek to make the best use of those powers which God has given him, Harvard is indifferent. If this be indifference the charge is true; but it is indifference of this sort that has moved the world.
There is, however, at Harvard, indifference to some things that older men prize. Nowhere is there a more democratic community. Wealth and lineage unsupported by genuine merit lack the power they possess in the world outside: a man counts for what he is, be he student or instructor; and this very state of things has done away with the old relationship between the two: student and instructor are no longer at war,-they are working together toward a common goal.
Perhaps, too, the world has talked of indifference because the Harvard man says little of the things he cares for most. He wears neither a "society pin" upon his waistcoat, nor his heart upon his sleeve. He is silent about the good deeds that he does; yet week after week he goes to a "Boys' Club" in some wretched district of Boston; or he gathers about him the little band that centres round a "Home Library"; there is a sailors' mission where Harvard students may be found Sundays, and a "Prospect Union," where men who have toiled all day meet at night to study, and Harvard students are their teachers. They devote time and strength to these, but they say nothing: Silently the rich have given of their abundance to their classmates, who, in the struggle for an education, have had also to win their bread. Many a man, almost despairing in the struggle, has taken heart at a gift that came he knew not whence. "I must do this, at least," the giver says, "but my name must not be known." And many a poor man has helped his fellow, poorer than himself. For these things those who know and love Harvard believe in her-for these things that the world knows not of. Nor does it see, perhaps because it does not care to look, the strong current of honest, clean right living, the search for truth, the endeavor to develop all the powers that God has given, these things that are the true spirit of Harvard."