At the meeting last night of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Dean Wright of the Graduate School presided. Addresses were made by Professor C. H. Toy, Professor William Ostwald and President Eliot.
In his introductory speech Dean Wright stated that the name of the Graduate School was changed last year to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, to distinguish it from the other graduate or professional schools of Law, Divinity and Medicine. The School, said Dean Wright, has been largely increased this year, there being 189 new students out of a total 355. Of these, 125 have never been connected with the University.
Dr. Toy delivered an address on the "Ethical Influences of University Life." Ethics are the outcome of human experience. Ideals, which are closely allied to ethics, are in their very nature unattainable, yet their moral effect is undoubted. One of the great ethical evils of college education is the tendency to isolate from the rest of the world. This possibly occurs through the tendency of modern professors to specialize and concentrate their studies in one subject. Yet it is not a discouraging fact, when we realize the unbounded good that the world has acquired from the great University teachers.
The next speaker of the evening was Professor Ostwald. He briefly explained the great development of teaching, which has recently occurred. Professors, instead of the old system of oral lectures, occasionally use the co-operation of their best students in advanced subjects. Modern universities employ individual laboratories and individual teaching. In conclusion Professor Ostwald said that a freshman in college is entering one of the happiest periods of his life, since for the first time he can exercise power with perfect freedom.
President Eliot, the last speaker, said that the great ethical teaching of Universities is individual freedom. During the last 15 or 20 years this has been lost sight of, owing to the great emphasis which has been laid on the development of force.
Harvard University has always especially emphasized freedom and truth. During the past half century a new method for the search of truth has come into existence. Before 1850 Harvard possessed no chemical laboratory, and only one medical laboratory, a dissecting room. This change, known as the experimental method of teaching, has been most notable America.
In closing President Eliot welcomed professor Ostwald as a fortunate example of the fraternal co-operation of Universities.