The annual meeting for the announcement of academic distinctions won by students in Harvard College was held last night in Sanders Theatre. After a choral by the Appleton Chapel choir, Dean Hurlbut, who presided, briefly out-lined the purpose of the meeting. It is a fallacy, he said, that the first scholar in college is not the first man in the world, and it is the gentleman who will address you this evening who has helped to prove this statement, Frederick Perry Fish of the class of 1875.
Mr. Fish stated the fact that has so often been emphasized that, after all, the true measure of a university is its standard of scholarship, which fits men for the work of the world. None deserves the favors of his college so much as the man who by all tests has proved himself the most worthy scholar. That a business man has been asked to speak to you this evening shows the importance of the scholar in the world of commerce today.
After reviewing the commercial conditions of previous ages Mr. Fish went on to show the great developments which have come during the past forty years. There have been continued movements for consolidation in all branches of industry, which have resulted in the great aggregations of capital, miscalled trusts. Adverse criticism of these institutions is heard on every side, but much can be said in their behalf. There is no foundation for the general attack upon the promoters of the corporations, who, as a class, have high moral integrity. The worst evil that confronts industry today is the prejudiced attitude of the public, which is reflected in the selfish and severe criticisms which are constantly appearing in our papers and magazines.
But what has this, he said, to do with scholarships? It simply illustrates the excellent opportunities that present themselves to the scholar today in the world of commerce. There never was a time in history so good as the present for the work of the well-trained man, the man who has the ability to seize things as they are, to grasp a complicated situation, and act accordingly. The only man who can do this is the true scholar.
If the scholar does not see fit to become a business man, he can help the business world by seeing it in the proper light, and by helping the public to a better grasp of the situation, through clean criticism.
At the conclusion of the address the Harvard Hymn was sung, followed by an announcement of the origin and nature of the various prizes and by the award of the deturs. The exercises closed with the singing of Fair Harvard.
The complete list of awards is given on page five of the CRIMSON.