President Eliot was the guest of the Dartmouth Alumni Association at its forty-fourth annual reunion at the Hotel Somerset last evening and delivered an informal address on Dartmouth College, its power and its influence, and the great debt that it owes to the services of President Tucker.
President Eliot began by saying that the enthusiastic assembly of such a number of Dartmouth alumni as a testimony to the great work of its president, was a prodigious reward. The common notion that our one ambition in life is the pursuit of money is a slander on the American people, for they are ever ready to give rewards to which money cannot be compared, rewards given in reverence and in gratitude. Many alumni of Dartmouth College, people never known by President Tucker, have respected him for a life of service into which money never entered. The long duration and the growing power of our American colleges is a personal product, the work of those alumni whose names are forever linked with American history. The influence of many of these graduates cannot be estimated in terms of money; it is something above all such considerations. These are the reasons which bring about that we cannot suppress the influence of an American college.
The product of our universities and our colleges is intellectual power. President Tucker has always preached intellectual and religious freedom; he has been a great administrator in times of difficulty, when personal sacrifices are often involved. Only recently he has been engaged in a great work of religious liberation, serving at the side of President Eliot.
The competition of Dartmouth College is of great value to this University, for no one knows his true power until brought into competition. Its struggle should be welcome to all. The activity of the Dartmouth alumni has been remarkable in this line and they have made great claims for their college. One of these is the superiority of a small college over a large one. The difficulty with this argument is that it is likely not to last, for today Dartmouth is twice as large as Harvard was 40 years ago and just as large as the University of 20 years ago. There is one plea for Dartmouth, however, that cannot be refuted. The exquisite beauty of the surrounding country is sure to have a lasting and invigorating effect on the students of the college.
Our institutions of learning share with the American people the task of developing good citizens and it is our duty to build up these institutions till their influence becomes paramount.