Of great significance is Professor Coolidge's observation in a recent address, that the war gives American colleges the opportunity to become international centres of learning. A-fortiori this applies to the University, which with its exchange professorships and cosmopolitan attendance has long teen exerting influence abroad. Certain departments, for example that of chemistry through the work of Professor Richards, have already attained considerable international reputation. The case system at the Law School, too, has been investigated by experts from abroad and bids fair to make its way in Europe as it has in America.
After the war European universities will be in a weakened condition. Not only will they be reduced economically, but many of their scholars and potential scholars will have lost their lives. It thus becomes the duty of American colleges to take up the work of advancing the world's scholarship with greater seal than ever. In the case of Harvard this calls for the strengthening of the equipment of certain departments. A substitute for Boylston Hall is needed; the Economics Department needs money to establish research fellowships; the Library needs an endowment. In spite of the great building expansion just competed, more money is needed. And it is hoped that benefactors of mankind in the largest and most international sense will respond.
As regards the student, it is well for those so inclined to consider the opportunities of a scholar's career at this time. The history of the war, for example, will probably be best written in America, where partiality may be avoided. Undoubtedly the ideas which may solve the problem of militarism will arise in pacific America. Pupils often grow up to instruct their elders. May not the United States become in many things teacher of the world?
It is a prospect worth considering and preparing to meet. The undergraduate can do his share. He can attend exchange lectures, especially those of Professor Dupriez, which deal with European government; he can join one of the various political clubs, which discuss international questions. Each student can at least contribute his quota toward a world atmosphere in the University.
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