Dr. Arthur E. Morgan's Presidency of Antioch College approaches its fifteenth year. From an institution which sixteen years ago had an annual budget of $15,000 and held less than fifty students, Antioch has been expanded to include 650 students, and has an annual budget of about $400,000. This phenomenal growth has continued through the depression.
Unfortunately the reasons for this college's success hold very little suggestion for the improvement of Harvard College. The idea, in Dr. Morgan's works, was that Antioch should be "concerned with the development of the entire personality of the student in good proportion." To temper academic studies with the discipline and responsibilities of actual life, students spend half their time studying only, and the other half at practical work, generally a job in some business outside the college.
Harvard College has laid all its eggs in another basket. Complete emphasis is placed on academic scholastic effort, the idea being to make us broadly cultured, educated men; the future is left to bring us down to earth. "What shall I major in to prepare myself for business?" the Harvard son asks. "Greek or Latin or Fine Arts," comes the inevitable answer.
Perhaps this philosophy has something in it for those who can afford a few years of mere ripening in an intellectual environment. Undoubtedly our sort of education outshines the Anioch kind when it comes to producing Professors and Literary people.
But in so far as leadership in genuine American education is concerned, Antioch College, and not Harvard College, will assume it in the future. Already this fifteen year old has outstripped us in ambition to be a truly National University, with her even distribution of students throughout the country.
Harvard's principal appeal as a college is to a few hundred intellectual aristocrats, perhaps half the number who attend every year. Antioch's appeal is to the great American, the Practical Man, the Efficient Producer, the Ambitious.