A History of Cornell

A History of Cornell

Morris Bishop
DRAWINGS BY Alison Mason Kingsbury
Copyright Date: 1962
Edition: 1
Published by: Cornell University Press
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7591/j.ctt1287d9x
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    A History of Cornell
    Book Description:

    Cornell University is fortunate to have as its historian a man of Morris Bishop's talents and devotion. As an accurate record and a work of art possessing form and personality, his book at once conveys the unique character of the early university-reflected in its vigorous founder, its first scholarly president, a brilliant and eccentric faculty, the hardy student body, and, sometimes unfortunately, its early architecture-and establishes Cornell's wider significance as a case history in the development of higher education. Cornell began in rebellion against the obscurantism of college education a century ago. Its record, claims the author, makes a social and cultural history of modern America. This story will undoubtedly entrance Cornellians; it will also charm a wider public.

    Dr. Allan Nevins, historian, wrote: "I anticipated that this book would meet the sternest tests of scholarship, insight, and literary finish. I find that it not only does this, but that it has other high merits. It shows grasp of ideas and forces. It is graphic in its presentation of character and idiosyncrasy. It lights up its story by a delightful play of humor, felicitously expressed. Its emphasis on fundamentals, without pomposity or platitude, is refreshing. Perhaps most important of all, it achieves one goal that in the history of a living university is both extremely difficult and extremely valuable: it recreates the changing atmosphere of time and place. It is written, very plainly, by a man who has known and loved Cornell and Ithaca for a long time, who has steeped himself in the traditions and spirit of the institution, and who possesses the enthusiasm and skill to convey his understanding of these intangibles to the reader."

    The distinct personalities of Ezra Cornell and first president Andrew Dickson White dominate the early chapters. For a vignette of the founder, see Bishop's description of "his" first buildings (Cascadilla, Morrill, McGraw, White, Sibley): "At best," he writes, "they embody the character of Ezra Cornell, grim, gray, sturdy, and economical." To the English historian, James Anthony Froude, Mr. Cornell was "the most surprising and venerable object I have seen in America." The first faculty, chosen by President White, reflected his character: "his idealism, his faith in social emancipation by education, his dislike of dogmatism, confinement, and inherited orthodoxy"; while the "romantic upstate gothic" architecture of such buildings as the President's house (now Andrew D. White Center for the Humanities), Sage Chapel, and Franklin Hall may be said to "portray the taste and Soul of Andrew Dickson White."

    Other memorable characters are Louis Fuertes, the beloved naturalist; his student, Hugh Troy, who once borrowed Fuertes' rhinoceros-foot wastebasket for illicit if hilarious purposes; the more noteworthy and the more eccentric among the faculty of succeeding presidential eras; and of course Napoleon, the campus dog, whose talent for hailing streetcars brought him home safely-and alone-from the Penn game. The humor inA History of Cornellis at times kindly, at times caustic, and always illuminating.

    eISBN: 978-0-8014-5538-4
    Subjects: Education, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xiv)
  3. I Prelude
    (pp. 1-7)

    A CONTEMPLATIVE traveler, journeying to Ithaca a century ago by the road along Fall Creek, might well pause at the hilltop above the valley. He might even feel a quake of destiny underfoot.

    Northwestward he looks to Cayuga Lake, disappearing to the horizon, taking its color for the day, gray to flashing green-blue. The level wall of West Hill is backed to the southwest by far steps rising to Connecticut Hill, twelve miles away. Stump-fenced, weed-bordered roads of dribbling brown, heedless of topography, divide the landscape into squares. There is little woodland, for most of the accessible first-growth forests have...

  4. II Ezra Cornell
    (pp. 8-28)

    EZRA CORNELL was born at Westchester Landing, New York, on 11 January 1807. The exact spot has been identified as the southwest corner of Williams bridge Road and Silver Street, Borough of the Bronx, in New York City.¹ His father, Elijah Cornell, and his mother, born Eunice Barnard, traced their ancestry to seventeenth-century Puritan Massachusetts. Both came of that laborious yeomanry to which America owes so much of its greatness; none of their stock had gained any worldly distinction. Both were birthright Quakers; when and why their forebears espoused the rebel doctrine they did not know. Both were devout in...

  5. III Andrew D. White
    (pp. 29-49)

    IT is a sobering thought to your historian, had he need of one, that he has personally known every President of Cornell University except Charles Kendall Adams, and every Acting President except William Channing Russel. In the college year 1912-13 he was one of the editors of theCornell Era.The editors had two obsessing aims: to obtain tolerable matter, free of cost, to fill their pages, and to survive long enough to bequeath the accumulated deficit to a new board of editors. In pursuance of the first purpose a committee, including your historian, waited twice upon former President White. He...

  6. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  7. IV The Conception of a University
    (pp. 50-68)

    WE have seen that Ezra Cornell looked to science, embodied in the steam engine and the telegraph, as the maker of the coming religion of humanity. Andrew D. White, in his 1862 proposal to Gerrit Smith, conceived of his university as an asylum for science in its highest aspects. The two men expressed the hunger for scientific knowledge prevailing among thoughtful Americans.

    Until the mid-century and after there was little opportunity for sating this hunger. News came from Europe of great advances in pure science—of Justus Liebig’s research laboratory for organic chemistry in Giessen, of Sir Charles Lyell’s sensational...

  8. V The Making of a University
    (pp. 69-90)

    THE first meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Cornell University was held in Albany on 28 April 1865, the day after the University was created. Present were Governor Reuben E. Fenton, Horace Greeley, Ezra Cornell, Francis Miles Finch, and six others. The grant of powers and of the land scrip was accepted. Seven new trustees, including Andrew D. White, Charles J. Folger, and Erastus Brooks, editor of the New YorkExpress,were elected, and the meeting adjourned.

    The trustees did not define their own powers or their relation to the future University. Such a procedure did not suggest...

  9. VI The Early Years: A Perambulation of the Campus
    (pp. 91-98)

    THE valiant Cornellians of the early days had the beauty of lake, hill, and valley before their eyes, the beauty of cliffs and plunging streams at hand, and to this beauty most of them responded. Goldwin Smith remembered forever the un-English splendor of the sunsets, seen from his Cascadilla window, and he recalled looking down, with emotion, upon a soaring eagle.

    But in the man-made structures where the students spent their days there was little to satisfy even an unexacting aesthetic sense. Andrew D. White exhorted Ezra Cornell to achieve beauty: “The place where we are must be made beautiful...

  10. VII The Early Years: The Men
    (pp. 99-120)

    “GOD bless the ship!” George William Curtis had cried on Inauguration Day, into a high hostile wind. The ship was indeed barely seaworthy when it left harbor, and it ran immediately into storms.

    “God bless the builder!” The builder, serene and craggy, had no doubts of God’s blessing on his work. He had written to Andrew D. White (on 9 July 1866): “It is my practice to do what my judgment convinces me to be right, and to let the consequences take care of themselves.” But what he regarded as judgment was likely to be an apocalyptic vision. He frequently...

  11. VIII The Early Years: The Boys
    (pp. 121-142)

    “GOD bless the passengers!” George William Curtis had cried in his inaugural benedicite.

    The passengers made a diverse group, ranging in age from fifteen to thirty. They came mostly from New York State villages, though some were registered from California, Dakota, Florida, Nova Scotia, England, and Russia. One bold Brazilian appeared; he brought in subsequent years an entire colony. Few of the collegians displayed much elegance. Some army veterans wore their military coats dyed black, with plain buttons replacing brass. Most of them, having poverty in common, were attracted by Cornell’s promise that an education could be had for $272.40...

  12. IX The Early Years: The Girls
    (pp. 143-152)

    COEDUCATION was not absolutely a new idea in 1868. Pioneer conditions, companionship in country labor of boys and girls, scarcity of students in the sparsely settled land, had naturally imposed coeducation in elementary schools, academies, and normal schools. On the college level, Oberlin received girls with boys from 1837, and Antioch followed its example. The state universities of Iowa, Utah, and Washington admitted women in the fifties and sixties. The Michigan Legislature in 1867 urged the Regents to open their university to women, but none were actually matriculated until 1870. In the east, no college yet dared to make the...

  13. X The Early Years: Instruction and Education
    (pp. 153-179)

    ESSENTIALLY, the early Cornell was the representation in fact of the ideas in the mind of Andrew D. White, tempered by the ideas of Ezra Cornell.

    White’s educational ideas were expressed and expounded in many utterances, of which the chief were the Plan of Organization and the Inaugural Address. These educational ideas proceeded from certain deep convictions, which represented the character of a libertarian aristocrat. Libertarian, in that White craved and forever celebrated freedom; for, he thought, man, if free, will inevitably choose the better way. But to know the better way he must be instructed by those who have...

  14. XI The Early Years: Triumphs and Trials
    (pp. 180-196)

    THE infant university was tenderly watched by its trustees. Great though their good will was, their judgments sometimes clashed with those of Andrew D. White, chiefly charged with the care of the nursling. Three of the trustees, self-made men of power, played a particular role in our history.

    John McGraw was one of the ten made by the Charter into that body politic and corporate known as Cornell University. He was born in 1815 in the hills ten miles east of Ithaca, in a region still known as Irish Settlement. He clerked in a store in Dryden, married his employer’s...

  15. XII The Doubtful Years, 1876-1881
    (pp. 197-223)

    THE University being apparently in tolerable shape, President White determined to take a year’s leave of absence. The published reason was concern for his health. He was not alone in finding Ithaca winters unkind to a sensitive throat. He was also tired of presidential worries. He longed for a placid stage among the intellectual delights of Europe.

    He delayed his departure, however, to receive President Grant in his Ithaca home. The visit, on 27 September 1876, is commemorated by a brass plaque above his hearth. As Romeyn Berry remarked:

    We wish there might now be inscribed a postscript to that...

  16. XIII The Great Will Case
    (pp. 224-232)

    ANDREW D. WHITE arrived in Ithaca from abroad on 16 September 1881, just in time for the opening of classes.

    A fortnight later Jennie McGraw Fiske, wife of Willard Fiske, died. The romance of Willard Fiske and Jennie McGraw and the Great Will Case that ensued make the most dramatic story entwined in the history of Cornell.

    Jennie McGraw was born on 14 September 1840. She was the only child of our benefactor, John McGraw. When he died, on 4 May 1877, Jennie, still unmarried, inherited most of his large estate. Disregarding the tuberculosis which already afflicted her, a number...

  17. XIV Reconstruction, 1881-1885
    (pp. 233-253)

    ANDREW D. WHITE’S long vacation in Germany was by no means wasted; it had a considerable effect on his educational as on his other opinions. The deference accorded him in a hierarchical court assured him, in a new voice, of his importance, and of the rightness of his judgments. He sought out and entertained the most famous of Germany’s scholars, who, no doubt, approved his account of Cornell’s aims and methods, for White’s ideal university was German in design and organization, English in architecture and costuming.

    With evidence of European approbation, his convictions settled and hardened. The process was aided...

  18. XV President Adams, 1885-1892
    (pp. 254-268)

    CHARLES KENDALL ADAMS, second President of Cornell University, was born in Derby, Vermont, in 1835. He worked on his poor father’s poor farm, and had only elementary schooling. The family removed to Denmark, Iowa, in 1856. Adams, twenty-one years old, tall, lumbering, dogged, went to the Academy, and sat hunched with the boys, to begin his Latin and preparation for college. By the leniency of the examiners, he was admitted to the University of Michigan in 1857. He worked his way through; during his freshman year he lived mostly on milk and apples. But on principle he managed to buy...

  19. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  20. XVI Cornell under President Adams: The Business of Education
    (pp. 269-285)

    DURING President Adams’s seven years at Cornell the appearance of the campus was transformed. Five important buildings were erected, to serve as his monuments: Barnes Hall, Lincoln, Boardman, Morse, and the University Library.

    The first was Barnes Hall. In 1886 agitation for a Christian Association building began, the chief agitator being John R. Mott ’88, undergraduate leader of the Christian Association and the future world leader of the Y.M.C.A. movement. Students and others pledged $10,000, a creditable sum but far from sufficient. Alfred S. Barnes, New York publisher and a trustee, was touched (in two senses), and offered $45,000 more....

  21. XVII Cornell under President Adams: The Teachers and the Taught
    (pp. 286-302)

    IF it is true—and it is true—that the faculty makes a university’s greatness, Charles Kendall Adams was the chief artisan of Cornell’s middle years. Whether helped or hindered by the University Senate, he chose the new members of the faculty, and chose them well. Many of them spent their lives at Cornell, and by their work and influence made its merit and spread its fame. One has only to scan the record in the previous chapter to recognize the quality of Adams’s appointees. Most of the names have faded today, but they linger in books, in the annals...

  22. XVIII The Nineties: President Schurman and the State of New York
    (pp. 303-316)

    NOW we come to years that some of us remember, to a world that seems fleetingly familiar. Here are the houses in which we grew up, the chairs and dishes and humble objects that have companioned us through life. Even the appurtenances that have disappeared still live fresh in memory. In dreams we hear the clop-clop of deliverymen’s horses, we hear the squealing streetcar take the leafy curve on an autumn day and the angry ping of the warning bell under the motorman’s heel. The material background of the nineties may be quaint, it is not strange and foreign, like...

  23. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  24. XIX The Nineties: Cornell Medical College
    (pp. 317-321)

    THE greatest event in the fin-de-siècle history of Cornell was the establishment of the Medical College.

    The University had from the first taught premedical work in the sciences, under the direction of Burt G. Wilder, an M.D. and a former army surgeon. A four-year course in natural science was recommended for the future medic with time and money, and a definite two-year medical preparatory course was offered from 1878 on. But such preparation, a rarity in American education, was generally regarded as a needless luxury. Until 1890 the Medical College of New York University, like many others, imposed no entrance...

  25. XX The Nineties: The Educational Machine
    (pp. 322-331)

    THE University grew steadily through the nineties, from 1,390 full-time students in 1890-91 to 2,047 in 1899-1900. Graduate students numbered 84 in 1890-91, rose to 240 in 1894, sank to 174 in 1899-1900. Arts and Sciences rose steadily, from 499 at the beginning of the decade to 755 at its end. Agriculture was still insignificant, advancing only from 52 to 88. Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering combined rose from 435 to 57I. Architecture began with 52, mounted to 97 in 1893-94. and fell again to 43. Law rose from 122 to 246 in 1897-98 and dropped to 178. Most of...

  26. XXI The Nineties: Cornellians and Their Home
    (pp. 332-350)

    ON₇ October 1893, the twenty-fifth anniversary of Cornell’s Inauguration, a proper celebration was held. As a stocktaking it was indeed impressive. The speakers, of whom Chauncey M. Depew, magnate, legislator, and wit, was the chief, pointed to the puny babyhood, the sickly adolescence, and the lusty manhood of the University. President Schurman repeated Ezra Cornell’s statement of his aim, to combine practical with liberal education and to fit the youth of the country to master all the practical questions of life with success and honor; and these words Schurman assumed as his own guide.

    Some noted that Schurman made no...

  27. XXII The New Century: Cornell’s Soul and Body
    (pp. 351-363)

    “WHOEVER did not live before 1789 does not know what the pleasure of life can be,” said Talleyrand. One may revise his apophthegm by substituting 1914 for 1789. Before 1914 was the happy time of our innocence, when we had perfect confidence in a beneficent deity, or, if one prefers the definition, in a power in the universe, not ourselves, which makes for righteousness. In that happy time we perceived a constant progress toward the good, toward enlightenment, justice, social bliss. Wars were doomed by man’s good sense and by the power of high finance. So we said. Man’s unconquerable...

  28. XXIII The New Century: The Rise of Agriculture
    (pp. 364-383)

    ONE is always tempted to talk of the rise and growth of an institution as if it were a product of the earth’s pulse, a tide, a forest. But the fact is that the very existence of the New York State College of Agriculture, and its phenomenal success, and its present character and personality, are directly due to Liberty Hyde Bailey.

    Bailey, it may be remembered, came here as professor of horticulture in 1888 and set an example of productive energy that no one else has had the strength and genius to follow. Bailey was a college in himself, teaching,...

  29. XXIV The New Century: Cornell Medical College
    (pp. 384-389)

    THE Cornell Medical College in New York, in its fine new building, gained steadily in prestige and professional standing. It was aided and heartened by the decision of the State Court of Appeals in 1904, which restored the Loomis Laboratory to its original donor, Colonel Oliver H. P. Payne. Colonel Payne then transferred it to Cornell, at a valuation of $240,000, to be primarily a research laboratory. The saintly Colonel made up the annual deficit of the college with apparent pleasure.

    The college received the highest commendation of the state’s inspectors. “It is in almost every particular an ideal institution,”...

  30. XXV The New Century: The Other Colleges
    (pp. 390-401)

    IN these early years of the century the structure of the University was altered only by the creation of the New York State College of Agriculture and by the disappearance of the College of Forestry. Plenty of proposals for expansion were made. Director John Van Pelt of the College of Architecture had very impressive plans drawn for a college of fine arts, to cost $4,500,000, a noble enterprise. Everything was provided for except the four and a half million. President Schurman’s favorite project was a school of education, to be fathered by Cornell and mothered by the state. Andrew D....

  31. XXVI The New Century: Prewar Cornellians
    (pp. 402-424)

    WE came to college wearing our new suit from the home-town clothier, kollege kut, with long loose high-shouldered coat and high water trousers. Clocked silk socks winked above sharp-prowed patent leather shoes, even with buttoned cloth tops. Our head was upheld by a tall stiff collar (Clifton, Field Club, or Devon), meeting in front and barely masking our knitted four-in-hand, with bright horizontal stripes and bearing a roguish stickpin at the correct angle. On our head we wore a flat-topped felt hat with a gay hatband. (Extremists turned up the brim in front to meet the crown, thus revealing the...

  32. XXVII The First War
    (pp. 425-442)

    ONE who, a half century after, explores the campus records and journals of 1914, 1915, and 1916 must be struck by collegiate disregard of the war. President Wilson had enjoined neutrality upon us, and President Schurman repeated his injunction, refusing even to let partisan lecturers speak. The war was there in the news, of course; a faraway drama, Europe’s ignoble affront to pacifistic idealism. Individuals, mostly those who had some family tie with one country or another, protested, wrote letters to the paper. Professors Othon Guerlac of Romance Languages and Georges Mauxion of Architecture were summoned to the French colors...

  33. XXVIII Interregnum I, 1920-1921
    (pp. 443-449)

    WHILE the trustees sought a worthy successor to President Schurman, Albert W. Smith ’78, Director of Sibley College, was appointed Acting President, in the spring of 1920. The Acting President, universally addressed as Uncle Pete, was a tall, benign man, with the singularly sweet expression of one who has resolutely thought only high thoughts and believed only the best about his fellow men, including students. He had rowed at Saratoga on the triumphant freshman crew of 1875 and on the triumphant varsity of 1876. Save for terms in industry and at Stanford, he had given his life to Cornell. A...

  34. XXIX President Farrand—The Campus
    (pp. 450-460)

    LIVINGSTON FARRAND was born in 1867, in Newark, New Jersey, of an old, patrician American family. He graduated from Princeton in 1888, and then took the degree of M.D. at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. However, said one of his companions, he studied medicine to know it, not to pursue it.¹ After two years of study abroad, he became instructor in psychology at Columbia, and later adjunct professor. Interested in primitive psychology, he joined expeditions to northwestern America with Franz Boas and others, and was appointed professor of anthropology at Columbia in 1903. His concern with...

  35. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  36. XXX President Farrand’s Regime: Organization and Administration
    (pp. 461-467)

    CORNELL’S vigor and success have been largely due to the labors of its trustees, anonymous to most students, frequently contemned by the faculty. With apologies to the many deserving, we single out a few who, by long exercise of their wisdom, left their impress on the institution that others have inherited. Mynderse Van Cleef ’74 of Ithaca, trustee from 1881 to 1891 and from 1895 to 1935, was chairman of the all-important Committee on General Administration from 1914 until his death in 1935. Frank H. Hiscock ’7 5, Syracuse lawyer, eventually Chief Judge of the New York State Court of...

  37. XXXI Cornell under President Farrand: Education
    (pp. 468-484)

    STUDENTS sat in their classrooms and stood in laboratories from 8:00 A.M. till late afternoon, receiving their stipulated education, and thereafter they sought their own, in competitive sports, in student activities, in the passivities of the Library, in a myriad midnight bull sessions. In many a course, in many a department, the educative process was soundly performed, without producing one of those novel forth puttings or upsetting reversals which make present news and past history. In this record we can do no more than report some of the novelties and reversals which for a moment brought a college, a course,...

  38. XXXII Cornell under President Farrand: Campus Life
    (pp. 485-501)

    THE faculty was happy during this era of good feeling, under the benevolent gaze of the President, and the generally benevolent gaze of the Deans. Placidly, on the whole, it watched the postwar disillusionment, and flaming youth, and depression, and the New Deal, and the ominous rise of the dictators.

    For observatory it had only the old University Club on Central Avenue, built by Professor Prentiss in the 1870’S and much made over, always for the worse. Its grim smoking room with its creaking wicker chairs served as our forum, our news exchange and editorial office, the control room of...

  39. XXXIII Cornell under President Farrand: Athletics
    (pp. 502-511)

    AS we have already recorded, Romeyn Berry ’04 became graduate manager of athletics in 1919. His sixteen years in office fall into three stages: Triumph; Decline; and Fall.

    As the veriest infant knows, collegiate fame and disgrace depend upon football. Rym Berry’s period of triumph began with the engagement of Gilmour Dobie as football coach in 1920. In 1921 Dobie produced the first of his great teams. It won all its games, beating Penn 41 to 0, with Eddie Kaw ’23 scoring five touchdowns. (Eddie Kaw was a mudhorse, with an uncouth style, striding farther with one foot than the...

  40. XXXIV The Medical College—Retirement of President Farrand
    (pp. 512-521)

    THE nineteen-twenties were a period of great advance in medical knowledge, practice, and educational standards. In this advance the Cornell Medical College fully shared. Its reputation as one of the country’s foremost, and most difficult, medical schools brought to it a flood of applicants. In 1920 it was necessary to limit classes to sixty in each year. In 1927 the entering class was set at sixty-five, with twenty assigned to the Ithaca school and forty-five to New York.

    The influence of President Farrand was beneficent. Himself a Doctor of Medicine, he understood the special problems of medical education. He favored...

  41. XXXV Cornell under President Day: Prewar
    (pp. 522-537)

    ON⁷ November 1936, well in advance of President Farrand’s retirement, the trustees elected Edmund Ezra Day to be the fifth President of Cornell.

    Day was born in Manchester, New Hampshire, on 7 December 1883. His forebears came from northern New Hampshire. He attended the public schools of Worcester, Massachusetts, entered Dartmouth, and made an excellent undergraduate record. He was a varsity debater, manager of the track team, a member of Theta Delta Chi and Phi Beta Kappa. He received a Rufus Choate scholarship and thus acquired the nickname of “Rufus,” which clung to him all his life. He received a...

  42. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  43. XXXVI Cornell under President Day: War
    (pp. 538-553)

    IN the midafternoon of Sunday, 7 December 1941, campus dwellers, placidly tuned to the New York Philharmonic, were starded from their easy chairs by the announcement that the Japanese were bombing Pearl Harbor. “A hoax!” was the usual cry. “A student prank!” But as the news poured forth the most skeptical were forced to conclude that this was a prank of world-wide dimensions.

    Shocks seldom benumb and more seldom provoke to immediate counteraction. A group of students, fulfilling a social duty, called on your historian in the late afternoon. “This is the most momentous date in your lives!” said the...

  44. XXXVII Cornell under President Day: Postwar Administration
    (pp. 554-564)

    “WE have a moral obligation to provide educational opportunity for the maximum number of well-qualified applicants who can be handled without impairment of the quality of Cornell training,” said President Day in his 1947 report. He returned frequently to the theme of Cornell’s moral obligation, brushing aside the arguments of those who wished to fix the University at its prewar size. Our first moral duty, he said, is toward the returning veterans whose education has been interrupted; our second toward the superior youths of the state; our third toward the children of old Cornellians; and our fourth toward the country...

  45. XXXVIII Cornell under President Day: Postwar Education and Research
    (pp. 565-583)

    THE postwar period was a time of new beginnings, a time also for the resumption of businesses interrupted by the war.

    The faculty had on its mind the crucial matter of tenure and its corollary of duties.

    Tenure, or the right of a professor to occupy his chair without dislodgment by the executive, became a holy word. The concept goes back no doubt to medieval practice, whereby a professor was The One Who Professed a Subject. He could secede from theuniversitasand go to another city, taking his chair with him. Though all his students, and even the university,...

  46. XXXIX Cornell under President Day: The Postwar Student
    (pp. 584-591)

    IN the early postwar years campus sociologists detected a fresh attack of the New Seriousness, which has been alarming alumni for at least forty years. Emerson Hinchliff ’14 noted in theAlumni Newsfor March 1947 that managership competitions were lagging, that it was hard to get crowds out for rallies, that organized cheering was weak. He blamed the situation on the sophistication of the returned veterans. At the same time he found manners in general better and thought the fraternities displayed more savoir-faire in dealing with guests.

    Well, the old historian is very dubious about the New Seriousness. Alumni memories are...

  47. XL Interregnum II, 1949-1951
    (pp. 592-604)

    WHILE the search for a new President began, the administration of the University was put in the hands of Provost Cornelis W. de Kiewiet, ex–professor, ex-dean.

    His was no merely formal incumbency; he construed an Acting President to be one who acts. Not only did he continue policy, he made it, in consonance with the large general views of a historian.

    Some of his convictions, illuminating his executive actions, are embedded in the minutes of the Board of Trustees. There is a European strand in our University, he told the trustees on 20 October 1950, a tradition of academic...

  48. XLI Cornell under President Malott
    (pp. 605-612)

    THE historian dealing with times well past speaks with classroom infallibility—for he knows how things came out. But when he attempts to treat of current matters his confidence fades. This presidential venture—is it courageous or foolhardy? This turn taken—is it toward prosperity or disaster? For old questions and problems he is equipped with what teachers call an Answer Book. But for these new-posed problems there is no Answer Book.

    What makes history, what indeed is important? The life of a university consists of daily events infinite in number and possible meaning. An hour in a classroom could...

  49. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  50. XLII Postlude
    (pp. 613-616)

    WHEN I began this interminable record, I put to myself a number of questions. I wrote: “How and why has Cornell, young as such institutions go, become one of the best-known American universities, indeed, in some parts of the world, the best-known? How and why has Cornell attained, to put it baldly, greatness, whereas—not to name any names—the University of Binghamton and the University of Watkins Glen have not? In the greatest century of change in the world’s history, how has Cornell changed? And what are its constants in a sea of variables?”

    To some of my questions...

  51. Excursus I President White in His Library
    (pp. 617-620)

    MRS. ELLEN COlT BROWN ELLIOTT ’82 wrote when over ninety her recollections of President White in his private library in 1882- 1884. Her letter is in the Cornell Archives.

    When I began to do catalogue cards in President White’s private library, which was in September, 1882, there was lying in the grass under the tall narrow glass door on the west wall of the room a large hewn block of stone obviously left by the builders. But Mr. White’s house was brick not stone, so I suppose this block was brought from Morrill or McGraw and planted there to serve...

  52. Excursus II Boring on Titchener
    (pp. 621-623)

    EDWIN G. BORING ’08, professor of psychology, emeritus, at Harvard, wrote me (20 January 1960) a wonderful letter about Professor E. B. Titchener, whose faithful assistant he was until 1918. Here are some excerpts:

    I first heard Titchener lecture in the top of Morrill Hall in the fall of 1905, when I as a sophomore engineer asked permission to elect psychology, much to the disgust of Professor Diederichs, who said to his colleague at registration in Sibley: “Hell, here’s a damned engineer wants to take psychology!” Titchener, lecturing in his Oxford Master’s gown, which gave him, as he said, the...

  53. Excursus III Cornell Authors
    (pp. 624-626)

    WHAT is an author? Clearly not anyone who has written a book, for who has not? An Author, let us say, is a professional or semiprofessional writer in the field of imaginative literature: poetry, fiction, or drama. I am willing to admit a few borderline cases, like Romeyn Berry, a frustrated poet. The following list, certainly incomplete, may qualify as Cornell Authors:

    Julius Chambers ’70; William Oscar Bates ’75; Forbes Heermans ’78; C. Wolcott Balestier ’85; Hobart C. Chatfield-Taylor ’86; Philip Payne ’88; Rennold Wolf ’92; Harriet Connor Brown ’94; Anna McClure Sholl ’95 ; Stephen E. Rose ’98; Lewis...

  54. Ithaca Campus, Cornell University, Fall 1962
    (pp. None)
  55. Acknowledgments and Bibliographical Note
    (pp. 627-628)
  56. Index
    (pp. 629-651)