is that you will come back shouting about the beloved old institution that you knew when you were an undergraduate and be inclined to oppose these reforms, for the human affection of an old alumnus twines itself about things as they once were. The dear old alumnus of an institution, just to the extent that he remembers too well what the chapter in his day was, is likely to fail to look forward to the future reforms needed to teach the youngsters of a new time. Such a fraternity man is likely to be a handicap to the future constructive work of the fraternity that means to survive usefully. My injunction is to give your understanding and tolerance to every experiment and every reform which is trying to save the intellectual life of the potential American leaders now enrolled in your old co ll eges. I am sorry I can't take time to tell you about all the promising experiments under way because I think there are going to be more useful reforms achieved in the American college system during the next fifteen years than we have had in the previous 150 years. We are just at the turning point. You wi ll perceive that if you study the trends within our present situation . And so I ask the interest of this Interfraternity Conference in the who le series of educati onal researches and experiments under way. The professors are beginning to get interested. The students have been interested for a long time. But they have been interested as consumers and not as producers of a certain vital intellectual effect. They have been interested in the problem because they have been too often bored. But youth has a marvelous capacity for escape. They immediately began to construct interesting institutions of th ei r own outside the classroom to supply the vital interests which they did not acquire in the classroom. Such has been the attitude of the undergraduate in recent years. He has g lorified ath letics. He has glorified the sociable life. He has g lorified the management of student affa irs. And he has g lorified every kind of a student body act ivity which is somehow a creation of his own interest. He has done very little about improving the vitality of instruction, largely because he was incapable of doing it. It is outside hi s constructive domain. It belongs to the teacher. He now recognizes it. The entire body of the American Association of University Professors, through its chapters, is about to study the problem of the improvement of collegiate instruction. There will be held this summ er, at the University of Minnesota. a research conference of the leading college professors who have been engaged in investigation of university problems. They are assembling for conference and discussion that they may find out what problems the other fellow senses, what techniques he has em pl oyed and what scientific findings are now available. Then they wi ll go back to their respective institutions as st imul ating, scientific foci for the cooperative work of all the members of these chapters. It means much for the future when the ab lest minds of the Am erican colleges turn their attention vigorously to the problems of ed ucating the individual as they have to the accretion of important truth about an academic study. Experimental demonstrations of rich promi se are already observed at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Chicago, and in many other large and small colleges. I have seen two colleges that have gone through a complete revolution in one year, once the
faculty had turned its intellectual power on the problem of improved teaching. You will often wonder what is the meaning of all this change. Is the dear old college being chopped into pieces? Perhaps you are beginning to resist it. Your business is not to resist but to try to understand. The college that fails to get into step with its time is on the way to becoming a corpse, particularly in the rapidly changing life which characterizes our time. As alumni, you are going to have something to say about all this change. But the a lumni of an institution have power. I have sat upon advisory committees in the reconstruction of six or seven institutions during the last few years and there is no body of persons connected with the college to which the administration is so sensitive and so responsive as the college's alumni body. Make up your mind to help. Changes are going to be very numerous. What is going to become of your fraternity system? The junior col lege system is sweeping over the Far and the Middle West; it is sweeping into the South and, it is begi nning to appear timidly even in the Middle States and New England. In the West, we are already worried over what is go ing to happen to foot路 ball. I wonder if you are beginning to worry over what is go ing to happen to the fraternity system. Among the endowed coll eges to whom wea lth for residen路 tial facilities is avai lable, the dormitory and residential college systems are advancing. Undergraduates in increasing degree are required to give up li ving at the fraternity house to Jive in the common halls. What do these two trends mean to the fraternity system? As the system of residential colleges comes in, the old fraternity life tends to be pushed out. Rushing is delayed as a later event. The chapter life is delayed to the later yea rs. In some places the chapter house ceases to amount to anythi ng except as a place of occasional assemb ly. With the coming of the junior college, is the fraternity going to go down and become part of th e junior college? If the junior coll ege dmps off the bottom of the college proper, leaving on ly a senior co ll ege, wi ll the fraternity system withdraw from the two traditional lower years? I am certain that the fraternities cannot go up unless they make a very much higher selection of members on the basis of intellectual capacity and intellectual interest than they have in the past. I do not know the answer. But fraternity men should nowdetermine what kind of an institution it ought to be. If you are go ing to move downward you must adj ust to the more immature levels of the life of secondary school youth. If you are go ing to go up with a selected clientele to the true university level, you must amend the nature of your institution in order to fit yourself to the higher intellectual life. The future is not easy to anticipate. The future promises to be full of startling changes, some of which will be evanescent and some permanent. It is going to be difficult to di stinguish the one from the other. But upon the successful guess ing that you do, with as much fact in your possession as you can summon, the vital place of the fraternity system is going to be determined. The abi lity of the institution to live has often been challenged in the past, as you know. There was a time when legis latures everywhere were trying to wipe the fraternity system out of existence. I am ready to say to you that legis latures are not to be feared as much as the impending changes in the American hi gher schoo l. Failure to (Contin11ed
THE STAR AND LAMP
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But what torments oF pain you endured "Some of your ills you have cured, from evils that never arrived." ..