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think for themselves, governed not by ignorance, by prejudice or by impulse, but by knowledge and reason and high-mindedness, the State Universities will safeguard democracy. Without such leaders and followers democratic reactions may create revolutions, but they will not be able to produce industrial and social progress. America's problem is not violently to introduce democratic ideals, but to preserve and entrench them by courageous adaptation to new conditions. Educated leadership sets bulwarks against both the passionate impulses of the mob and the sinister designs of those who would subordinate public welfare to private greed. Lord Bacon's splendid utterance still rings true: "The learning of the few is despotism; the learning of the many is liberty. And intelligent and principled liberty is fame, wisdom and power." There is a danger to the universities in this very opportunity. At first pioneer democracy had scant respect for the expert. He believed that " a fool can put on his coat better than a wise man can do it for him." There is much truth in the belief; and the educated leader, even he who has been trained under present university conditions, in direct contact with the world about him, will still have to contend with this inherited suspicion of the expert. But if he be well trained and worthy of his training, if he be endowed with creative imagination and personality, he will make good his leadership. A more serious danger will come when the universities are fully recognized as powerful factors in shaping the life of the State not mere cloisters, remote from its life, but an influen tial element in its life. Then it may easily happen that the smoke of the battle-field of political and social controversy will obscure their pure air, that efforts will be made to stamp out the exceptional doctrine and the exceptional man. Those who investigate and teach within the university walls must respond to the injunction of the church, "Sursum corda"
lift up the heart to high thinking and impartial search for the unsullied truth in the interests of all the people; this is the holy grail of the universities.
That they may perform their work they must be left free, as the pioneer was free, to explore new regions and to report what they find; for like the pioneers they have the ideal of investigation, they seek new horizons. They are not tied to past knowledge; they recognize the fact that the universe still abounds in mystery, that science and society have not crystallized, but are still growing and need their pioneer trailmakers. New and beneficent discoveries in nature, new and beneficial discoveries in the processes and directions of the growth of society, substitutes for the vanishing material basis of pioneer democracy may be expected if the university pioneers are left free to seek the trail.
In conclusion, the university has a duty in adjusting pioneer ideals to the new requirements of American democracy, even more important than those which I have named. The early pioneer was an individualist and a seeker after the undiscovered; but he did not understand the richness and complexity of life as a whole; he did not fully realize his opportunities of individualism and discovery. He stood in his somber forest as the traveler sometimes stands in a village on the Alps when the mist has shrouded everything, and only the squalid hut, the stony field, the muddy pathway are in view. But suddenly a wind sweeps the fog away. Vast fields of radiant snow and sparkling ice lie before him; profound abysses open at his feet; and as he lifts his eyes the unimaginable peak of the Matterhorn cleaves the thin air, far, far above. A new and unsuspected world is revealed all about him. Thus it is the function of the university to reveal to the individual the mystery and the glory of life as a whole-to open all the realms of rational human enjoyment and achievement; to
preserve the consciousness of the past; to spread before the eye the beauty of the universe; and to throw wide its portals of duty and of power to the human soul. It must honor the poet and painter, the writer and the teacher, the scientist and the inventor, the musician and the prophet of righteousness the men of genius in all fields who make life nobler. It must call forth anew, and for finer uses, the pioneer's love of creative individualism and provide for it a spiritual atmosphere friendly to the development of personality in all uplifting ways. It must check the tendency to act in mediocre social masses with undue emphasis upon the ideals of prosperity and politics. In short, it must summon ability of all kinds to joyous and earnest effort for the welfare and the spiritual enrichment of society. It must awaken new tastes and ambitions among the people.
The light of these university watch towers should flash from State to State until American democracy itself is illuminated with higher and broader ideals of what constitutes service to the State and to mankind; of what are prizes; of what is worthy of praise and reward. So long as success in amassing great wealth for the aggrandizement of the individual is the exclusive or the dominant standard of success, so long as material prosperity, regardless of the conditions of its cost, or the civilization which results, is the shibboleth, American democracy, that faith in the common man which the pioneer cherishes, is in danger. For the strongest will make their way unerringly to whatever goal society sets up as the mark of conceded preeminence. What more effective agency is there for the cultivation of the seed wheat of ideals than the university? Where can we find a more promising body of sowers of the grain?
The pioneer's clearing must be broadened into a domain where all that is worthy of human endeavor may find fertile
soil on which to grow; and America must exact of the constructive business geniuses who owe their rise to the freedom of pioneer democracy supreme allegiance and devotion to the commonweal. In fostering such an outcome and in tempering the asperities of the conflicts that must precede its fulfilment, the nation has no more promising agency than the State Universities, no more hopeful product than their grad
True to American traditions that each succeeding generation ought to find in the Republic a better home, once in every year the colleges and universities summon the nation to lift its eyes from the routine of work, in order to take stock of the country's purposes and achievements, to examine its past and consider its future.
This attitude of self-examination is hardly characteristic of the people as a whole. Particularly it is not characteristic of the historic American. He has been an opportunist rather than a dealer in general ideas. Destiny set him in a current which bore him swiftly along through such a wealth of opportunity that reflection and well-considered planning seemed wasted time. He knew not where he was going, but he was on his way, cheerful, optimistic, busy and buoyant.
To-day we are reaching a changed condition, less apparent perhaps, in the newer regions than in the old, but sufficiently obvious to extend the commencement frame of mind from the college to the country as a whole. The swift and inevitable current of the upper reaches of the nation's history has borne it to the broader expanse and slower stretches which mark the nearness of the level sea. The vessel, no longer carried along by the rushing waters, finds it necessary to determine its own
1 Commencement Address, University of Washington, June 17, 1914. Reprinted by permission from The Washington Historical Quarterly. October, 1914.