13. Students in the Emergent University

Alma Mater/Spring 2014
Mr. McCaughey
Monday, March 3, 2014

12. The Emergent University & the Student Estate

More on Late 19th-C. Faculty in Ascendance/Emboldened
Lots of institutions opening or upgrading their faculty (“No instructor without a PhD”)

James’s “PhD Octopus” (1902) directed at Bryn Mawr
Barnard’s faculty 15 years into existence;

Academe the primary employer of non-science PhDs but not only one;
Ministry/Missions – especially Yale and Chicago PhDs
Journalism – universities assures a favorable press
Public life – civil service/municipal reform movements/
social work (Jane Addams); federal agencies in need of
scientists and social scientists
Staffing the progressive movement at municipal, state and
federal levels – Census Bureau/Federal Reserve Bank

The issues of race, immigration, urban poverty – all coming to be seen as the business of experts – sociologists/statisticians/eugenicists/psychologists

Elective office rarer – Henry Cabot Lodge (HU 1876 , US senator); Woodrow Wilson; Wilbur Cross (Yale 1889; Ct. govr 1930-38)

George Santayana (1892):
“Many of the young professors… are no longer the sort of persons that might as well have been clergymen or schoolmasters; they have rather the type of mind of a doctor, an engineer, or a social reformer; the wide-awake young man who can do most things better than old people, and who knows it.”

Top profs: Not defining themselves by their students, certainly not their undergraduate students — or their employing institution, or their “bosses”
(Columbia  as “home”-à Columbia  as a professional perch
Exceptions even at research universities: Wendell Barrett/George Santayana at Harvard/
John Erskine at Columbia

12. Students in the Emergent University: Rise of the Extra-Curriculum

Argument: The University model of late 19th-century designed to/happened to meet the perceived needs of the newly  emboldened professoriate;
— Allowed for strong presidents, but presidents respectful  of faculty prerogatives and drawn from their estate;
— Reduced trustee authority to non-academic parts of university –
finances and plant; not curriculum or faculty appointments
— Effected a separation of faculty and student estates; faculty no longer students who had stuck around campus to become teachers; students organize their lives around an extra-curriculum and  at a remove from faculty:
Not all at such remove — Some professors-in-the-making – some after academic honors…


The Student Estate, 1860 – 1920

Older pre-Civil War components of the extra-curriculum:
Class activities – dinners/outings/tug-of-war/disruptive behavior toward their tutors/town-gown brawlings;
Religious activities – prayer meetings; periodic revivals; chapel;
Militia drills
Literary societies; at CC — Philolexian (1802);
Peithologian Society (1806)
serious attention to contemporary literature; public speaking; debating
Fraternities: 1830s  ADP in 1836

Gymnasia interest from Germany in 1840s


Intercollegiate Athletics:



First Game

Columbia Entry

1852 Crew Harvard/Yale, Lake
Winnipesaukee, NH

1874 Saratoga regatta

1859 Baseball Amherst /Williams

1860 vs. NYU

1869 Football Rutgers/Princeton

1870 vs. Rutgers

1873 Track Amherst/Cornell/McGill



Existence of these teams linked classes to each other and current students to alums, whose connections to alma mater turned mostly on the faring of its teams….
Attracted much press coverage

Early teams organized and managed by students/alums – not administrators or faculty – could be moneymaking operations – hired coaches/rented fields/sold refreshments….

Coverage of athletic events a strong impetus for campus journalism

Student journalism:
Harvard Crimson – 1873
Columbia Spectator – 1877
Yale Daily News – 1878
Barnard Bulletin, weekly commences in 1902

Student theatre
Columbia Varsity Show – 1894
A few colleges places of undergraduate high living – Harvard’s “Gold Coast” FDR’s rooms in Adams House –The FDR Suite —  http://www.fdrsuite.org/

Princeton eating clubs à 1879 onwards
Weekends at women’s colleges – they coming to campus….
Dartmouth Winter Carnival  1910 Weekend

Finding a spouse among your college friends’ siblings or friends…

The scene of epic exertions of collegiate SPIRIT:
Canby on Yale – quoted in Kirkland, “The Higher Learning”

Protestant evangelism
The Student Volunteer Movement – Yale’s Dwight Hall (1886) / Harvard’s Phillip Brooks House (1900)/Columbia’s Earl Hall (1902) – YMCA/YWCAs…
“The evangelization of the world in this generation”
5000 college-graduate missionaries to China/Korea/India….

Newman Clubs – after Cardinal John Henry Newman – UPenn – 1888….Menorah Society — first at Harvard, 1906 –>Columbia 1911

Student politics
Mixed reaction to Spanish American War
Student volunteers for TR’s Rough Riders –
Early 20th C. student politics (socialism; suffragism; civil rights; anti-militarism)

Walter Lippmann (1910)/ Randolph Bourne 1911)/Freda Kirchwey (BC 1915) ….

Lippmann —

Basis for rapprochement with their teachers:
Sharing of the view that the business-dominated days were about over – and that the days of bloody national ears equally over….
Political pragmatism/Progressivism  as enunciated by William James/John Dewey/
a tolerance for the testier Cattells, the iconoclastic Beards and Thorsten Veblens….
a preference for the scholarly economist ERA Seligman over some robber baron….

The nation theirs to direct — as per Lippmann — “to educate, to control.”

Last updated: March 3, 2014

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