HARRY BURNS HUTCHINS, LL.D. President Emeritus of the University of Michigan
Upon the occasion that marks the beginning of a new administration of the University, it has been thought fitting that something be said regarding the development of the state university idea, with particular reference to its development within the Commonwealth of Michigan. I have been asked to speak briefly upon the subject. As the expressed wish of our President is with me equivalent to a command, I shall attempt to do so. I am embarrassed, however, by having to traverse ground already thoroughly covered upon several public occasions at this University, by speakers of distinguished merit -- ground, therefore, presumably familiar to many of you -- and by the fact that the time limit, wisely imposed out of consideration for the audience, precludes little more than the barest outline. But notwithstanding these and other handicaps that I might mention, I shall try to contribute something by way of brief narrative and occasional suggestion.
The policy of state assistance to higher education is not in this country of recent origin. It has a distinct historical basis. It long antedates the coming of the state university; for the older institutions of the East and of the South not infrequently during the early, and particularly during the colonial, period of their history depended largely upon public appropriations for their support. The policy, however, under the old regime, never became so general or so deeply rooted that it dom