Haverford College: A History and an Interpretation

Haverford College: A History and an Interpretation

Haverford College: A History and an Interpretation

Haverford College: A History and an Interpretation

Excerpt

The main purpose in writing a history of a college is to furnish an interpretation of its life and work to those who have been its students and who are thus a vital part of its history. In the case of Haverford College there is also another reason for presenting the story of its development. It has through the years been working out important educational ideals and it has made significant contributions to higher education in America. Its history concerns, therefore, a wider circle than its own immediate family of teachers, students and graduates. There are aspects of uniqueness which are worthy of record.

American institutions have usually been ambitious to expand in size and they have seemed tacitly to assume that greatness is in large degree measured by the length of the roll of students to be counted. "Watch our university grow," has, not infrequently, been an advertising slogan, and to "grow" has been thought of in terms of "the book of Numbers." This form of expansion has of course never been a universal attitude with American colleges and universities, but it has been far too prevalent a trait with educational promoters, if not with educational leaders.

One of the "singular" features of Haverford College throughout its entire history has been its maintenance of smallness in size--real smallness--as a persistent ideal. There was a period in its earlier history when the numbers were too small for proper stimulus and genuine efficiency. And at that stage the small size was not altogether due to the sway of the ideal of limit. But even in that day of small things, when expansion was almost infini-

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