President Robbins, judge him as you please, was not human. He had not had time to be; besides, his own gift was for seeming human. He had taught sociology only a year, and during the last three months of that year he had already been selected to be Dean of Men at-----; two years later he was appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at-----; in six years he was President of Benton. They had selected him. But how had they known whom to select? Would someone else have done as well? Why had they selected just him?
If you ask this, you have never selected or been selected; you would know, then. Such questions are as ridiculous as asking how stigmata know who to select--as asking, "Wouldn't somebody else have done just as well as St. Francis?" A vocation, a calling--these words apply quite as well in secular affairs as in religious: Luther knew. Have you yourself never known one of these idiots savants of success, of Getting Ahead in the World? About other things they may know something or they may not, but about the World they have forgotten--in previous existences for which, perhaps, they are being punished?--far more than you or I will ever learn.
President Robbins was, of course, one of these men. He "did not have his Ph.D."--but had that bothered one administrator upon this earth? All had been as refreshingly unprejudiced about his lack of one as the President of Benton now was about anybody's possession of one. But at Benton all of them were like this: they looked up your degrees so they could tell you that, whatever the things were, they didn't mind. President Robbins had an M.A. from Oxford--he had been a Rhodes Scholar--and an LL.D. granted, in 1947, by Menuire. (It's a college in Florida.) To make the President dislike you for the rest of his life, say to him with a resigned anthropological smile: "I've just been reading that in 1948 Menuire College gave the degree of Doctor of Humor to Milton Berle."
President Robbins had brought seven former Rhodes Scholars to Benton during his first two years there. Benton thought him in most ways an ideal President, but about this they felt as the constituents of a