THE VIRTUAL explosion of scientific discovery during the first half of the twentieth century has propelled our society down the road of material progress at an astonishing rate. Our achieve- ments in learning how to manipulate the forces of nature, how- ever, have all but outdistanced our achievements in learning how to direct the forces now at our disposal. Thus, the hands that con- trol great power must become certain hands.
Actually, the evolution of this condition was perceived a long time ago, for, in a letter from Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Priestley in 1780, there appears this statement: "The rapid prog- ress true science now makes occasions my regretting sometimes that I was born too soon. It is impossible to imagine the height to which may be carried in a thousand years the power of man over matter. . . . Oh, that moral science were in as fair a way of im- provement!"
Happily, there is a growing appreciation today of the urgent necessity to develop in oncoming generations the strength of character to match the responsibilities that will be heaped upon the educated leader.
Recognizing a need for an organized attempt to assess influences on character in the college setting, as well as to gather informa- tion on what is being tried, what succeeds best, and what limita- tions exist, a number of interested persons met several years ago under the auspices of the American Council on Education to draw up a study plan. They were encouraged in their efforts by the interest of the Calkins Foundation, which made a generous grant in support of a study.
After a number of suggestions were made, a proposal was writ- ten, a committee appointed, and preliminary meetings held. In