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Bohi, M. Janette / A history of Wisconsin State University Whitewater, 1868-1968

4 The Salisbury era: a peaceful push toward maturity (1885-1912),   pp. 67-122

Page 67

The Salisbury Era: 
A Peaceful Push Toward Maturity 
Boys reach their majority at the age of twenty-one; normal 
schools, at twenty-five.    -ALBERT SALISBURY1 
. . . if the character and qualifications of teachers be 
allowed to degenerate, the free schools will become pau- 
per schools, and the pauper schools will produce pauper 
souls.....                     -HORACE MANN2 
When Albert Salisbury became the fourth president of the Whitewater 
Normal, the seeds of every basic aspect of its institutional life had been
sowed, watered, and initially cultivated. Due to the efficient leadership
Presidents Arey and Stearns the tender plants of curricular development,
departmental organization, faculty obligations, student requirements, and
community rapport appeared in healthy array on Normal Hill. They were 
of such hibred Puritan quality that the unfortunate tenure of the second
administration only strengthened their durability. The twenty-six year 
regime of Salisbury brought nothing fundamentally new to the School 
but encouraged the simultaneous development of the institution as a whole.
From the president's office on the third floor to the janitor's headquarters
in the basement, from morning talks to senior picnics, from entrance exams
to football, and from regents at Madison to residents in Whitewater, the
brought depth of root and breadth of leaf to the operation. Like America
as a nation, whose excitement beyond her borders consisted of flexing her
muscles in the free air of expansion and lifting the burdens of the "little
brown brother," the Normal took pride in the happenings within its own
walls and posed as an arena of great opportunity in "the city beautiful."
Within the structure of the institution proper safeguards against all 
superfluity had been erected; and clearly outlined, academically and 
otherwise, was the singular goal of the old declaration book, "That
becomes a teacher." Those who stepped out of line, as President Phelps
seemed to do, were disqualified; those who refused to swing into line, as
Professor Copeland's botany student failed to do, got a dishonorable dis-
charge without ceremony. The narrow path through those first two dec- 
ades seems quaint today; but to the fourth president, who had already 

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